the lansdowne

Helpful Post for Out-of-Towners concerning The Keepers

If you just started watching The Keepers this post may be helpful to you so you can understand the lay of the land and the towns where this all happened. We all know the story itself is set in Baltimore City AND Baltimore County. And yes, there is a difference between the two. Below is a post of where the county is in regards to the state. The county wraps around Baltimore City.

As you can see, it’s huge. The portion where this story unfolds is in the lower west position of the map, right near the bottom corner of the city. There is a large culture difference between the city and the county. Baltimore County was founded in the late 1600′s - early 1700′s. I don’t know when the county was actually declared Baltimore County, it’s not clear to me. But it’s an older community. The buildings are older, the infrastructure is older. And then comes the towns where the murder/story take place. 

I stole these maps off of Google, thanks Google!

The neighborhoods of Catonsville, Arbutus/Halethorpe and Lansdowne are mentioned in the documentary. Arbutus and Halethorpe are very similar in area, Halethorpe is a tiny, tiny little town south of Catonsville. I can’t even really tell you WHERE it is exactly as it’s part of the 21227 area code, just like Arbutus. The community of Catonsville (where I live) is divided by Frederick Road (Route 144) which is a historic main road that comes all the way in from the city to Howard County (and onward, I believe). There is also Edmonson Road which goes from Catonsville into the City (and vice versa). These roads, Edmonson and Federick run parallel to each other (for the most part). Edmonson Village is in the City, off of Route 40, close to Catonsville.

There are a number of private catholic schools in the area. There is Mount De Sales (all girl’s school), Mount St. Joseph (an all boy’s school), Seton Keogh (Keogh and Seton merged to form Seton Keough) and Cardinal Gibbons. There are more, but those are the most well-known schools and they all happen to be in a very close proximity to each other. With the exception of Mt. De Sales, all of the other schools are over the city line in Baltimore City. Mt. De Sales is a school in the county, which is actually very close to my house. I can hear the bells from the chapel that ring throughout the day. It’s a rather well-known fact that if you live within Baltimore City you probably need to send your kids to private school as the city schools are terrible. There are a lot of people who go to the Catholic high schools even if they’re not Catholic. They’re well-thought of and competitive. But of course, it’s expensive to send your kids there. I’m not sure how much it was back in the days of The Keepers but I can assume that unless you were part of a Catholic Parish it was pretty pricey. So, mostly only Catholic children go to Catholic schools (the Catholic Church will help people afford private Catholic education as long as you can prove you are Catholic and go to church). 

And some things to understand about Catholicism that may be hard for people to grasp unless they know about it first hand:

- Catholic families tend to be large, as they do not believe in birth control (devout catholics). I delivered at a Catholic hospital when I had my second son, and they will not provide birth control education after birth or do tubal ligations (tying of tubes). I have no idea how these large families afford to live, really I don’t. I can’t imagine having 10 kids.

-  The priest is regarded as the head of the church and you often go to them with your moral/personal problems if you were an active church member. Priests could get to know their partitioners very well. 

- Confession is SUPPOSED to be confidential. What is said in a confessional should never be allowed to leave the church. In fact, sometimes people have confessed murders to priests who are bound by their faith to never tell law enforcement. You are also never required to show your face or have the priest see who you are if you don’t want to.

If anyone has any questions about the documentary or geographical questions about where these things took place, let me know. I can try to help as much as possible!

* And yes, the murder of Hae Min Lee occurred in Woodlawn, which is in Baltimore County, north of Catonsville. Small world. 

The Cosplay AU I need a name for

(Previous parts found on my cosplay au tag!)

It’s maybe two weeks after Otakon when Yuuri checks his email. He has stuff from his school about prepping for the incoming school year and a message from his class President about a seniors only gathering at the Party Bridge near campus.

He also sees one, subject: HI! <3 from sender vmnikforov@gwu.edu.

Yuuri immediately slams his laptop closed.

He covers his mouth with his hands and squeaks. His best buddy (who is not human) comes bounding off his bed to his desk with concern. Vicchan, his reddish brown toy poodle (yes, named after guess who) is Yuuri’s favorite thing in the world. 

He gets his phone, opens the mail app. Right there in the inbox, marked unread. HI! <3, sender vmnikiforov@gwu.edu.

Yelping, Yuuri closes his eyes and opens the email like it’s a bomb.

Hi, Yuuri! This is Victor, from Otakon? I saw your email on your entry form—hope you don’t mind! Anyways, I have a project in mind for Katsucon in February, and I thought you might be interested in partnering up with me! I know you usually work with your friend, but this is a special idea I’ve had for forever and I feel like after seeing your work up close, you’re the perfect fit! 

