June 2017 Around Town

Towson Marriott to Become 
University Housing

In an effort to address a shortage of student housing, Towson University recently announced plans to convert the Towson University Marriott Conference Hotel into student residences, with the first students scheduled to move in at the beginning of the 2018-2019 academic year. The hotel, which is located just north of the main campus, at the intersection of York Road and Burke Avenue, is expected to accommodate 200 to 300 students, helping ease the current accommodation shortage of roughly 2,500 beds. 
The repurposing of the hotel is part of a larger push to accommodate the university’s projected enrollment growth over the next decade.

Stebbins Anderson Celebrates 
150 Years Serving Towson

Local retailer Stebbins Anderson, long a mainstay on the Towson retail circuit, is celebrating its 150th anniversary this year. Founded in 1867 as the Cochrane Lumber Company, Stebbins has undergone a series of changes to stay viable over the last century and a half, selling everything from industrial coal for steam trains to Vera Bradley handbags. The store, originally located at 305 York Road between Susquehanna and Chesapeake Avenues, came under the joint ownership of a Mr. Stebbins and a Mr. Anderson in 1911, and was purchased a decade later by J.W. Edelen and J. Harry West, who opted to keep the previous owners’ names. In 1978, the store moved to its current location at the Kenilworth Shopping Center, where it has provided a wide array of home goods and housekeeping items to the Towson community for the past 40 years. The store’s current owners, Ken and Bonnie Knight, took over in 2015.

Maryland Public Schools 
ranked Best in Nation

In a report released in April, U.S News and World Report ranked Maryland’s Public Schools tops in the nation. The study, which ranked more than 2,600 high schools across the country, reported that Maryland schools achieved high status in their “medal rankings” with 5.9 percent of Maryland high schools qualifying for “Gold” status and 21.6 percent achieving “Silver.” The report used a wide range criteria to generate its results, including high school proficiency test scores, graduation rates and Advanced Placement Data.
Four Maryland schools (all located in Montgomery County) were ranked in the top one hundred. The schools ranked highest in the Towson area were George Washington Carver Center for Arts and Science (#339) and Eastern Technical High (#354). In Baltimore city, the Baltimore School of the Arts came in first among city public schools.

Gilman Alum Publishes Handbook 
on World Travel

After quitting his job, Baltimore native and Gilman School graduate Evan Rice spent two years traveling solo through 36 countries on 4 continents. Now, comfortably settled back in Charm City, Rice has collected his experiences and lessons about solo tourism in a new book, The Wayfarer’s Handbook: A Field Guide for The Independent Traveler. Published by Black Dog & Leventhal, the book captures Rice’s journey from the comfortable confines of his old career in finance to the plains of Kenya where he began his journey tracking wildebeests on their migration from Tanzania. Over the following two years, Rice picked up a veritable treasure trove of knowledge that sheds a unique light on the nature of traveling solo on a budget. According to Rice, this is “a book that inspires curiosity about the world, whether the reader is trekking through a remote jungle or at home, dreaming of their next adventure.” For more information about Rice and The Wayfarer’s Handbook, visit: TheWayFarersHandbook.com.

Slice, Miss Shirley’s among 
winners at 2017 Maryland 
Restaurant Industry Awards

Several area eateries took top honors at this year’s Annual Stars of the Restaurant Industry Awards, held April 30 at the Harborplace Hotel. The awards, which were handed out by the Restaurant Association of Maryland, recognize excellence in a broad range of categories. Bridgette Bledsoe of Miss Shirley’s won Chef of the Year, while John Liberatore, the owner of Liberatore’s, was recognized as Restauranteur of the Year. Glory Days Grill, a chain with an outpost in Towson, was one of three restaurants recognized for their contributions to the community, while Towson’s own Slice New York Pizza bested all comers and took home the award for Favorite New Restaurant. Over 35,000 votes were cast and tabulated to determine the winners. To see a full list of this year’s finalists and winners, visit MarylandRestaurants.com