Hampden Hawker: November 2007

Hampden Hawker

THE Hampden Gossip Blog

Hopefully Factual, Fueled by Speculation

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Thursday, November 29, 2007

Crime Log

There was a stabbing in Hampden yesterday. No real details are readily found.


Parade Weather

A commenter pointed out that Sunday's weather forecast is not good.

WBAL is predicting a high of 41 degrees and an 60% chance of rain.

Please, universe, don't rain on our parade!


Puzzle me this, Hampden.

Today, walking north on Falls Road, Hawker spotted a man walking down the street with no pants on. (He did have his jacket tied around his waist in an attempt at discretion.)

The pants were slung over his shoulder.

Why can't people around here wear both pants AND underwear AT THE SAME TIME?

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Mayor's Christmas Parade

Look who's comin'!

Hawker's sick with a nasty cold, but Hawker still found time over the weekend to put up Christmas decorations.

Remember: The Mayor's Christmas Parade is this Sunday, December 2nd at 2:00 p.m.! Neighborhood groups are asking any and all interested Hampdenites to get decorations up by then & leave your lights on during the day. Let's show those visitors to Hampden that we know how to dress up real nice for a special occasion.


Saturday, November 24, 2007


Don't forget! The Miracle on 34th Street officially begins tonight!

The lights will be turned on this evening about 6 p.m.

Friday, November 23, 2007

Got money to spend today?

It's Black Friday, and if you're smart, you won't leave the neighborhood.

If you're like Hawker, make a vow that you will buy (as much as is humanly possible) all of your holiday needs from local Hampden-based independent businesses. You'd be surprised what you can find within walking distance here. For example, Atomic Books can special order any book for you--so you can bypass a chain bookstore & New System Bakery has delicious treats galore (what do they put in their doughnuts?) for office party treats--so you can bypass the chain grocery store. These are just a couple of examples. Feel free to send me your odd queries and I'll put them to Hawker readers to see if there's a local, independent source for your needs.

Hampden shop owners are famously helpful too. Just pop in to that store you think your mom might like and actually TALK to whoever's working there. It's not the like the mall, people. You may very well end up talking to the owner who can make suggestions and lead you to cool things mom never knew she wanted. Plus, use the holiday season to stop into stores you typically bypass. You never know what item might be lurking somewhere.

Need inspiration, try visiting Visit My Baltimore for videos featuring some of Hampden's finest shops and restaurants (such as Atomic Pop, Cafe Hon, Milagro--and owner Kimry's thoughts on Baltimore, Golden West, and Mud and Metal.)

Think of it this way: try to spend your money at the kinds of businesses you'd like to see more of. If you want chain stores to take over Baltimore, then by all means, drive to Towson this holiday season. However, if you're like Hawker and like Hampden because of its quirky and independent spirit, support the kinds of local businesses we're lucky enough to have close to us. Buy independent. Buy local.

Happy holidays!

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Once you see it, you can't unsee it.

An open letter to the man walking his dogs on 37th Street this morning wearing the following:

1. threadbare pajama pants with NOTHING underneath
2. dirty flipflops
3. a flannel quilted jacket hanging open and. . .
4. no shirt

Dear Sir:


Hampden Hawker

Monday, November 19, 2007

A Mini Blog Round-Up

God it's quiet around these parts. On Saturday night, R2V was family night, and Hawker was in bed by midnight. Here's some random blog thoughts to stave off the ennui.

1. Baltimore Snacker makes it to the Wine Source and (no surprise) he likes it! A commenter complains that the free wine isn't very good, which is charming.

2. Sales Rep writes glowing review of store that stocks his stuff! Bias aside, Red Tree is lovely.

3. Here's some photos of the food from Woodberry Kitchen.
Hawker LOVED WK by the way. The decor is some of the warmest in Baltimore, and you can wait for your table at the classically styled bar or outside around the toasty fire pit. The food was simply delicious, and though our server was a bit hovery, it seemed motivated out of the "we just opened and we want to make sure everything is working" factor. GO if you you're looking for a lovely dinner out--it's not a cheap place, but it is reasonable, and you can do drinks and snacks at the bar. Walk down there on a blustery night--you'll be cozy once you arrive. Oh, and Artifact Coffee will be reborn at the WK bar during the daytime!