If you’re able, I’d like to get together soon to begin discussion—it’s going to be tricky to source some of the materials, especially the lace! Can we meet for dinner this weekend? Say, Saturday at six, The Source on Pennsylvania—it’ll be my treat!

Thanks, talk to you soon! <3

Victor

Yuuri screams. He’s home alone—his mom is at her book club with her old friend, Minako, his dad is golfing at Lansdowne, and his sister is away for the week with her college friends—so he doesn’t need to come up with a lie about the reason for the screams.

He calls number three on his favorites, though.

“Hey, this is Phichit,” he answers on ring #2.

“Oh my God,” Yuuri cries. “Oh my God, he wants a costume, me, us, a pair—oh my God.”

“…What?” Phichit answers.

“VICTOR EFFING NIKIFOROV WANTS TO DO A PAIR COSPLAY WITH ME,” Yuuri shouts.

“Holy shit,” Phichit replies.

“Right?” Yuuri tries to slow his heart. “What do I say? I don’t…it’s not you, it’s a pairs thing, I don’t—”

“Okay, whoa, stop,” Phichit replies. “You are not contractually obligated to only ever cosplay with me. You can do a thing with him, I’m not offended as long as you don’t completely abandon our partnership. I’ll probably do that Bleach outfit you have no interest in, it’s fine! Do the thing!”

“You sure?” Yuuri says.

“Yeah, but I’ll need your help,” Phichit says. “I can sculpt the actual Bankai stuff myself, but sewing the uniform is a little above my pay grade.”

“No problem,” Yuuri says with a sheepish grin. “Okay. Um—I better email him back. Thanks, Phichit. You’re a peach.”

“Yup, sure am!” Phichit laughs. “Talk to you later—my mom needs help with the pool.”

“Can I come swim later?” Yuuri asks.

“Yup! Leo and Guang-Hong are coming, Seung Gil maybe too. I’ll text you a time. Later, skater.” Phichit hangs up.

Yuuri reopens his computer like it’ll bite his hand off. 

Hi, Victor,

I’d love to meet with you! I’ll google the address and take the Metro. My cell is 571-585-1090 if you need to change plans or are running late. 

See you Saturday!

Yuuri

It’s Thursday. He can…be cool for two days.

Actually, no he couldn’t, as was evidenced by his mother on Friday night during their evening ritual of Catan begging him to try to stay still. He did not. Therefore his dad made him forfeit his sheep. 

Catan is an equilizer in the Katsuki household.

Yuuri can’t sleep, his nerves buzzing too much even though he played white noise through the headphones in his iPhone. Did nothing. Vicchan slept like everything was normal. 

Yuuri gets up way too early, obsesses way too long over his clothing, finally deciding he was as good as he can get, drives to the Silver Line, and begins the trek to the District. He gets off at the correct stop, walks to the restauant, and immediately regretts all of his choices up until that moment including being born. 

He is in a nice pair of jeans and a t-shirt. It’d a Wolfgang Puck dim sum restaurant. Oh no why, Victor will think he lacks culture.

“Yuuuuuri!” calls a happy, familiar voice. 

Yuuri starts and his eyes go wide. 

Victor stands before him in a linen dress shirt and a pair of salmon colored pants. His hair and skin are flawless. His eyes are beautiful. Yuuri’s heart stops and restarts. “Hi,” he manages. The shyness comes to the forefront. He wants—he isn’t sure, but…it’s something more than a hello.

He gets a hug. Victor grabs him like they’re old friends, and Yuuri hesitates but hugs him back. He pauses and takes a moment to inhale his scent—it’s not that shitty sandwalwood the douchebags at his school wear, it’s lighter…like lemon balm. 

Victor keeps a hand low on his waist as he steers him to request a table. They get a cute one for two like it’s a date. (Is it a date? Did Victor mean this as a date? Thirteen year old Yuuri will die of joy if it’s a date. It in no way can be a date.)

Victor smiles, looking like Yuuri just gave him a rainbow. “I’m glad you came,” he says.

Yuuri chokes on his water. “Uh, thanks? Um…me too.”

Victor grins. “I guess I should get down to business first. Unfortunately, it has to come before…pleasure.” 

Yuuri pushes up his eyeglasses. He nods. 

Victor pulls up an image on his phone, passing it to Yuuri. Yuuri peers down at it—it’s an elaborate fanart of Fuuma and Kamui from X/1999. They have very detailed wings, there’s obvious hand beading and embroidery on their outfits, and they’re perfectly tailored. Fuuma is in white, Kamui black, and there are red ribbons cascading off both of them. “Red string of fate,” Yuuri says out loud. 

