R. House celebrates a Miyazaki themed fall

By HOLLY TICE | November 16, 2017

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SCOTT218 /CC BY-SA 4.0 R. House, a high-class cafeteria in Remington, hosted the Harvest Festival.

Local food joint R. House was bustling this past Saturday as community members young and old came out for the Spirited Away Harvest Festival.

The event lasted most of the day, from noon until eight in the evening, and featured an array of fun activities including pumpkin decorating, corn hole and a giant game of Jenga, which were set up in the courtyard outside.

As if that wasn’t enough, there was also a mechanical bull, a wax crafting station and vendors selling special food, drinks and sweets.

One of these vendors was Ekiben, an Asian fusion restaurant with a location in Fells Point, which was offering delectable steamed buns and interesting sweet drinks.

Earlier in the day, Ekiben hosted a collaborative hog roast in partnership with White Envelope Arepa Bar, a food stall vendor in R. House. The two restaurants incorporated the meat into their respective innovative food offerings.

Unfortunately no one was eager to step outside to enjoy these inviting opportunities since it was a very cold day and an even colder night. The Jenga game looked untouched, and only a few pumpkins had been decorated. Sad and dejected, the mechanical bull watched as cold children walked by without a second glance.

The inside of R. House was livelier as people enjoyed the warmth, the comfortable booths and the festive atmosphere. In fact, it was difficult to find seating inside because it was so packed with fall harvest celebrators.

Stephanie Stettz, a senior at Hopkins who attended the event, reflected on how crowded it was when she was there.

“I was surprised that it was so busy at 5 p.m., which is early for dinner. Some people were sitting on benches with food in their laps. We were lucky to eventually find a seat,” she said.

The R. House vendors cranked out food ranging from pizza to tacos to kimchi to arepas as per usual, while the bar was keeping pace with its normal array of cocktails, such as the “Weeping Cherry” and the “Melancholy Collins.”

Some people may have been enjoying these cocktails too much, as there was a pile of vomit on the sidewalk outside. Staff members promptly addressed this unfortunate circumstance.

All this culminated in a 6 p.m. screening of Spirited Away, a 2001 animated film written and directed by Hayao Miyazaki, who is the man behind other beloved classics like My Neighbor Totoro and Princess Mononoke.

The screening took place in the garage behind R. House. However, once again the cold thwarted plans and kept people inside and away from the film. There was hardly anyone brave enough to endure the chilly temperature inside the garage.

Despite the cold, the event was successful in uniting community members in a night of fall fun and celebration.

Senior Lauren Stettz, who attended the event with friends, commented on her enjoyable experience, as well as a few regrets.

“I probably should have gone earlier in the day. I can’t believe I missed the steamed dumplings,” she said.

This was the first year R. House was open for the fall season (it first opened on Dec. 8, 2016), and so it was the first year they held this event.

Since its opening, R. House has hosted a series of successful and intriguing events, such as “Have a Nice Day” a fundraiser for local coffee shops, as well as the after-party for Baltimore Bike Party’s “Ninja’s vs. Pirates” themed ride.

Additionally, on the first Saturday of every month, R. House hosts its “For the Greater Goods Market,” which was formed to benefit a local cause as well as to promote Baltimore businesses and artists.

The next of these events is coming up on Saturday, Dec. 9. That day the market will feature “Art with a Heart,” which works to “enhance the lives of people in need through visual art.”

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