A Weekend Tour

“Well, there are 7 billion people in the world… or are there 9 billion people? You know, I read this article…”

~Friend attempting to comfort another friend by saying a statistic

The best part about my life thus far, is that I am starting to find my own place here. I am starting to feel confident in my ability to lead people and share with them a piece of my hometown. Last Friday night I went over to the neighborhood staple Mount Royal Tavern with its grunginess, Sistine Chapel ceiling, and local Baltimore characters. 

I spent Saturday entertaining my visiting friends by bringing them to brunch at the grease-coated tabletop New Wyman Park Restaurant with its delectable home fries and old-timey neighborhood persona. The adventure continued with us frequenting local clothing shops, such as CC Boutique and the West African-theme shop and mini-museum called Sankofa. We stopped to rest and get a coffee at Red Emma’s, as well as do some art at the art station near the door. I had us walk towards the Station North neighborhood where we saw some art at the CA Gallery City Arts.

 "Art is my Activism"

"Art is my Activism"

 Looking down Greenmount Ave.

Looking down Greenmount Ave.

As the warm sun raced across the sky, I ensured that my visitors also got to see another side of the artsy side of the nearby neighborhoods. We walked north up Greenmount Ave from Greenmount Cemetery all the way to the remains of the burned-down Book Things where we stopped to grab a glass of beer at Peabody Heights Brewery. We ended the day dancing salsa at Latin Palace near Highlandtown, where the inside felt like a recreation of a small dance club in Havana.

Sunday funday involved eating every possible combination of different flavors.

Brunch: Korean food at Nak Won Korean Restaurant

Dessert: 5 mini-pies from Dangerously Delicious Pies and ice cream from the Charmery in Hampden

Second Dessert: Cannoli from Vaccaro’s Italian Pastries

On-the-Road Snacks: 12 pack of Berger cookies and tacos with horchata from Tijuana Tacos 3 near Patterson Park.

We ended up on the Federal Hill park overlook where we ate many of these snacks as we gazed at the harbor before us in the golden setting son.

 "To Noah"

"To Noah"

In-between the tour of all things food, we stopped by Graffiti alley where we met one of the graffiti artists. He shared a little bit of his backstory and how he used to be in juvie, but now has a son and is glad to have found a place where he could legally tag walls. He told us about several murals that he had created and the stories behind them. His little son was working as his apprentice. The artist informed us that his son’s name was Noah, and that was his tag: for Noah. The most interesting story that he shared was how he was creating one of the murals on the wall well-past curfew during the Baltimore riots, and one of the police paddy wagons stopped right in front of him as he was creating the graffiti in the alley, but the wagon continued without arresting him. 

I am beyond happy with how the weekend went, because I finally started to feel like a local. I could remember different people not he streets and was able to show my visitors a good time in my new home.