View from the hill!

View from the hill!

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Hampden Hon!

You can think of many ways to spend a free afternoon around Baltimore but one of the best is to stroll the avenue in Hampden. There are lots of funky little spots to grab a bite to eat or a drink but the shopping is what brought us to Hampden this week. Our first stop was Ma Petite Shoe where we checked out all of the latest spring shoe fashions. They have everything from funky sky high heels to comfort walking sandals. The bonus is that you can buy great chocolate to go with your new shoes.

After you are done picking out shoes you can stroll the antique shops. There are all sorts of interesting finds in all of the stores that line the avenue. Housewares, clothing and just about anything else you can think of can be found. We found some very interesting vintage 60's style shift dresses in one store and outside another were some very cool chairs that just needed some new fabric. If you are creative, crafty or just plain thrifty this is the shopping spot for you.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Pier 6 Concert Pavillion

As you may know, the 2010 Pier 6 Summer Concert Series kicked off last night with a great performance by Ben Harper. A rather fitting 4/20 performance, there was no better place to listen to the concert than from Pier 5 (some may argue that actually being inside the Pavilion at Pier 6 might have been a bit of a better view...).

Pier 6 offers concerts all throughout the summer with acts including Kenny Loggins, Michael Franti & Spearhead, Hall & Oats, Peter Frampton and Earth, Wind and Fire. If you do not have tickets to the show I would highly recommended packing yourself a picnic and heading to the pier adjacent to the concert pavilion. Get there early to set up your chairs and blanket and stop by one of the Harbor East restaurants (Whole Foods, Glarus Chocolatier and Bin 604 provide the perfect combination) to pick up some snacks to enjoy during the concert.

Picnics on Pier 5!

Anna Marie and I enjoying our Whole Foods!

Daytime view of the pavilion

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Sherwood Gardens

Tucked amidst the stately mansions of Guilford lies Sherwood Gardens. The gardens were created in the 1920's as a hobby of Mr. Sherwood. When he passed away in 1965 Mr. Sherwood bequeathed funds to continue the gardens for one year. After that first year the Guilford Association purchased the additional lots from the Sherwood estate and took responsibility for the gardens. Every year approximately 80,000 tulip bulbs are planted. In addition to the tulips there are brightly colored azaleas, flowing cherries, dogwoods and wisteria.

Although it varies from year to year, peak bloom is typically at the end of April/beginning of May. If you plan on visiting the gardens this year, you had better hurry, the tulips are at their peak as we speak!

March for the Animals

Thousands of dogs and dog-lovers gathered today at Druid Hill Park for the 15th Annual SPCA March for the Animals. I have been going to this event since I was 8, long before I had a dog of my own. That first year I borrowed my tutors Bichon Frise and marched with about 400 other SPCA supporters. Because of the events growth they moved to Druid Hill Park a few years ago and today there were literally thousands of dogs- every breed imaginable.
In addition to the 1.5 mile walk around the lake there are also live demonstrations, games, contests and vendors. Bailey and Lily had just as much fun as my dad and I!

Steeplechase Season

Stepplechasing has a long history in Maryland, one that dates back to 1873. The first steeplechase races were held on a course built in the Pimlico race track infield. The races then moved out to Northern Baltimore County. As the weather warms up Maryland horse fans get their tailgating gear ready and prepare to spend the day at the races.

The three biggest steeplechase races are My Lady's Manor, Grand National and Hunt Cup. This past Saturday marked the 112th running of the Grand National. In 1898 several men who were too young to compete in the Hunt Cup started this Maryland Timber Racing tradition. The Grand National is shorter and thus faster then the Hunt Cup.

If you have never witnessed a Steeplechase tailgate, it is definitely a sight to see. And if you are expecting Ravens style tailgate of grills and cornhole, think again. It would not be uncommon to see crystal classes, fine china, engraved silver serving platters, fully stocked bars and oriental rugs( yes you read right, i said oriental rugs!!). After a few hours of drinking, eating and socializing everyone gathers on the hill for the best view of the race.

If you are free next Saturday you should check out Hunt Cup, which is known as the toughest timber race in the world!!

