I’ve thought a lot about taking this project beyond the five boroughs. I have six neighborhoods left in New York City to reach my goal of 52, which was originally a goal of a summer, which turned into a goal of a calendar year, which turned into a goal of 52 neighborhoods – a NYC neighborhood for every week of the year. It’s not going to go beyond 52 neighborhoods, at least in New York City. But I am considering some sort of national / international tour, particularly if I can get sponsored to do so and especially if I keep getting offers to go to places like Sao Paulo, Brazil.
In the meantime, I thought I’d sample a week of national nomadding and check out a city I had never been to before. My friend Remy just moved to Baltimore for graduate school so I thought I’d help her explore. We found a lot of interesting things in her neighborhood and in the city itself. I’m happy to say I was pleasantly surprised by Baltimore.
The neighborhood, which is called Middle East, is appropriate. A lot of this neighborhood was featured in The Wire, a show I reacquainted myself with on a couple of rainy days while in Baltimore. I’m hooked again. The neighborhood, as portrayed in the show, is mostly boarded up houses. It’s striking to see what happens when a city loses 40% of its population. There are still some vestiges of the old neighborhood, including the Northeast Market. It’s one of the 6 public markets in Baltimore, and the customers are a unique mix of students, employees of Johns Hopkins, and locals. I had scrapple for breakfast, which I’m told I don’t want to know the ingredients of. I also had the opportunity to interview Mary, whose family has had a presence in the Northeast Market for 100 years.
Outside of the neighborhood, there is plenty to do, eat and see. The nomad sponsored dinner was at an AMAZING restaurant called Woodbury Kitchen. Nearly everything is homemade and even the meat is butchered at the actual restaurant (there’s a section of the menu called nose to tail). In Federal Hill, The Visionary Arts Museum will make you smile with its eccentric art and things like collections of Pez Dispensers. I also feel a need to go back for a baseball game when the Orioles are playing.
It also happened to be Baltimore Beer week. The Brewer’s Art is a great place in the Mount Vernon neighborhood, and we checked out the bar Alewife in West Baltimore. My favorite brewery Dogfish Head took over 20 of the taps the night we visited Alewife. I’m a big fan of this beer I tasted for the first time called Sah’ Tea.
Other highlights included On the Hill cafe near the Maryland Institute College of Art (the 2nd oldest art school in the country) and this Captain Crunch French Toast at Blue Moon Cafe, which was featured on the Food Network. It tastes as good as it looks.
Have you been to Baltimore? What did I miss? If you might want to host, in NYC, or elsewhere, the form is here. One neighborhood left to book in NYC on December 11th – 18th.
- I found the most interesting person in Middle East, Baltimore at… (thenycnomad.tumblr.com)
- RYE Baltimore | Craft Cocktails in Fells Point (justaddcheese.com)
- Midtown East, Manhattan (thenycnomad.net)
- SoHo, Manhattan (thenycnomad.net)
- Check In, Check Out : Hotel Review: Inn at the Black Olive in Baltimore (travel.nytimes.com)