Monday, December 8, 2014

Charmed by Charm City: Baltimore, MD

I went to Baltimore and immediately became a member of the Lithuanian Hall Association.

Wait. Let me back up.

I went to Baltimore to dance, and eat, and see friends. We happened to arrive on a Save Your Soul night, where DJs were playing classic soul tracks off vinyl.

This party was hosted at a Lithuanian cultural center, and I don't know, I had to buy a membership for like $5 to get in.

The jams were sweet. The beer was cheap. I tried Zhiguly and wow that was a sweet and strong beer. Wow.

It was maybe a little difficult to wake up the next day, but the 32nd Street Farmers Market helped.


Mine had roasted pears and sage. But pork loin was also an option.

From there to the Holiday Craft Heap, one of two craft fairs put on by Creative Alliance that weekend (and yes, I went to both.)

Even though it rained much of the weekend, just walking around Baltimore was great for me. Charles Village is, well, charming. ALL THE ROWHOUSES, THO.

Unofficial Tour: THE SINKHOLE:

Actually, I think this was Federal Hill! Pretty, even in the rain.

That night I fell in love with The Charles arthouse movie theatre. Walked into Whiplash without knowing anything about the film. It was great, but very intense. It fit in with a lot of what I've been reading and thinking about lately, namely, people's passions and drive (and the question of when an obsession goes too far.)

I read Yes, Please! by Amy Poehler practically in one sitting, and it was wonderful to get wrapped up in her passions for comedy, improv, writing, directing, and other people. She made me want to steep myself in words that I love.

We listened to Serial on the drive down, and man, I am so hooked on this investigative journalism podcast! I usually don't feel drawn to Real Crime stories, but Sarah Koenig makes every tidbit of a heartbreaking murder trial from 15 years ago come alive and feel immediate and relatable. And she does make asides about the pieces of the case that bother her, and chide herself for poring over details that may not be relevant, and wonder if she's prying too much. But I always want more!

And then, Whiplash. It's gritty and nerve-wracking to watch an ambitious first-year music student push himself to his limits to perform, and force himself to make almost inhuman sacrifices for his craft.

After that we needed a drink on Hampden (after driving by the block lit up for Christmas, twice!)

Gotta try the local specialties! Natty Boh is like a sweeter Baltimore PBR. Hmm.

Sunday brunch is a passion of mine, and Miss Shirley's Cafe did not disappoint.

The monkey bread was sweet and chocolate-drenched... but I maybe shouldn't have gotten a sweet entree AFTER that. Whoops!

Cheese Danish Pancakes

Coconut Cream French Toast

ONE MORE CRAFT FAIR! Merry Mart was hosted at the Creative Alliance building in Patternson Park. The sun was finally out and it felt great to walk around.

They had a photo booth! Much photos.

Hit the road back to Jerz. Definitely a great adventure.

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