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Poor Man's Crab Cakes

Today, after watching the elephants demolish their lunches at the annual "Lunch with the Elephants," I decided to get some lunch for myself. This was the perfect opportunity to visit the famed Faidley's Seafood in Lexington Market. Although I haven't really been looking forward to trying a Coddie, it is on the Being Bawlmer list so I thought I might as well give it a try. I don't know about you, but a deep-fried fish treat served on a mustard smeared saltine cracker does not sound all that appetizing to me.

For $2.25 you get a decent sized coddie, which Faidley's prepares with fresh codfish flakes mixed with mashed potatoes and onions. The mixture is then deep fried and served golden brown with a pack of saltine crackers. I wasn't overly impressed, but I did manage to eat an entire coddie. I brought the second back to the office but none of my co-workers would take me up on the coddie offer. Although I don't quite see the allure of these coddies, I think the older generation might be able to better appreciate this Baltimore food tradition.

Lunch with the Elephants

When I told my co-workers I had a lunch date I bet they didn't expect my date to eat 1,100 oranges, 1,000 apples, 500 heads of lettuce, 700 bananas, 400 pears and 500 carrots. They also probably didn't suspect that I was going to lunch with 10 circus elephants!
Today was the annual "Lunch with the Ringling Brothers and Barnum Bailey's Elephants" at Lexington Market. Baltimore is the only city in the country to host this event on a yearly basis and people from all over Maryland have made Lunch with the Elephants a tradition.
I arrived at Lexington Market just in time to catch a glimpse of the pack of elephants marching up Eutaw Street to the Market's South Parking lot. It was quite an impressive sight to see these huge animals walking right down the middle of a busy city street. Once they arrived at their large fruit and veggie buffet, the elephants wasted no time in getting started on their lunch. It was hilarious, the elephants would pick up a dozen bananas and 5 apples and throw them all in their mouth at once. Once their tables were cleared the elephants marched in a single file line right back down to the 1st Mariner Arena (where you can catch more elephant acts at the circus which is in town until 4/18).

Sunday, April 11, 2010

A Day with Pirates, ARGG

For the 6th year Pirates took over Broadway Square in Fells Point this weekend. Pirates of all ages were wandering around the neighborhood and taking part in a variety of pirate themed activities. From costume contests to a live battle at sea, the day brought out the pirate in every attendee (even those not dressed in pirate attire!).
Pirate Roller Derby? Why Not!
I was a little skeptical at first, but was certainly entertained by the pirate roller derby expo and who wouldn't love watching the dozen miniature pirates take the stage in the children's costume contest. Fells proved to be a place where "privateers are the history and pirated come to play!"

While in Fells Point I couldn't help but make a stop in Mr. Yogato. A place I had been meaning to visit for a while, Mr. Yogato opened on the square about a year ago. The delicious fat-free yogurt comes in a variety of flavors and can be topped with 40 different toppings- ranging from fresh fruit to cereal and cookie pieces. Mr. Yogato is all about fun, they provide a variety of games and it is not unusual to find employees encouraging sing-a-longs and challenging their customers to the "question of the day." I am happy to see that Baltimore has joined the fro-yo revolution and knowing that a trip to Mr. Yogato only costs a few calories makes the visit even more enticing!

O's Opening Day

Although neither Michelle or I were able to take the day off work, it seemed like the rest of Baltimore was at Camden Yards for the Opening Day Festivities on Friday. Our O's weren't able to pull off the win against the Blue Jay's but the crowd at Pickles and Sliders didnt seem to mind.
After work and shortly after the game ended I took a walk over to Pickles to partake in the tail-end of the Opening Day debauchery. I am not sure if people were drowning their sorrows from the loss or just celebrating the start of baseball season and all that it signifies, but the area was a bit out of control! We are looking forward to many O's games in the next few weeks, and hopefully a few wins!

Friday, April 9, 2010

Original American Ice Cream Culture.

Taharka Brothers. Ever heard of them?

What about Sylvan Beach Ice Cream?

If neither one of these ring a bell, then I suggest you hop in your car immediately and head to the Mt. Washington based Taharka Brothers Ice Cream. Formerly known as Sylvan Beach Ice Cream, this ice cream shop is known by many as the “best ice cream in Baltimore.” And after our first scoop last night, we definitely agree!

