“Although time seems to fly, it never travels faster than one day at a time. Each day is a new opportunity to live your life to the fullest. In each waking day, you will find scores of blessings and opportunities for positive change. Do not let your today be stolen by the unchangeable past or the indefinite future! Today is a new day!”  Steve Maraboli

Now that you’ve cleaned the kitchen from the holiday cooking, packed away the good china, eaten the last of the turkey and made bean soup with the ham bone, time to grab your coat and head to Fells Point’s Duda Tavern for great burgers and crab cakes. I was driving down Thames Street heading towards my friend Andy’s restaurant Shuckers for a burger. For no apparent reason I just stopped at the corner of Bond and Thames and noticed this tavern across the street for the first time. Well you know me; I parked the car and ventured inside. I asked if they had burgers and Lisa the bartender said yes but today the crab cakes are ½ price and the burgers will be ½ price tomorrow so I ordered the crab-cake and said I’ll be back tomorrow, if the burger is as good as the crab-cake. True to my word “I came back” and ordered the juicy and delicious Bond Street burger.

Duda features nightly specials; Tuesday is jumbo lump crab cakes and Wednesday is burgers at half-price. The atmosphere is cozy with great home cooking including a raw bar and $1 natty boh every day.

“Don’t walk in front of me; I may not follow. Don’t walk behind me; I may not lead. Just walk beside me and be my friend.” Albert Camus

“The folks that live on the hill” Family and friends gathered at the hilltop estate of Pete and Paula France to celebrate Pete’s 60th birthday. The beautifully decorated home was the idyllic place to celebrate and reminisce about our youth and long friendship.

“It is one of the blessings of old friends that you can afford to be stupid with them.” Ralph Waldo Emerson

Pete has told everyone that I took him to school when we were growing up in Edmondson Village, which I vehemently denied with love. I almost admitted that he was right and then I realized Pete was a safety patrol, so he took me to school that makes him older, don’t do the math. It was no surprise that Pete joined the police force; he never took off his badge or that white strap. Old friends like Commissioner Leonard and Rose Hamm, Oscar “Rick” Requer, Vickie Gibson and Pete’s family shared stories about young Pete and his crusade to rid the streets of crime as he stood proudly as a safety patrol.

The gourmet menu featuring, crudities, goat cheese, cucumber sandwiches, crab caesar salad, lemon and basil salmon, herbed chicken, and a strawberry compote with grand marnier, drizzling over lavender infused chocolate cake was the perfect complement to a wonderful night. Hey Pete, “we’ve come a long way baby” since Mel’s corner store.?

“Live without pretending, love without depending, listen without defending, speak without offending.” Drake?

“The way you look tonight” All eyes were on the beautiful couple Ashley Woodward and Erik Aikins as they posed for engagement photos on Four Seasons’ promenade, in preparation of their upcoming nuptials at Grey Rock Mansion. Making a list and checking it twice was lead bridesmaid, attorney Krystle Myers. Photographer Kirth Bobb at www.kbobbphotography.com did such a fantastic job, that guests wandered outside to get “up close and personal” thinking Hollywood had come to Harbor East.

“Do you wanna dance?” Check out Monday Nights Line Dance Happy Hour with Randy and Tanya Dennis at Big Easy, 9820 Liberty Rd, 21133. Go to www.linercise.com for the schedule. They are hosting a Line Dance Brunch at the Champagne Ballroom, Jan. 29. For reservations call 410-655-1114.

Perhaps they are not stars, but rather openings in heaven where the love of our lost ones pours through and shines down upon us to let us know they are happy.” Eskimo Proverb

Condolences to the families of Elizabeth Bobbi Phillips, to Alice Torrente on the death of her mom Chessie Brailey and to Revie Lewie and Edith Gibson on the death of their nephew Aaron “Butch” Jenkins.

“Old age, believe me, is a good and pleasant thing. It is true you are gently shouldered off the stage, but then you are given such a comfortable front stall as a spectator.” Confucius ?

“It’s your birthday!” My dear friend, international performer Ora Reed, celebrating in Kyoto, Japan where she performs in the land of the rising sun. Happy 50th birthday to Ann Winder, owner of The Place, Carolyn Broidy on her 50th birthday, Margaret “Doll” Peck celebrating her 90th birthday and to Deborah “Peaks” Coleman, Michaun Carney, Kevin Peck and first lady Michelle Obama. Special belated birthday wishes to Ken “Strome” James.

“I cannot sit idly by in Atlanta and not be concerned about what happens in Birmingham. Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.” Dr. Martin Luther King

“A change gonna come” Our friend Betty Greene informed us that effective January 2012, the MVA will no longer send driver’s license renewal notices. For more information and to view other changes visit www.mva.maryland.gov.

“I’m so fast that last night I turned off the light switch in my hotel room and was in bed before the room was dark.” Muhammad Ali (Happy Birthday to the greatest)

“I’ll be there” Valerie & the Friday Night Bunch