The Downtown Neighborhood Association hosted a townhall forum on Wednesday night at the Clubhouse on Baltimore. As a member of the 2008 executive board of said organization, I was kinda sorta obliged to attend, but I would have gone anyway. First, I have to call attention to what a fantastic space the Clubhouse is. I'll be attending a wedding reception there at the end of the summer, and now I can't wait.
The mayor spoke for perhaps twenty five minutes, covering light rail, the upcoming transit tax renewal ballot question, and the city's monumentally terrible budget situation. After that, people were free to approach the microphone in the center aisle and ask the mayor questions directly. I was relieved beyond words that none of the questions were personal attacks, as I was expecting. Instead, there was time for about ten people to ask real questions about policy, directly. My only real complaint was how lightly the event was attended. We only had about 35 people, plus about 20 security, staff, hosts, and media personnel.
After the meeting a great part of the assembled group lingered for food and drinks on the first floor. It was all extremely agreeable. A small group went all the way upstairs to Kristin's roof-level apartment for an eye-popping view of downtown and the surrounding area. After things wound down, about eight or nine of us went up the street to 12Baltimore for drinks in earnest. I was home by eleven, and in bed by midnight. That's my story and I'm sticking to it.