For those of you unfamiliar with Taharka Brothers, let me give you a little background. According to their website, Taharka Brothers is a venture of the Sylvan Beach Foundation, Inc. Sylvan Beach is a non-profit foundation which aims to assist at-risk Baltimore youth and teaches them the intricacies of business strategy and entrepreneurship with the ultimate goal that each of these student-workers will found their own business prior to their graduation from the program. These students are the face of the Sylvan Beach Foundation and the engineers behind Taharka Brothers Ice Cream.

“Our Original American Ice Cream Culture is easy to define because ice cream transcends anything that can divide us. Above all, Taharka Bros. is more than great tasting ice cream, it is a style, a mentality, and a way of life.”

If the philosophy behind Taharka Brothers Ice Cream isn’t enough to get you in the car on your way to Mt. Washington, then let the ice cream do the work. Key Lime Pie ice cream with swirls of graham cracker crust is out of this world. Their flavors are constantly changing and all the ones we tried were absolutely delicious (Cake Batter and Peanut Butter Cup just to name a few!).

In addition to the Mt. Washington store many local restaurants serve the famous Baltimore ice cream so as the weather continues to warm up you must head to Taharka Bros!

Joe Squared

As you might imagine, a visit to Joe Squared in the Station North Arts and Entertainment district will guarantee some great thin crust square pizza, but you may not expect the full menu, extensive rum selection and fabulous music that will accompany your pizza. Yesterday evening after building up our appetite with an excellent run around Druid Hill Park, (which is a place that should have been on our list- it is a nice hidden spot in the city) Michelle and I dined outside at the busy North Avenue pizza joint.

Joe’s has a funky art-school, eclectic vibe which adds to the laid back atmosphere. Inside, a surprisingly large dining and stage area opens up to a nice outdoor patio. With sliding glass doors that open to the “stage,” sitting outside was a great place to enjoy the weather while listening to the nightly live music. Joe’s has an acoustic dinner guitar player and then a live late night band most nights starting at 10pm.

The menu offers every type of pizza imaginable, from the strange (an irish pizza with garlic sauce, corned beef, potatoes, carmelized onions and cheese) to the traditional. We tried the flag pizza which was split into thirds with a variety of sauces and cheeses. In addition to pizza, Joe’s offers a variety of starters (wings, fried zucchini, calamari, potato skins, etc.), sandwiches, pastas, risotto and salads. After smelling the wings that the surrounding tables had we had to get our buffalo sauce fix. We tried the Buffalo Chicken Salad, which is not the healthiest salad on the menu, but it sure was delicious!

Be sure to check out Joe’s, it is a great place to spend a summer evening!

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Enjoy the weather on the NCR trail

The sun is out, the temperature is just right, the place to be is the NCR trail. As soon as the weather gets nice Baltimoreans who want a breath of fresh air head to northern Baltimore County to enjoy outdoor sports along this former railroad trail. Biking, walking, jogging and even horseback riding are all encouraged along the 20 miles of trail. The trail is packed with people at the beginning which is on Ashland Road in Cockeysville. You can park there or in the many parking areas along the way. For the truly adventurous you can even take the trail all of the way to York, PA. When you cross the Pennsylvania line the Heritage Rail Trail begins which continues for another 21 miles, right into the center of downtown York.

There are restroom facilities and water fountains in Monkton as well as a few shops. You can also rent inner tubes in the summer and float down the Little Gunpowder River. Floating down the river would have been on our list, however the water temperatures will not be quite warm enough within the next 100 days. Tubing is more of an August activity! Although there are a few stops along the way, it is best to bring water and some sort of snack to give you enough energy for your ride!

Whatever sport you enjoy, you should take advantage of this great spot to enjoy the spring weather.

Sunday, April 4, 2010

“Brighten your Easter parade”

We all know the jingle…..

Here’s a treat that is sunny For your Easter bunny, The creamiest candy that’s
made. Mary Sue Easter eggs, Mary Sue Easter eggs, Brighten you Easter parade.We
have those Easter eggs, Mary Sue Easter eggs, People are making the switch.
Cause’ using pure butter Makes Mary Sue better, And you never had it so
rich.Mary Sue Easter eggs, They’re the best Easter eggs Honey your money can
buy. So sweet and delicious, So rich and nutritious, Give Mary Sue Candies a
try.Brighten your Easter parade Try Mary Sue Candies Today!

