Leisure is the section where we highlight the intriguing, exciting and all-around fun events and activities happening in Baltimore over the weekend.
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.
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.
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.
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.
The adjustment to life as a full-time student is always a draining process, especially after a carefree summer with friends and a surplus of free time. I was woefully unprepared when junior year began. I placed the healthy routines and hobbies that I carefully cultivated during the summer on the back burner in favor of trying to keep up in class. Assignments never seemed to stop coming, and my breadth of understanding decreased with every lecture.
Last weekend, I had the immense pleasure and privilege of eating at Chef Andrew Carmellini’s Rec Pier Chop House in Fells Point (thanks, Mom and Dad!). Driving up, I was struck first by the beauty of the surrounding area. The restaurant faces the heart of Fells Point, complete with cobblestone streets and adorable boutiques, and the water stretches out behind it. It is a beautiful side of Baltimore that I rarely get to experience, since I live in Charles Village. It felt like a pristine end to the summer, standing there as the sun began to set and a warm breeze tumbled off the water.
It’s Friday. I’ve cleared my plans for the evening. My forest green, slightly baggy Mercy Medical volunteering polo sits folded up in the dark drawer of my Ikea dresser. Classes are done for the day, and I’m ready to meet up with the one special woman in my life.
Dear Reader, The following is an open letter to you. It is the 22nd piece in a series of personal essays I have written for myself since early teenhood.
I’m talking about brunch. I think it’s annoying and very 2010s of me, but I’m doing it. My first Baltimore brunch was at Ida B’s Table. We had just split a Dangerously Delicious pie and an Ekiben sandwich from the Baltimore Farmers’ Market (just across the street, under the freeway) and decided that we still needed an entire meal of carbs and protein. Cotton plants sat in the windowsill, civil rights activists and their quotes were painted onto the walls. I ordered the chicken and waffles and he told me that shopping and eating with me reminded him of following his mom around on Saturday mornings when he was a kid. It was a little bizarre but I took it as affection (he can be the judge of that).
As a girl from a small town in the Midwest, free live music is one of the things I looked forward to most upon moving to a city. Each Thursday, I scroll through the events page on Facebook looking for a free experience to go to with my friends.
Washington D.C., with its buttoned-up political culture and obdurate expectations of conformity — picture bureaucrats, G-Men and rows upon rows of indistinguishably neoclassical government buildings — is not known for its food culture. Compared to a city like New York, where the selection of cuisines is so vibrant that locals prefer to eat out regularly rather than to cook at home, our nation’s capital is a veritable food desert.
“Oh, how I’ve missed you,” I thought to myself as I boarded the Collegetown Shuttle. You see, the free service is not available during the summer, and my friends and I had been forced to split $8 Uber rides for the past few months.