Hampden Hawker: Got money to spend today?

Hampden Hawker

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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!


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