Hampden Hawker: This Just In: Hampden is Eclectic!

Hampden Hawker

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Saturday, December 29, 2007

This Just In: Hampden is Eclectic!

Um, like, hi.

Miss me?

You probably all thought Hawker was dead, but I was just vacating.

But, Hawker's back, Hampdenites.

And just in time for the Baltimore Sun's Real Estate Section feature on Hampden! (If you subscribe to the Sunday Sun, you got the section with the article today. Otherwise, it's out tomorrow.) If a reporter can write a story about Hampden and not use the word "eclectic," I think Hawker's gonna award a prize.

The piece is generally a fluff piece under the title "Insider's Guide to Hampden." So, as an insider, here are Hawker's concerns:

1) The article glosses over culture clashes in the neighborhood. Allen Hicks talks about parking and schools when he discusses the "transitional" nature of the neighborhood.

2) The article states that "parking is a big issue in Hampden." Ok, people, parking is a big issue in Hampden if you are used to having reserved parking right in front of everywhere you want to be for your big fat SUV. If you've ever lived in a city, parking in Hampden is FINE. Try DC or Chicago if you think parking is tough here. For that matter, try Federal Hill.

3) The closest grocery store, according to the article, is The Giant. Umm. . . SuperFresh, anyone? The store that attracts folks from Roland Park and Charles Village?

4) My favorite: "With the exception of neighborhood bars and restaurants, Hampden doesn't have a bustling nightlife scene." Without bars and restaurants, what the hell makes a nightlife scene? In Hawker's humble experience, Hampden has a crazy nightlife scene. R2V? Frazier's? Frijoles? One of the best parts of living in Hampden is the sheer number of nighttime activities available within walking distance. There are plenty of bars & restaurants, a movie theatre, professional and non-professional theatre and First Fridays--not to mention the number of special events (readings, art openings, concerts, etc.) sponsored by local businesses in the neighborhood.

5) The only restaurant mentioned by name is. . . wait for it. . . Cafe Hon! Again, one of the great things about living in Hampden is the huge number of dining options steps from your door. Think about it: we've got Bella Roma AND The Dogwood.

6) Lastly, the "news" from the article (in case you haven't heard) is that in fall 2008, Robert Poole Middle School with transfer its students to Hampden Elementary, which will become Hampden School. Why putting troubled middle school students with younger students is a good idea isn't clear. What will happen to the vacated portions of Robert Poole Middle School (there is a public high school in some of Robert Poole) will be discussed in the new year.


At 12:45 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I agree parking in Hampden is not really a problem. I can routinely find a spot within 2 blocks of my house. Try that in NY, Boston, or DC.

At 8:50 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

firstly - the combining middle and elementary schools is the new thing in the city; it started last year. the idea is that the older kids mentor the younger kids...but so far it's more resulted in the older kids beating up/selling drugs to the younger kids.

Second - if by nightlife the author meant frat boys and girls in mid-driff revealing tops (i.e. canton, fed hill) then no, we don't have it, and I, for one, don't want it.

At 11:27 AM, Anonymous luluswim said...

All good points. I think you oughta put them together in a letter to The Sun.

At 8:12 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

As a MD public elem. school teacher and one who gets to see/hear many of these "troubled middle school students" up close and sometimes personal on my block, I would not want these kids in my school. Too much of an age gap to include in a public elem. setting especially considering this noted population, sorry to say.


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