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Baltimore Magazine writer Ron Cassie joins Nestor on the Maryland Crab Cake Tour at State Fare in Catonsville to discuss the future of live music in downtown Baltimore and the big acts and big hopes for a million people visiting the building in the first year.
SUMMARY KEYWORDS baltimore, people, belt buckle, trailblazers, stevie wonder, maryland, eagles, dan, arena, civic center, city, aerosmith, larry hogan, talking, hippodrome, jobs, big, magazine, state, stay Nestor Aparicio 00:00 Welcome back to wn S, T, Towson, Baltimore and Baltimore positive or positively added State Fair and kittens. Well, I think you’ve given away all of my haha no I got one more holiday cash drops at a $20 winner out here in the 21228 the Maryland crab cake Tour is presented by the Maryland lottery we’re letting ourselves play out here on the 50th anniversary. I’m getting rid of all of my rented 2022 It’s definitely a car dealer. Getting rid of my scratch offs. We’re gonna have the wishbones of the 50th anniversary our friends are window nation also put us out on the road 866 90 nation you buy two you get two free for a limited time. You get 6060 months 0% financing that is five years. Ron Cassie is standing by doing segment number three today as we’ve taken deep dives through trailblazers, like a segment one was the John Waters segment. Segment two was the Brooks Robinson segment of trailblazers, but you did a piece on the CFG Bank Arena. We’re all waiting for it to get open. I’ve been to a couple of mixers and seen all the drawings. I’ve seen various pictures from the inside where people put hard hats on and they they took the middle concourse, they took the whole middle concourse, but it’s going to open and we’re gonna play a little basketball there soon. But then there’s Springsteen and then there’s the Eagles I’ve already shown you my Eagles Hotel California so you’re laughing Am I Pacific a belt buckles? Don’t laugh at my 50 year old belt buckles that this is made 9077 this specific a belt buckle. This is an heirloom This is a family family jewel. That’s that’s the Hotel California album. A great outlet for the Fastlane wasted time. Right, right. Glenn Frey and the guy Yeah, man. Talk on the streets. It sounds so you wrote about the arena. Like the former royal farms arena mana royal farms, coffee in my cup right here, by the way. Big expectations for this right? Like they’re talking big things in a town where we’ve never ever, ever, ever talked big things about an arena. Because we never had a good one. Right, literally. Right. I Ron Cassie 02:05 mean, it’s Civic Center. Call like it was kind of outdated when it was when it opened. But you know, it’s the building itself is basically indestructible. Right. It’s also created as a bomb shelter. You know, for in a case of like nuclear fallout. It’s literally indestructible. The physical structure itself. Nestor Aparicio 02:23 I did not know. I’ve cast you on man. Yeah, she teaches me stuff seriously. Ron Cassie 02:29 And I think, you know, one of the things we did throw in this at our December shoot, and it’s online, the Civic Center, and if you Google Baltimore magazine, is, you know, the Beatles were there. Stevie Wonder who’s behind it? Nestor Aparicio 02:43 Is there any wonder there with Ed Brown underneath the room? One? Oh, wow. Wow. Ron Cassie 02:47 I mean, it’s Stevie Wonder. You know, you had the the clippers, the Skipjacks the bullets you have all this great history, but the building itself was never really beloved. Right? It’s never like I loved it a Boston Garden though and or Madison Square Garden, kind of, you know, mythos to it or something. But it I don’t think people I will say I don’t think people are really prepared for the changes that are coming. I mean, it has really been it from the inside out it really been overhauled and it’s you’re not gonna recognize it. And you’re not going to be we’re not I don’t think ready for the amount of artists that are coming just this year, the first year is transformed the they used to do three or four A listers a year, that was a good year, they’re still gonna have the monster trucks and the wrestling, but the amount of A listers that are coming in, they’ve already spunked surpass anything recently. They they project, the oak view group that’s operating it, right, they rent from the city, they, they have big connections to the music industry. They, you know, a good used to be like 600,000 people they draw, and it was one of the most profitable venues of its size in a country. They want to double that they expect to double that to over a million people. 20 dates is what they were talking about. Right? Yeah. And the quality of the dates, but it’s I mean, you have more dates that but that’s just music dates, but that’s they, you know, when you get to like 1.2 million, I think that’s about what the oils do last year, right? So it has the potential to be a transformative venue. I mean, Baltimore, still needs better people. We need people we need people we still need transportation infrastructure, right? We still needed red West board invested in the MTA and the bus system and all that stuff is really to make these connections in Baltimore make these connections to the the surrounding counties. But the venue itself I think is going to be transformed just the people that they bring, because they will first Nestor Aparicio 04:43 first night your jersey guy and I’m a blue sky second night eagles, right. So Ron Cassie 04:49 I mean, the I’m not a big blink 182 guy but that kid wants to go to that. Of course. Liz was coming Janet