“You spotted that,” Victor replies with a grin.

“I’ll have to get help from Phichit on the wings, I’ve never done them on my own,” Yuuri continues. 

“I have, that I can handle,” Victor says. “It’s more how finely tailored the outfits are. My tailoring is always a bit weak, so I tend to do costumes that don’t have quite such an emphasis. I have access to embroidery machines on campus, so I can have you come up to work on those. It’ll be more expedient.”

“The beading I can do in class, the home ec department is out of stuff to teach me so they just let me bring in my projects,” Yuuri admits. 

Victor gives him a look. “Wow,” he says. “And you’re…just in…high school.”

“Hm, well I turn eighteen Thanksgiving day this year,” Yuuri says. “I need to figure out college stuff soon, as a matter of fact.”

“You should come here!” Victor blurts.

Yuuri starts and looks up. “Um…”

“The Corocoran,” Victor clears up with a blush on his cheeks. “They have a production focus in their Theater program. You could…major in costuming? It’s…well, it’s an idea.”

Hm. 

“Phichit’s applying there,” Yuuri says as he zooms back in on the image. CLAMP and their Christian idolatry, yikes. “He’s going into the fine arts. I guess I could think about it.”

“I just think it’d be nice to have you around school with me,” Victor says. His finger glides over the rim of his glass in a slow pattern. “Chris Giacometti is in the photography department, but…I’d like seeing you every day too. Just think about it.”

Yuuri meets his eyes and…no, he’s imagining it. He clears his throat. “You want to make these for Katsucon?” 

“Mmhmm,” Victor says. He ordered them the duck, and it arrives, smelling crisp and mouth-watering. Yuuri is starving, he realizes. He looks at Victor again, this gorgeous guy even out of cosplay and make up and Photoshop and he—

He blushes and focuses on his dinner.

Victor chats the whole time, Yuuri chiming in where appropriate. When they finish and Victor pays as promised, he takes him on a walk. It’s late enough the murky, humid swampland that is DC has become manageable to walk around, and it’s not even ten minutes to the Mall from the restaurant. 

Yuuri mostly sees shots of the Tidal Basin at night from the end credits of his favorite local news program, but Victor escorts him there with a hand on his back as he extols the virtues of his university as well as his skills at sewing. Yuuri listens and smiles with pink cheeks, telling Victor about what he likes to do besides cosplay—video games with his friends, late nights at the Amphora diner in Reston, checking out Starland in Annandale. 

Victor opens up about his parents—his father a supervisor for a lab at Langley, his mom in the State Department, his dog Makkachin who he moved off campus into a pet-allowing studio as quickly as possible to keep by his side, how he misses the local chain called Another Universe and how he’s considering Dragoncon next year to branch out into film and American comics costumin.

They both marvel at how many times they’ve come to the annual Sakura Matsuri in their very spot at this moment and somehow never met.

The lights are pretty, the stars reflect in the water like sequins embellishing a black velvet gown, and Yuuri with all his heart longs for this to be a date. 

He’s imagining it—but some moments, it looks like Victor feels the same.

They head back to the Metro by the Newseum—Victor to GWU, Yuuri to Tysons. “Let’s do again this soon,” Victor says.”We can meet at G Street, see what our local options are, and head to my apartment for more planning.”

“Okay,” Yuuri agrees. Victor’s apartment, he exalts in his head.

“Ah, Yuuri—” Victor adds. “I have a Gaylord room for Katsu, a nice one with a view. Would you like a spot in it? There’s room for one more.”

“Oh um—” Yuuri stumbles. He’s never stayed overnight at a con before, but he’ll be 18 then. His mom and dad can’t refuse, though they’d probably want to meet Victor for reassurance.“Yes.”

“Okay,” Victor says, his smile shaped like a big heart. “Talk to you soon! I’ll text!”

“See you,” Yuuri says.

They part ways, and Yuuri can’t sleep for the second night in a row, his heart pounds so hard as his smile threatens to split his face.

youtube

Happy 65th Birthday, singer, songwriter, composer and guitarist David Byrne who was born in Dumbarton on May 14, 1952.

The family  moved to Canada when he was two, and then to Maryland , U.S., when he was nine years old.

He loved music from a young age and was already playing multiple instruments like guitar, accordion and violin by middle school. He went to Lansdowne High School in Baltimore County.later attending the Rhode Island School of Design during the 1970-71 term and the Maryland Institute College of Art during the next term. He dropped out of college to pursue a career in music.

David has been rocking the music world with his experimental music and rhythms since the 1970s. The versatile musician started performing as a teenager and has worked in a number of media like films, albums, opera and photography. 

