Marina Harrison Cooper's Maryland

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Local,Jason Flanagan
  • Marina Harrison Cooper
  • Neighborhood: Guilford
  • Occupation: Spokeswoman for the Towson University president
  • Self-description: A newly married military brat who was born in Oklahoma but raised mostly in North Carolina and Maryland; an advocate for quality public education; a not-so-secret-anymore-admirer of Fox News Channel’s Megyn Kelley: a lover of dogs; and yes, a former Miss Maryland.
  • Age: 27

FAVORITE RESTAURANT
Miss Shirley’s
WHERE: 513 W. Cold Spring Lane, Baltimore
INFO: Miss Shirley’s offers breakfast, lunch and appetizers. The cafe is named after longtime area chef Shirley McDowell; www.missshirleys.com.
“My parent’s southern North Carolina roots have completely shaped my taste buds and my recipe arsenal. I love Miss Shirley’s brunch, as it is great mix of Southern comfort food with Maryland specialties. Plus, it’s not far from home.”


HIDDEN GEM
Sherwood Gardens
WHERE: Bordered by East Highfield, Underwood, Stratford and Greenway roads in Baltimore City
INFO: The 80-year-old, six-acre tulip garden has 80,000 bulbs planted annually.
“The Sherwood Gardens in Guilford are pretty incredible.”

FAVORITE CULTURAL ATTRACTION
Reginald F. Lewis Museum of Maryland African-American History and Culture
WHERE: 830 E. Pratt St., Baltimore
INFO: Opened in 2005, the museum chronicles the role Maryland’s blacks played in the nation’s history; www.africanamericanculture.org.
“My husband, Luke, and I were the first couple to get permission to have our ‘flowerless’ wedding there 11 months ago. It will always be a special place to us.”

FAVORITE HANGOUT
WHERE: Home
INFO: Belvedere Square is at the southeast corner of York Road and Northern Parkway and offers a mix of retail shopping, dining and convenient service options; www.belvederesquare.com. The House Downtown provides home furnishings with a sophisticated taste in mind; www.thehousedowntown.com
“I like walking around the neighborhood and getting landscaping ideas. I also love going to open houses around town to get interior design ideas. You may find me in any of the home stores in Belvedere Square — particularly The House Downtown.”


BEST PLACE TO LOOK YOUR BEST
Urban Chic
WHERE: 801 Aliceanna St., Baltimore
INFO: Owners Chris and Lindsay Buscher feature fashion with a conservative edge. They also have stores in Annapolis and Bethesda; www.urbanchiconline.com
“I have shopped at Urban Chic for years, and I was ecstatic when [it] opened [its] Harbor East store. The staff is very helpful, and believe it or not, I need a lot of help in the ‘chic’ department.”

FAVORITE SPLURGE
Hosting out-of-towners
INFO: www.baltimore.org
“We like to show everyone a good time, whether we’re hosting at home or taking them out to the lesser-known areas of Baltimore to dine and shop.”

FAVORITE NONPROFIT
Carson Scholars Fund
WHERE: 305 W. Chesapeake Ave., Towson
INFO: Awards scholarships to students with a grade-point-average of 3.75 or higher and involvement in the community; www.carsonscholars.org
“The annual awards ceremony is moving, and I am convinced that any student not reaching his or her academic potential would be converted by just witnessing the annual awards gala for the scholars. I was honored to received the Sonja Carson Award in 2005.”
 
FAVORITE SPORTS TEAM
Towson University football
WHERE: Johnny Unitas Stadium at Minnegan Field at the intersection of Osler and Auburn drives in Towson
INFO: www.towsontigers.com
“Football season is my favorite time of the year. Next to the Towson Tigers football team, of course, I’m a big Ravens fan.”
 
BEST PLACE TO DO GOOD OR VOLUNTEER
Bethel African Methodist Episcopal Church
WHERE: 1300 Druid Hill Ave., Baltimore
INFO: www.bethel1.org
  “A place where my faith in God is affirmed every week and [where] I can use my limited experiences to encourage those with whom I come into close contact.”
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