Marc Shapiro helmed the Jewish Times for several years, writing and editing stories that knit together the Baltimore Jewish community. His word-wrangling skills and natural ease with language would surely help him approach the intriguing stranger who showed up to Artscape with his friends, and who had just ordered the same vegan burrito he had. Maggie Klinedinst was pretty. She was friends with his friends. She had excellent taste in burritos. He made his move.
“That’s a good burrito, right?” he asked. It was “the first thing I said to her,” he groans. “That was my pickup line.”
Luckily for Marc, he bumped into Maggie the following day, again at Artscape. They were listening to the North Mississippi All-Stars play at the Main Stage, Marc says, “when it started pouring.”
“It was one of those Baltimore summer rainstorms that just explodes,” says Maggie. Marc adds: “And it happens every year at ArtScape.”
Maggie, separated from her group of friends, ran underneath a tent with Marc and his roommate to wait out the rain. Maggie was talking about taking an Uber home, but Marc was trying to come up with a way to continue hanging out with her. Suddenly, Marc’s former bandmate, Joe Keyes rolled up in a “souped-up Escalade,” Marc remembers. “He rolls down the window and shouts: ‘Need a ride?’”
After their evening hanging out, Marc took Maggie on what he describes as a “proper” date: dinner at Tapas Teatro followed by the movie “20 Feet from Stardom” at the Charles Theater. “Marc traveled to Spain that year, so he was being ‘that guy’” about the Spanish food, Maggie laughs.
“Maggie was super warm and friendly and easygoing,” says Marc. “I just wanted to get to know her better. It was easy.” Maggie agrees: “It was so much fun hanging out together and talking.”
Marc proposed in September 2017. “Maggie had made it clear to me she did not want a big public proposal,” Marc says. “She didn’t want people to be there. She’d mentioned several times her dad had proposed to her mom in their apartment and said: ‘That sounds really nice.’” So Marc planned a special evening at home. “I think Maggie could tell something was up because I was acting a little squirrely,” Marc said.
After dinner, Marc, a guitar player, told Maggie he’d learned a song for her. “It was a Dave Matthews song called “You and Me.” We’d seen Dave Matthews one time and Maggie was crying during the song.” (It was, Maggie assured him, “a good cry.”)
“I learned that song and played it for her, and I had the ring in my guitar case,” Marc says. “I put the guitar away, pulled out the ring and asked her to marry me.”
Their wedding will be held in the sculpture garden of the Baltimore Museum of Art on May 18, 2019, followed by a meal at Gertrude’s. Although the guest list includes “just immediate family,” it will be a full house. Both Marc and Maggie come from large families.
As marriage became more imminent, Maggie’s interest in converting to Judaism grew deeper and she started taking the necessary steps. Maggie says their wedding service will reflect their shared beliefs and traditions. “I learned so much about the faith. The richness of it always resonated with me.” In preparation for the wedding, the two are taking an introduction to Judaism class together at the Park Heights JCC.
Marc says the two are excited about the wedding, but “We’re both more excited to be married to each other than we are to have a wedding.”
A long honeymoon will have to wait. Marc recently started a new job as an editor at Johns Hopkins. But they’ll take a weekend after the wedding at the Goodstone Inn in Loudoun County, Virginia.
The venue features good food, hiking and being outdoors. The inn “has an award-winning restaurant. It all looks so good,” says Marc. Maggie says: “It’s a big farm. They grow all their own vegetables and raise their own animals.”
In the meantime, the two enjoy their time together hiking, being outdoors, traveling, seeing the national parks, and hanging out with their two cats, Mo and Jinx.
Marc and Maggie also enjoy music and “trying every good restaurant in Baltimore,” according to Marc. Maggie jokes that going anywhere with Marc is like “being with a celebrity” because “Marc is never a stranger when we go somewhere. He fits in wherever he goes. He just has this openness about him: people just gravitate towards him.”
“Maggie is one of the most thoughtful and empathetic people I’ve ever met,” Marc says. “She’s incredibly thoughtful with her family and her friends and with me and her fellow human beings. What’s not to love?”
Erica Rimlinger is a local freelance writer.