He is known mainly as one of the co-founders of the new wave band Talking Heads which produced hit singles like ‘And She Was’ and ‘Burning Down the House’. The band was considered the most innovative and critically acclaimed bands of the new wave movement.

13th July 1837 - Diary Entry - Queen Victoria Moves Into Buckingham Palace

Transcription for the 13th July 1837 from Queen Victoria’s diary, as copied by Princess Beatrice

Thursday, 13th July.

Got up at 8. At ½ p.9 we breakfasted. It was the last time that I slept in this poor old Palace, as I go into Buckingham Palace today. Though I rejoice to go into B.P. for many reasons, it is not without feelings of regret that I shall bid adieu for ever (that is to say, for ever as a dwelling), to this my birth-place, where I have been born and bred, and to which I am really attached! I have seen my dear sister married here, I have seen many of my dear relations here, I have had pleasant balls and delicious concerts here, my present rooms upstairs are really very pleasant, comfortable and pretty, and enfin I like this poor Palace. I have held my first Council here too! I have gone through painful and disagreeable scenes here, ‘tis true, but still I am fond of the poor old Palace.

 Lord Melbourne told me yesterday, that the Hon. Miss Dillon (to whom I had offered it), has accepted the situation of Maid of Honour. I always saw Lord Melbourne and also Stockmar in my Private Sitting-room (the first of the three), but all the other Ministers &c.,&c., I saw in the further room (the farthest of the 3). Did various things. Saw Stockmar for some time. The poor Rooms look so sad and deserted, everything being taken away. Wrote my journal. At a little after 2 I went with Mamma and Lady Lansdowne (in my carriage), Lehzen, and Col: Cavendish (in the next) to Buckingham Palace. I am much pleased with my rooms. They are high, pleasant and cheerful. Arranged things. At a little after 4 Lady Lansdowne brought Miss Pitt and Miss Spring Rice (the two Maids of Honour in Waiting, and who lodge here) to kiss hands. Miss Pitt is a very pretty, elegant, nice girl, and Miss Spring Rice is a nice, clever looking girl. Saw Stockmar. Lady Lansdowne afterwards brought Miss Davys to kiss hands, who is a very nice girl (though not at all pretty). I then walked round the garden (which is large and very pretty), with Mamma. Dear Dashy was quite happy in it. I like Jane’s sister Anne very much. 

At ½ p.7 I dined. Besides Mamma, dearest Lehzen, Charles, Mary, the Marquis and Marchioness of Lansdowne, the Duke of Argyle, the Marquis of Conyngham, Lord Charles Fitzroy (the Vice Chamberlain), Viscount Duncannon, Miss Pitt, Miss Spring Rice, Lehzen, Lady Flora Hastings (Mamma’s Lady, and who is staying in the house), Miss Davys (who also lodges here), the Lord in Waiting (Lord Templemore), the Groom in Waiting (Sir Robert Otway), and Colonel Cavendish (Equerry in Waiting), dined here. I went in with Charles and sat between him and Lord Lansdowne. After dinner I and also Mamma sang a little. Mamma then played at cards; and I sat on a sofa with Mary, Lord Lansdowne, and Lord Conyngham sitting near us. I stayed up till near 11. It was a very pleasant evening. Charles and Mary went home, as they lodge at Kensington Palace.

Image -  Buckingham Palace: the east front from St James’s Park - 1846 - Johnathan Nash

1837: 20 June. Melb[o?!]urne to Victoria.

Viscount Melbourne50 presents his humble duty to your Majesty, and being aware that your Majesty has already received the melancholy intelligence of the death of his late Majesty, will do himself the honour of waiting upon your Majesty a little before nine this morning. Viscount Melbourne has requested the Marquis of Lansdowne to name eleven as the hour for the meeting of the Council at Kensington Palace.

Footnote 50: Lord Melbourne, so far as can be augured from his handwriting, which is extremely difficult to decipher, appears always to have written his own name Melburne. But it is not the correct spelling, and no one else seems to have employed it.

oKAY SO THIS IS WHAT MELBOURNE SENT VICTORIA ON THE MORNING OF HER UNCLE’S DEATH before he came to meet with her for the first time as his Queen!

AND OH MY GOD MEL. PLEASE TELL ME YOU KNOW HOW TO SPELL YOUR OWN NAME.

Student's guide to University of Leicester

Okay. So I’ve spent 4 years here after being 100% new to the city and figured hey that’s enough time to gather enough info to advise fresh young minds right? RIGHT?
HALLS.
Halls were fun. Catered or non catered both have pros and cons, either way if you live in Oadby, Asda is a 10 minute walk away. Oadby is a great place to live, leafy and compact with a wide range of accommodation to fit every budget and taste. It’s cute. Also got a brand new gym and pool. Noice. Don’t worry about making friends, it’s gonna happen, I mean you’re never going to get on with everyone but you’re going to have an amazing year.