Jackson’s coming. I need a baker’s coming. The eagle Oh, this is kind of just right out of the gate. I need a baker. I love Anita Baker. Her lives are like the same week. Nestor Aparicio 05:09 I’m going to see Anita Baker, Janet Jackson. I’ve seen any the Baker I saw Anita Baker back in the day at Merriweather love Janet Jackson. Yeah, I mean, all reasons and different kinds of acts right blink at TOS for my kid eagles, you know, Bruiser for me. I mean, Lizzo is not for me. Right. But but for other people. I would say that what they’re attempting to do and but the biggest thing is the investment part of this right. I had I had Rebecca hockberger on last week, right, talking about the roller coaster over the harbor. And you mentioned west where maybe this is I did write down what Westmore is the last topic that I wrote down for Ron and because I have real writers and stuff down. But this does all tie together. I mean, Wes has been in Oh, bet nine days so far and things are happening Maryland stadium authority cheer thrown out. This week, they have to get a deal with Angelo’s, which goes back to our last segment. But trying to find where the bottom was for Baltimore, and where the arc toward normal, see what the new normal is whatever that would be a safer, better place, less murderers, all of that stuff, more jobs. The arena investment in the center of the center of the place is sort of a starting point. But some people would say, Well, I remember the shaky Bay fund center. And then I remember the Hippodrome was going to be starting point. And then I remember we’re gonna read through this. And then I remember the gallery and remember, things come and go. But the arena part of this that Kai and I traveled traveling three times in the next few weeks to just go see Springsteen and random cities. I am that guy that flies in, eats the food leaves the tax dollar, gets a hotel room, goes to Fells Point and gets you know, it does all that having 1,000,002 People do that having a baseball. Yeah, that’s better, right, having conventions, maybe come back to some degree. All of that is crime infrastructure, who your leadership is. And Wes is in a seat. They took to really hopefully changes just a lot of I wouldn’t say pressure on on him. I just say there’s some hope tied to this, that that would be the first thing that opens it opens in eight weeks, right? Literally right Ron Cassie 07:18 for NCAA Tournament, which was a big success. And I think what will be a great draw for the city. The CFG Bank Arena draws from the reason they’re attracted with one is we are really diverse market right the Baltimore metro region, they’re really diverse so you can have you know country music, you can have a neat a baker, you can have the Eagles you have all that they’re all drawn all sell out. But the other end you said like drawing like the Orioles do, you will get people to come downtown for a couple days or a night a nice day at night, at least in a hotel and spend some money, right? Because you’ll from Pennsylvania from New Jersey Center will correct you see Springsteen stay for a night or make a weekend of it or something like that. The I think we’ve you know, there’s a lot of the convergence center is kind of like the next big thing that city needs to do in the lead state help for that and federal help too. for that. It’s too small, the we’re losing conventions. But the big piece for Westmont, I come back and talk about this issue on our February cover issue is called as on the Highway to Nowhere and essentially about rebuilding the red line, right, like making that red line of transportation infrastructure, which is really the missing piece of balls on mobility. You know, transportation, mobility equals economic mobility and economic activity, and for jobs and everything, right, so we have 10 station going under a massive redevelopment, and if the red line can get rebuilt them, and that was promised to create 10,000 jobs. It was six months from being of the current a bids going out for contracts when Larry Hogan cancelled it. And if westmar been a Baltimore guy and Brandon Scott, and we have, you know, leaders in Congress still, Maryland does. If that can get restarted, then you really have some synergy. Nestor Aparicio 09:06 Well, it’s amazing how politically expeditious it was for Larry Hogan, in retrospect, to to sell off Baltimore for a decade, to just just literally, that will be his legacy in Baltimore, and Baltimore, and I will be predicted this will rise again. And it won’t smell so good, that you openly did things that hurt the city and the city. That’s the economic machine state. Ron Cassie 09:32 You know, the, the GDP of the state, right is trails the rest of the country. I mean, Nestor Aparicio 09:38 just saying I it’s not my job, I’ll leave that for the next person. Ron Cassie 09:42 Right. The state government is is really understaffed that the GDP of Maryland is as as below that of the United States during overall during larry hogan tenure, and it was a great opportunity for Westmore. But you know, imagine the GDP Imagine Baltimore if the red line had been built those 10,000 jobs and economic mobility, and then you have the civic center, right? Because the civic center can be essentially people coming in and leaving, it doesn’t necessarily do the thing of connecting neighborhoods to each other people to jobs and Baltimore. That’s, that’s what why cities thrive, right? It’s the convenience Nestor Aparicio 10:20 versus the Inner Harbor when all of that commerce came to the Inner Harbor 30 years ago, right. And we see you know, Ron Cassie 10:26 Harbor East and, and