As the warm weather we all cherish quickly comes to a halt, neighborhoods all around Baltimore are offering one last celebration of their communities. This weekend it was Remington, the lovely little next door neighbor to Charles Village, that was blessed with a perfect sunny sky and a temperate day to host its third annual Remfest.
Remfest took place on Remington Avenue between 27th Street and 29th Street, right in front of campus favorites like Paper Moon Diner, B.Willow and R. House. The heart of the festival was the three-block stretch of vendor tables and booths. At the end of the stretch of tents was the live music stage, which sat just to the right of the food stalls from several popular Remington eateries.
I set out to explore Remfest with my friends Andrea, Helene, Nyore and Olivia, all four of whom were alongside me when I first explored Remington during our HopkinsCORPS pre-orientation three whole years ago (wow, we’ve gotten so old). I went to the festival hoping to spruce up my room and support some local artisans, and I am happy to report that I was able to check both of those boxes.
Having purposely emptied my stomach for the festival’s food, I made a beeline for the food stalls. John Brown General and Butchery, Charmington’s and Sweet 27 were expectedly in attendance, along with The Local Oyster, a seafood restaurant with locations in Mount Vernon and Locust Point. While we browsed the stalls, we were fortunate to jam out to the tunes of Tionesta, a Baltimore-based indie rock band.
I’ve enjoyed Sweet 27’s baked goods in the past, so I decided to give their lunch food a whirl. I ordered the jerk chicken with sides of garlic mashed potatoes and garlic kale. The chicken had a lovely spice to it that definitely showed the Indian influence found elsewhere in Sweet 27’s menu. I enjoyed the mashed potatoes and kale as well but found that the levels of broth in the kale and chicken were a bit high for my liking.
Andrea and Olivia each enjoyed a chocolate chip cookie from Charmington’s. They found that the cookie struck a perfect balance between the soft chewy inside and crunchy edges to which all bakers aspire.
After our brief lunch, we perused the vast amount of vendors in the streets. The swath of goods was immense: vintage clothing, soaps, artwork, jewelry, ceramics, craft beers, coffee roasters — I could go on forever.
Among the potters I noticed WorKarina, from whom I had bought a few mugs last year during a mini pop-up sale that took place inside of R. House. She was selling an immensely adorable set of pumpkin-shaped candle holders.
An equally difficult purchase to pass up was a candle from The Glow Co., a company that sells sustainable soy wax candles with scents to die for. Nyore, Helene and I agreed that the Blood Orange Sangria and Thunderstorm candles took the crown. Once I finish burning through my already-too-large candle collection, I’ll be ordering these right away.
We were excited to see a booth for Students Selling Stickers, a Hopkins student organization that was founded and is still run by Hopkins women of color in the summer of 2020. The group involves artists from all across campus to harness their entrepreneurial and artistic spirits. They use their platform and profits to advocate for various social justice causes, so you can be extra excited to support them.
After toiling over which posters and wall pieces called out to me the most, my mind was immediately made up when I came across Lucky Bat Paper Co. Lucky Bat is exclusively owned and operated by McKinley Bryson, the artist behind each piece. I fell in love with her vibrant illustrations right away, but her generous buy-two-get-one-free deals sealed my fate as a customer.
I opted for some gorgeous 10” by 8” watercolor pieces depicting a colorful variety of pies, peppers and edible wildflowers. Andrea bought a 10-for-$10 mystery pack of greeting cards, which was such a good deal that she ended up circling back to buy a second one. I haven’t stopped staring at the art since I bought it, and I have no intention of stopping.
I immediately missed the community atmosphere once we passed the No Alcohol Beyond This Point — So Start Chugging! sign and headed back to campus. While I’m saddened by the realization that this is probably my first and last guaranteed Remfest, I’m satisfied knowing I got to experience it with great friends and I made it out with some great finds.