4. The Lo-Fi Social Club loves Common Ground!

Saturday, November 17, 2007

Gay Marriage Works!

So, my drive home from work frequently takes me through the Falls Road & Coldspring intersection. Every time I pass through, I secretly hope that someone has "corrected" the Marriage Works billboard that has been erected there.

At least Hampden is letting its voice be heard along Falls Road.

UPDATE: I corrected this entry--the billboard is on Falls Road, not Chestnut as I mistakenly first reported.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Free Flu Shots!

The Hampden Family Center is offering FREE flu shots today until 6 p.m.!

If you know anyone who could use one and for whom the cost would be prohibitive, spread the word!

Monday, November 12, 2007

Monday Random News Round-Up (Now with more OLD news!)

1. The man injured in last week's propane tank explosion has been identified--Michael Welk, 48, is the homeowner on the 3400 block of Hickory where the explosion occurred. According to yesterday's Sun, he's not well enough yet to answer questions about the accident. Hawker walked by the house yesterday, and rubble still remains. The house north of Welk's is boarded up, but word has it that the house south of Welk's will not be condemned after all.

2. There's lead in water from the drinking fountain at Hampden Elementary.

3. This has been on The Signal and in Style Magazine, so I thought it was old news, but. . .Sunday's Sun reported that Madison Smartt Bell's new book Charm City: A Walk Through Baltimore features long walks along some of Baltimore's most famous and colorful thoroughfares, but not through Hampden. Bell wrote a feature on the length of Roland Avenue and The Avenue, but page limitations forced him to cut the walk from the final draft of the book. (If you want to buy this, FYI, skip the chain stores and order it from Atomic!)

4. The Community Law Center formally moves into the old Northern District Police Station. Other tenants to follow include some of the offices of U.S. Lacrosse. Mamie's, however, seems to be gone forever.

5. Stay away from aisle 9! YOU HEARD ME!

6. Oh, while you're staying away from aisle 9 at the Superfresh, you might wander over to Allissa's Pizza for a bite. You will be sadly disappointed--Allissa's is gone!

(Please note that some of these links won't last forever, so read 'em while they're hot.)

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Hey, ma! We're gonna be on TV!

Walking along The Avenue tonight about 9 p.m., I passed a CBS film crew packing up & heading out--definitely national, not local news.

Hmm. . .

Saturday, November 10, 2007

Saturday Food Round-Up

Ok, lately, Hawker's obsessed with food. So in that vein, here you go. . . (Just keep in mind that this obsession will surely pass and I'll get around to reviewing the new drycleaner at 41st and Falls, but until then, bear with me.)

1. I just made reservations at Woodberry Kitchen for tonight. Here's the good news: Artifact Coffee is back! I'll post a full report Monday, but Chowhound is having quite the discussion--including the observation that Woodberry is free of "Hampden/Remington denizens!" Oh, what will the patrons make of Hawker? Look out rich people!

2. Rocket to Venus isn't just for hipsters just on either side of 30!

3. Apparently, Golden West now serves tacos--but only at the bar. To some Hawker has spoken to, this news rivals the recent arrival of bacon chocolate at Ma Petite Shoe.

Hawker's going to make lunch.

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Friday, November 09, 2007

Promoted from Comments: Hampden's Newest Dining Option

Woodberry Kitchen in the Clipper Mill development is now open, and the menu looks fantastic. There's salads to make you drool. There's oysters. There's sage sausage soup. Hawker's getting hungry and promises to check it out within the next week & post a report.

They're open for dinner six nights a week (closed Mondays.)


Thursday, November 08, 2007

Slow News Day, So Let's Talk About Free Eats!

You know, I really don't know know why when folks talk about Hampden, no one mentions the plethora of opportunities for free drinks and free food.

The Wine Source, for example, has at least one free wine/beer/booze tasting a week. Oh, and there's one tonight: the wines of Francis Ford Coppola. He can turn Joseph Conrad's Heart of Darkness into a story about the Vietnam War, but can he turn grapes into wine? Find out tonight from 5-7. Free.

