Published by the Students of Johns Hopkins since 1896
April 14, 2024

Leisure

Leisure is the section where we highlight the intriguing, exciting and all-around fun events and activities happening in Baltimore over the weekend.



COURTESY OF JESSE WU
Dry fried pork intestine and chili mung bean noodles: Sichuanese classics.

Taste of home: Mixed feelings about Orient Express

In this issue of The News-Letter, Your Weekend brings you a special theme: Taste of Home. In the other article, you will hear from Aubin, who has found a warm comfort in the homey stews and fried plantains from the newly opened Sobeachy Haitian Cuisine in the renovated Cross Street Market. I, on the other hand, will revisit one of the places I have loved to hate in the two-and-a-half years of my Hopkins undergraduate career: Orient Express.


COURTESY OF JESSE WU
Poisson rouge, or fried red snapper, is served with pikliz, plantains and rice.

Sobeachy Haitian Cuisine sparks childhood memories

Food is a large part of our lives, cultures and identities. Each culture has its own set of unique ingredients, cooking techniques and dishes that distinguish them and set them apart. It is those elements that let us feel closer to our families and ancestors. It is also the taste of those things that give us a sense of belonging and home.



PUBLIC DOMAIN
The Jones Falls Trail is one of the best outdoor options near campus.

An exploration of parks and trails near campus

Many students may believe that the extent of nature which can be found in Baltimore are the trees immediately surrounding campus. However, there are many places nearby full of outdoorsy opportunities for those who feel like exploring nature when they’re not studying for their exams. While not spectacularly expansive, there are areas nearby which are within walking distance from campus. These options provide opportunities for running, hiking or biking depending on what you prefer.


COURTESY OF FRANK GUERRIERO
The pop up at Socle served char siu steak bites and kimchi fried rice.

Ekiben and SF’s Deuki Hong host pop up at Socle

As any seasoned group chat veteran can attest to, the most difficult college endeavor is getting five friends to agree on a spot to wine and dine at on a Saturday night. It’s hard enough to burst the Hopkins bubble without a half-dozen stomachs and palates negotiating a balance between the K-BBQ cravings of one and the Whole30 ambitions of another.



PUBLIC DOMAIN
Korean BBQ is a late night favorite of Gupta’s that can be found near campus.

A brief guide to late night eats close to campus

When I first moved to Baltimore a little over two years ago, I knew very little about my new home. Everything was new to me, and it was at times daunting to even think about how to begin getting to know this University, let alone the city and the people who live in it. But I have found that there’s a lot to love here in Baltimore, and one of my very favorite things about this city is the food.



Courtesy of Yoosoo Yeo

Baltimore Light City Festival illuminates local artists

Not knowing much about it, I went to the Baltimore Light City Festival last weekend and initially thought it would be a display of various light installations in a small area of Inner Harbor. I guess I didn’t think much of the word “festival” because I hadn’t realized the light installations were just a small part of what seemed like nighttime Spring Fair on steroids. 



CC0 Public Domain/Petr Kratochvil
The Hopkins community celebrates Halloween in a variety of different ways.

The News-Letter’s guide to a fun Halloween season

Officially, Halloween takes place on Oct. 31. Unofficially, the days surrounding Halloween are also grouped with the holiday. Some enthusiasts have long been celebrating, but there are still plenty more activities to put you in the spooky spirit.


PEABODY AWARDS/CC BY-SA 3.0
Terence Nance is a director known for the HBO series Random Acts of Flyness.

Director Terence Nance inspires young creators

This past Friday I had the pleasure of taking a seat in the Parkway’s main theater — which is a pleasure in and of itself as the place is gorgeous — and watching some truly amazing work from TV writer, director and creator Terence Nance.



COURTESY OF AUBIN LOHIER
Ramen Utsuke is the best bang for your buck noodle spot in town.

Ramen Utsuke is the best value ramen in the city

Where do you go when you are half an hour outside the city at Ikea, and you’re hungry and tired from all that furniture shopping? This past weekend, my roommate and I decided the correct answer to that question meant driving across the city to the Inner Harbor/Federal Hill area and leaving all of our new furniture in the back of the Zipcar pickup truck. Ramen Utsuke, with its bright bold letters outside of a brand spanking new building, caught my eye as I drove along Key Highway with my new furniture and an empty stomach.


CC BY 2.0 Krystal M. Garrett/Kasie P. Whitfield
Skyzone is full of fun bouncy times, reminding Chen of childhood times.

Sky Zone offers a bouncy getaway from adult life

Last week I went to Sky Zone in Timonium for my friend Sophia’s birthday. I hadn’t been to a trampoline park in years — not since my friend Naomi’s fourth grade birthday party, when I met Anne and didn’t like her. I remember having fun at the time, but it was normal. I used to go to Kira’s house all the time to jump on her trampoline, and I remember doing somersaults on Ivy’s during late night dinner parties. This was normal.



COURTESY OF EMMA SHANNON
Mobtown Ballroom is a niche of Baltimore that Shannon frequents.

Mobtown Ballroom celebrates its 8th anniversary

This weekend, Mobtown Ballroom, Baltimore’s own hub for swing dancing, will celebrate its eighth anniversary. I myself am a regular there, frequently going to their weekly dances and trying to convince other Hopkins students to go with me. While I would love to use this article to coax others into joining me for the festivities Mobtown has planned — live bands, contests, drinks, dancing the night away — I instead decided to speak with one of the owners about how the ballroom changed from an old church into the beautiful institution it is now.


COURTESY OF ALANNA DU
Shoyou Sushi: a personal favorite of Du’s in the Federal Hill neighborhood.

Federal Hill offers a plethora of food options

It would take years to fully explore the food culture of all of Baltimore’s neighborhoods (there are over 100!), but last week I did my best to experience the best food that Federal (Fed) Hill has to offer. A fairly young neighborhood populated with many recent college grads, Fed Hill is always busy and has a lot of offer.



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