By MIA CAPOBIANCO Your Weekend Editor
It’s getting to that time in the semester when it’s easy to get stuck in a rut. Hopkins students get tired and opt for convenience over novelty when it comes to planning their weekends. I decided to ask some of the hippest upperclassmen I know about their favorite spots in Baltimore. Hopefully their recommendations can inspire you to rejuvenate your weekend with new off-campus finds and old favorites.
What is the best...
place to study off campus? Jane Morris, class of 2017: I like Red Emma’s in Station North because it’s close and it’s not Starbucks — my only criteria. Red Emma’s also has good coffee... and nachos. Warner Mason, class of 2017: I really enjoy doing readings in Starbucks or Carma’s because I like to think it makes me look pensive even though I’m likely reading at a remedial pace and looking confused. John Durovsik, class of 2016: Finding a spot to study off campus is incredibly difficult — ambience, table size and proximity are all of equal and incredible importance. I enjoy working at the Bun Shop, this spot has great coffee and food. Milk & Honey, an adjacent market, is also a good work spot when I can tolerate a livelier atmosphere. Kate Buchser, class of 2016: Peabody is dope. Sascha’s by there is great too. I really don’t study off campus; I occasionally bring blankets to the Brody reading room, if that’s any indicator of my study habits/locations.
place to hear live music? JM: I’m a fan of the Crown, which is great if you’re trying to see more local acts. WM: The 9:30 Club in D.C. It’s a really intimate venue and they book surprisingly popular artists. JD: I’m not so connected with the Baltimore music scene, yet my two friends, Rosie and Noah, always pull me to the Ottobar or The Crown for various performances. KB: In Baltimore, The Crown and the Ottobar... For the best bigger names, the 9:30 club in D.C.
Where do you go for...
cheap food? JM: Byblo’s in Federal Hill is far but if you call in advance they will bring you a Lebanese feast for $20 and it’s BYOB. WM: If you’re from Baltimore or have a car you probably know that Royal Farms has amazing fried chicken that is rather affordable. I take comfort in knowing that when friend chicken is that cheap there’s no calories in it. JD: For cheap food on-campus I always opt for Ajumma (re: Chicken Bulgogi). An off-campus option is Bar Clavel where you order inexpensive tacos, ceviches and quesadillas and pair them with (more expensive) mezcal cocktails. KB: Try Grano in Hampden. Their pesto sauce mixed with one of their cheese sauces is to die for. It is also the only place that I will eat meatballs from, they’re amazing. And their tiramisu. Take advantage of restaurant week; While the food isn’t by any means cheap, it’s less expensive than usual and you get a good taste of the menus.
splurge meals? JM: Whenever my parents are in town I try to convince them to take me to Food Market. WM: I’m not sure if this qualifies as splurging but I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention Atwater’s in Belvedere Square. Again, you’d probably need a car to get there but their chicken salad is life-changing. JD: When indulging, my friends and I enjoy B. Bistro. Although the atmosphere is a bit tired and the clientele is a bit older, the food is great and the vibes can be made better with a good crowd. A relatively new spot is La Cuchara, a tapas restaurant with a modern feel. KB: If by splurge you mean calorie-wise, go to the Charmery. Their butter pecan ice cream is off the chain. Otherwise, I’ve had great food at the Lebanese restaurant by the water.
cheap drinks? JM: One time I went to The Dizz with my roommate and discovered that every drink there is $3... so the Dizz. WM: Honestly, I’m not much of a “drinks” person, I tend to go for wine time and time again. Eddie’s and HopDeli carry this Malbec called Altosur that is pretty tasty and is like 10 bucks. JD: I’ll occasionally invite my close friend Becky to guest bartend the curated bar cart in my room, so sometimes the cheapest drinks are the ones closest to home. If I’m leaving the apartment (and the larger Hopkins campus), I would probably pick up a bottle of wine at Eddie’s and head to a local BYOB (Bottega, Asahi, Iggies...). KB: Ottobar twofer Tuesdays, bitches.
good cocktails? JM: Brewer’s Art? I’m not the right person to ask because I feel like the only benchmark for a good cocktail is bitters? WM: If I’m feeling ambitious and in the mood to do nothing all day on a Sunday, getting mimosas at Miss Shirley’s usually does the trick. JD: Chic Bar, a pseudonym for a spot dear to my friends and me, is an intimate, candle-lit bar located relatively close to campus. The cocktails are great, there is the occasional live string instrument, and the breadboards are the perfect over-drinks snack. I would disclose the name, but I have been strongly encouraged not too. If you can decipher this profile, maybe I’ll see you there. KB: Holy Frijoles margaritas; The blushing geisha at the sushi place by the water (RA Sushi Bar & Restaurant).
What is your favorite spot to…
experience nature in Baltimore? JM: The Sherwood Gardens right by campus in Roland Park… can’t say I got there often, but it’s pretty. WM: Taking a hike/nature walk around Lake Roland is a really good way to get my rare nature fix. If I don’t feel like driving off campus, walking through Guilford or Roland Park is a really calming experience. JD: If you have a car, take a short drive to Patapsco State Park. There are great hiking trails, a terrifying abandoned house I’ve never explored, and a river to swim in. I went just last week and (foolishly) squeezed in a pre-winter dip. KB: What is nature? I only know specimens of it from the cases in the Brody reading room. The [Baltimore Museum of Art] sculpture garden is great if that counts.
escape the usual Hopkins crowd? JM: I like to hide in plain sight at CVP because no one goes there and it’s 20 feet away from my apartment. WM: It’s really easy to get caught up in the Hopkins bubble. It’s also really easy to get to Penn Station and drop 8 bucks on a MARC ticket and go explore our nation’s capital. Some of my closest friends go to school at either Georgetown or GW, and when I’m visiting them, I feel like I’m a world away from Baltimore. JD: If I’m really trying to escape the Hopkins crowd, I’ll head home for the weekend to Philadelphia. If I choose to stay in Baltimore, I’ll avoid a night of gin and tonics and dance music and opt for an extended dinner, maybe at Salt or Parts & Labor, with close friends. KB: Brody Learning Commons. That place is a desert.
shop (for whatever you’re into)? JM: The Value Village in Highlandtown is a gold mine. WM: Disclaimer: This shop is not in a good area, at all. But, Patapsco Valley Sales & Supply Co has this massive warehouse where you can browse literally thousands of cool pieces of pottery and other items. It’s a wholesale warehouse so their stuff is extremely cheap. JD: I’m very into design and ceramics and have yet to find a spot in Baltimore that caters to these interests. I guess I would answer Artist & Craftsman Supply, an art store on North Ave in which a visit would inevitably lead to a productive day of water-coloring, gold-leafing, etc. KB: Soundgarden, for records! The antique and junk shops in Hampden are pretty dope also.