Oh, and this weekend, Ma Petite Shoe will host a wine and chocolate tasting on Saturday, November 10 from 7-10 p.m. Sample wines from Maryland's St. Michael's Winery, as well as chocolate with. . . you guessed it! Wine! The wine that folks will be tasting comes from bottles that feature one special bottle with a $300 prize package of shoes, wine and chocolate attached. Only catch is that space is limited, so you must RSVP if you want to attend. Do so by calling Chocolate Hotline at 410.235.5170 or e-mailing your RSVP to mapetiteshoe@earthlink.net.

Lastly, Hawker just took her brother to Dogwood Deli to get some food for his train trip back to Boston. After his delicious sandwich came out and they added the homemade potato chips, he said, "I didn't know those chips was coming! I love this neighborhood!"

Hampden, you just can't stop giving away your treats.

Wednesday, November 07, 2007

House Exploded!

Good Lord.

Once again, Hawker was out of town when this happened.

A house on the 3400 block of Hickory exploded yesterday. Apparently, this was due to some kind of mistake with a propane tank. The homeowner was seriously injured, as were four children next door. Three houses are now condemned.

Details here at WJZ (with video) and here at The Sun.

Tuesday, November 06, 2007

This is not a crime blog!

From today's Police Blotter in The Baltimore Sun:

Robberies/arrests // Five teenage boys, all 17, have been arrested and charged as juveniles with robbing at least three people in less than 30 minutes on streets in Hampden Sunday morning. In two of the robberies, victims were threatened with a baseball bat. The robberies occurrred between 1 a.m. and 1:20 a.m. in the 900 block of W. 37th St., the 1600 block of W. 41st St. and the 3900 block of Elm Ave. Taken were three cell phones and an iPod, all of which were recovered. The youths were spotted in a car at Chestnut Avenue and E. 37th Street by Officers Eric Dodson and Karani Nolet, who arrested the suspects without incident."


Monday, November 05, 2007

Weekend Wrap-Up

Just a few weekend highlights. . .

1. Hampdenite Josh Slates premiered his new short film 89 Gator Mine at The Charles on Friday night. The lead actor Nicolette le Faye arrived dressed like it was a 1935 film premiere, and Hawker loved her for it! A review and interview with key folks appeared in The City Paper last week. (The film was produced by The Mobtown Shank and also featured a cameo by Benn Ray.)

2. Like enough news about Benn Ray already, but Atomic Books' launch of their latest title (Fart Party by Julia Wertz) was swingin' way into the night on Saturday.

3. Blogger Happy Hour A Hit in Hampden! Even without Hawker!
Go here for a recap.

Friday, November 02, 2007

Promoted from Comments: Speed Bumps

Apparently, Wednesday is the new "six months from now."

According to a commenter, speed bumps on Elm have been installed.

11/6/07 UPDATE: A commenter suggested this isn't the case, but indeed, speed bumps are in. Slow down on Elm, neighbors!

Tonight: Get some F2F in RL!

Aww. . . There's a blogger happy hour tonight in Hampden! One of the hosts is Hampdenite (and library beautifier) Danielle.

On top of that, Atomic Pop is hosting a knitting extravaganza! There will be "musical apparatus for orchestral knitting''--the audience will make music just by knitting! Plus, KnitKnit author Sabrina Gschwandtner will be there & signing books.

It's also First Friday AND it's freaking gorgeous, so if you're reading this, you basically have no excuse to stay in tonight.

Hawker would be at the happy hour if she didn't work nights, but here's the deets for those who want to go:

What: The October/November AKA Octovember Blogger Happy Hour.
Where: Holy Frijoles, 908 W. 36th St., Hampden
When: Friday, November 2nd, 6pm - ?
Why: If you truly need a reason to drink, then something is definitely wrong.

Oh, and if you go out tonight, will you blog about it?

Marriage: It just keeps on keeping on.

So the PNC Tennis Classic billboard at Falls & Coldspring got replaced, and it's back to "Marriage Works" propaganda.

This time the billboard is announcing that "Kids of married parents do better in school."

Considering last time, God knows what Hampdenites are going to do with this one.