OTHER AREAS IN THE CITY TO LIVE
Cool, so you had fun in halls but the thin walls and squeaky beds get old so you gotta find somewhere new to live for year 2. There are 2 main student areas really. Evington and Clarendon Park. Starting with Evington… it has a bad reputation and you probably are more likely to get mugged here but that being said I love it. Not all of Evington is bad, it’s a friendly and cheap place to live with a couple of good sized grocery stores, a billion banks and some great food places (Bombay Bites. Just do it. You won’t regret it). All in all, it’s a little rough around the edges, I’ve lived here 2 years and have had very little trouble, it’s not as bad as people say.
Clarendon Park is a bit different. Lots of independent shops, bakers, butchers, green grocers, restaurants…. you get the bijoux image right? Expect rent to be higher but that won’t necessarily get you a nicer place than in Evington. It’s a pretty, safe area with lots of convenient shops near by.
Some folk do live out Aylestone way or in the city but they are few and far between. Wherever you end up just remember, boring stuff like double glazing and boiler safety is really important, don’t rush into an unsafe or gross property. Nothing is cool about seeing your breath in your bedroom.
The university runs Sulets which has a range of university approved properties on it’s book, all with no agency fees.
THE CITY
Leicester is a good size city, everything is pretty much in walking distance or easily accessible by bus. It has all the shops you would expect from a city and a modern shopping centre as well as lots of independent shops and arcades (hit the Lanes). There’s a cinema and plenty of places to eat, all in all it’s a good egg.
The Leicester Tigers are obviously pretty big, as are Leicester City and sometimes you can get £5 tickets for matches.
If you are a fan of the arts, New Walk museum is a great day out (cute for dates and shit), the Curve always shows great things like Chicago as does DMH. Basically there’s tonnes to do to keep you entertained in your free time.
NIGHTLIFE
Ahhhh… nightlife. There’s a pretty healthy nightlife here. Republic is the biggest club in town (note biggest… not best) and is open Monday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday. It’s like a big scary loud maze that you will never find your friends in ever again. That being said it’s quite fun but quite strict with it’s dress code.
Mosh is my favourite club. It’s smaller and plays a wide range of music varying on the day (Tuesday, Friday and Saturday). It’s good fun and there is a Subway like 10 m away for when you get kicked out. Cool.
The students union… yeah… open Wednesday (Red Leicester) and Friday (Shabang) (RIP Propaganda Saturdays). The O2 is pretty big and relatively cheap. It’s also close to home, usually a drunken stumble across the park.
I don’t really go out much anymore so I’m sure there’s other clubs out there, but that’s enough for now. I mean there is liquid but I don’t think anyone goes there anymore. Frowny face.
There’s plenty of cute bars too. You have stuff like walkabout and the loaded dog etc for cheap fun, the old horse is a fun, quirky pub with pub food in unhealthy portions, and yoy have bars like hakamou and the lansdowne for fancy cocktails. You got errything.
ACTUAL UNI THE ACTUAL THING YOU CAME HERE TO DO
The uni is a good place to be. I can’t really deny that. It’s been a good 4 years. Campus is compact and pretty easy to navigate with lots of social spaces and you always have the park in summer. The library is huge and pretty new and shiny but if you need a computer try Charles Wilson or George Porter (shhhhh secret).
The union building is pretty new too (4 years) as is the gym on the edge of campus which also has a pool.
The union is home to a lot of sports and societies, you really have no excuse for not joining one. Whether it’s muggle quidditch, theatre, curry or burlesque (represent!), give it a go! Sports have a good reputation too, working and playing hard. Varsity against DMU is always fun. Societies and clubs are a great way to meet people, and there are plenty of international societies to help you feel more at home.
The university health centre is brand new (where are they getting all this cash from?) and offers all services including contraception and sexual health (you’re gonna need it). The university also offers counselling for free if needed, the waiting list can be long but they are good at their job.
The university and staff are there to help so just talk to them! And for the love of god go to some lectures? I can’t talk for all departments but I know that Chemistry here is great, totally supportive and friendly. 10/10 would study there again (except I’m moving uni shhhh).

So yeah. That is my guide to UoL. I hope someone finds it useful. I’m just waiting for my drunk neighbours to go out so I can sleep. But yeah, if you are about to start here, you are going to have a great time, I envy you. Stay safe and be nice and most importantly have fun.