other places in the city percolating. But that core downtown, I mean, you know, the civic center is right next to Camden Yards, practically, it’s right next to the convention center pack that you mentioned, the Hippodrome, these are all in the same vicinity and to really spur that kind of economic development and then you get the transportation piece so people can access to jobs around the city. You know, as there’s a great opportunity to next for you know, I don’t want to give a worse for eight years but the next the next couple administrations, there’s some great things percolating you know, the Penn Station redevelopment is really important for the city as well. Nestor Aparicio 11:09 Ron Cassie Baltimore magazine, so many what it is how to get it, where to go. Trailblazers given given the whole given the stump speech on behalf of my total bomb and Steve champion, Max Weiss. Ron Cassie 11:20 Yeah, well, you’re in the grocery stores in the in the pharmacy and your bookstores and everything. Hopefully you look for Baltimore magazine. Our let our January cover story. The Trailblazers is online, our February issue on the Highway to Nowhere how Oh, that went on our way how that monstrosity got built and destruction of West Baltimore’s neighborhood to build this. Nestor Aparicio 11:42 I talked to Dan Rodricks about that at Christmas time if you please. Did you see his show? Ron Cassie 11:46 No, I did I miss it was sold out. I tried to get ticket to everyone to see it. Nestor Aparicio 11:50 Yeah, you’re gonna go again. Right? He’s doing a go. I Ron Cassie 11:52 would totally what I really tried to get tickets and it was all sold out. It was magical. Yeah. Do you know? I mean, just once in a while professional. Yeah. Nestor Aparicio 12:02 And I worked together in the ad, so I’m there damn dance like crazy uncle to me. I love him. But more than that, Ron Cassie 12:09 like, he’s a Boston guy. Nestor Aparicio 12:13 UCITS Yeah. He tells his life story as well, Rhode Island and his father and a fire and just a resume. Did you see Springsteen’s on stage thing on Broadway? Yeah. Did you? Ron Cassie 12:25 clicks on? Yeah. Okay, fair enough. Nestor Aparicio 12:26 So this is a little bit of Dan doing that sort of gray, but it was more in the style of Eric but Gaussian. Does that mean anything to you? Yeah, sure. Yeah. So go see Dan show if I can pimp anything for a friend. That’s truly outstanding. It was outstanding. Yeah. My wife’s around here. We went the first night and she’s like, all my and she had gone fishing with and didn’t know if Dan celebrity. She hadn’t remembered Dan from TV or whatever. She knows Dan. Yeah. And Esther’s friend, and she’s out and he’s teaching at 10 o’clock, two o’clock, and they’re fly fishing. And they’re talking about New England stuff. So my wife goes in and sees Dan do the show. And she’s like, wow, wow, it was great. Ron Cassie 13:05 I think like Dan, I mean, I love the city. But on weekends, I kind of like to get outside a little bit and get out to Western Maryland or get out to southern Pennsylvania for a little for me it’s biking or hiking. But Dan’s a great fly fisherman and Nestor Aparicio 13:18 he is he’s indeed a great five fisherman Sosa’s boy as well. So I’m gonna get some lessons. All right, well, let’s subscribe to Baltimore magazine. Support local, it says Baltimore on it. I’m going to put my belt buckle back on and get myself straight down here. But I do have my Hotel California. So these belt buckles are made in the late 70s. Pacifica, California. They’re called the Pacifica manufacturing right in LA right. So they were bands in 7677 78. The guy who was kisses manager Bill Aucoin bought the company Yeah. And that’s when it got glittery. All of them turned Ron Cassie 13:51 into like a Van Halen and Aerosmith. Bell bucks. Yes. Nestor Aparicio 13:54 Yeah, I’ll wear that next time. That’s good. So those are your bands Van Halen and Aerosmith. Ron Cassie 13:58 They they’re definitely generation I grew up on Yeah, a little bit. I got a few of my buddies older brothers that was really there. Nestor Aparicio 14:06 I have an Aerosmith rocks a belt buckle for sure. Yeah. Ron Cassie 14:09 I’m more like talking heads Clash was really Nestor Aparicio 14:14 a little more. Okay. So you would have been more my police belt buckle. That would have been more your things were good, but yeah, we’re even edgier than that. Yeah, like Ron Cassie 14:23 Miley Cyrus was awesome. Unbelievable. Yeah. Our beautiful sky. Nestor Aparicio 14:29 Baltimore guy another connection to our great hey, I can wear my car’s belt buckle too. And there’s the cars. Okay, so belt buckles. See, I knew everybody’s got a classic rock heart when it comes to you know, they also made I have an earthquake and fire one. I have a Stevie Wonder. I have Stevie Wonder Songs in the Key of Life out of Ron Cassie 14:50 the ordinary like Stevie Wonder. Yeah, right. Nestor Aparicio 14:53 Yeah, I wish all right. I wish I would stay fair all the time. Jeff Brandis is gonna be here. He is our athlete coach. Here’s my friend, longtime friend, former seat mate in Section 513 Row six with he and his family back in 1996 and 97 we will have lots and lots of ravens things talking about is Lamar staying or going What is he doing? Ron Cassie 15:13 I think he’s staying Yeah, everybody says he stay standing stay and I’m the guy says Nestor Aparicio 15:17 he’s going cuz I know thanks. I am Nestor. We are WNS TA and 5070, Towson Baltimore. We never stop talking Baltimore positive during the Maryland crab cake tour out here at State Fair, brought to you by the lottery win donation stay with us.