Seen In and Around Baltimore

Born and bred in Baltimore, I've got quite an attachment to this small but most charming of cities. Growing up just outside the city limits, my childhood memories consist of Orioles games, visiting the National Aquarium, field trips to the Science Center, and of course, crabs. But as I grew up, I found that the city kept up with my constantly evolving interests. In high school, I discovered Soundgarden, the most delightful haven for music fiends located in the heart of Fell's Point. Then came the Charles Theater, an independent movie theater in the artsy Charles Village district. When I became an undeniable foodie, restaurants popped up all over the city calling my name, then art museums and galleries, thrift shops, coffeehouses, and more until I realized that this city has got something for any interest I may ever wish to pursue.

Each neighborhood is this petite metropolitan center has its own charm, lending the city at large an undeniable small-town feel. From streets lined with unprepossessing rowhomes to prestigious universities, thriving independent cultural hotspots and an endless array of street festivals all throughout the year, I just want to throw my arms around this city and give it a great big bear hug as thanks for all that it offers me. In the summer, you've got ArtScape, the largest free art festival in the country. But come December, nothing could better prepare you for the upcoming holiday season than a drive down 34th Street in Hampden to see all the houses decked out in Christmas lights. As I've already stressed, the arts play a huge role in this city but so do the parks and outdoor spaces, the harbor and seafood. I've always maintained that Baltimore's small sizes lends itself to greater accessibility, but it's not too small that it leaves its natives wanting for culture or entertainment or outlets for any of their potential interests.

I'm not trying to encourage you to move to, or even visit, Baltimore. In fact, part of what I like about this city is that we're sort of an underdog, the kind of place that gets easily passed over and most people don't consider particularly special. Like finding a hidden gem, it isn't until you really explore the city that you learn of it's true treasures. So, if anything, I'm an advocate for taking the advice of the locals if you make it to my neck of the woods. Sure, the main tourist attractions at the Inner Harbor are nice, if you're into frequenting the kinds of shops and restaurants that could be found in any major consumer-driven residential area. I expect you'd much more enjoy your experience if you explore the cobblestone streets of Fell's Point, the nightlife in Federal Hill, the one-of-a-kind shops of Hampden, the free shopping at Baltimore Free Store and The Book Thing, or the entertainment offerings through the entire city. I guess more than anything I want others to recognize that Baltimore has a lot to offer by way of charm. All too often I feel that this city's offerings are over-looked, and though I'm reaping the benefits of our less than overwhelming population growth, I also don't want outsiders to look down upon this delightfully adorable, artistic, and unique city with a personality all it's own and an endless number of neighborhoods to be constantly explored.

Anyway, the real reason for this post is to showcase a few photos of this great city that I've taken on various trips throughout the area over the past year. Hopefully you'll enjoy these snapshots of Baltimore life and overlook some of the things that make people fear this great city (no it's not really like The Wire around here!).

Though technically not within the Baltimore City limits
this shot of my street during the winter 2009-2010 snow storms
is still just a block away from the city and provides a pretty
accurate picture of what city life felt like during those few weeks.
Please note the lawn chairs set out as parking space holders.

Camden Yards, one of the most beautiful ballparks in the nation.

The Yard nestled right next to the Warehouse 

Natty Boh and UTZ Potato Chips, two Baltimore specialties

Lanterns over Charles St.

Gated windows of an otherwise lovely brick building

Rowhome door with personality

Fall sunlight

I know the photo isn't great but even our Department of Public
Works building is charming... don't you think?

Sunset over the Harbor. A great place to be any
day of the year.


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