But have you ever eaten a Mary Sue Easter Egg? Most Bawlmoreans would answer an enthusiastic yes to this, but surprisingly neither Michelle nor I had ever tried the famous Baltimore Mary Sue Easter Egg. I think this is due to our Mom’s slight obsession with Rheb’s Easter eggs (more to come on this in a later post!). But the extent of our Mary Sue knowledge was that the 32 foot pink bunny we drive past on the Jones Falls expressway proudly bears the Mary Sue logo.

The company was founded in 1948 and currently has a plant on Caton Avenue. Although the plant doesn’t have a candy store attached several locations throughout the area sell this Baltimore tradition. After a bit of a search, we found the 12oz Pecan Nougat Egg at Mars in Timonium. The egg was huge…enough to share with the entire family tonight after our Easter dinner. Grandmom and Grandad had stories of opening their Mary Sue Eggs on Easter morning many years ago and the youngest members of the family who were trying the eggs for the first time could not get enough. Although I don’t think Mary Sue eggs will ever replace the Rheb’s eggs in this house, they were certainly a taste of old Baltimore tradition.

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Natty Boh

What better way to kick-start this blog than a Natty Boh on the front stoop on a gorgeous Thursday night in Federal Hill?

Natty Boh is to Baltimore what a Philly Cheesestake is to Philadelphia. Although no longer brewed in Baltimore, Mr. Boh can be seen everywhere from t-shirts to that oh-so-famous Smyth billboard and ad campaign where he is proposing to the Utz potato chip girl (I don't know how Smyth will ever top that one!). Although it is not known as the best tasting beer, there is nothing that says Baltimore more than sitting on your marble stoop drinking the beer "from the land of pleasant living."

I am sure there will be many more Natty Boh's in the next 100 days, but for now cheers to Baltimore and good ol' Mr. Boh!


Here it is, our list of the 100 essential Bawlmer things to do in the next 100 days. We have divided the list up into 4 categories: food/drink, events, beach activities and other fabulous Baltimore "things to do."

Remember, additions and suggestions are welcome!


  1. Community Night at The Wine Market
  2. Tapas Theatro followed by a movie at the Charles
  3. Sopies Crepes (after movie)
  4. Lunch at Atmann’s (corned beef on rye)
  5. Sour Beef at Eichenkranz
  6. Sangria at Tio Pepe
  7. Cupcakes and Cocktails at Pazo
  8. Crab cake from XX (Faidley’s/G&M)
  9. Hubcap Margarita (Nacho Mama’s)
  10. Glass of Wine at Grand Cru w/ food from market (possibly during first feet on the street)
  11. Put Old Bay on something new/different
  12. Share a box of Berger cookies w/ someone who has never had one
  13. Picnic on “The Hill”
  14. Picnic while listening to concert on Pier 6
  15. Picnic at Tide Point Pier
  16. Picnic at Loch Raven Reservoir
  17. Big Beer/Oysters/Crab/Pretzel Dog at Cross Street Market
  18. Natty Boh on front stoop
  19. Pickles pre O’s game
  20. Ice Cream from Taharka Brothers
  21. Cupcake from Charm City Cupcakes (black eyed Susan cupcake!?!)
  22. Pretzel from Fells square
  23. Prime Rib from the Prime Rib
  24. Tour de Tapas (restaurants to be determined!)
  25. Rhebes candies
  26. Mary Sue Easter eggs
  27. Coddies at Lexington market
  28. Alcohol milkshake at Abbey Burger Bistro
  29. Boogs BBQ at the ball game
  30. Brunch at Little Havana
  31. Happy Hour at Bay Café
  32. Snowball from SnoAsis
  33. Chipparellis Salad
  34. Joe Squared, pizza and live music
  35. Andy Nelsons BBQ
  36. Italian dessert from Vaccarro’s (Monday night all you can eat!?)
  37. Pick steamed hard shell crabs (at Obryckis or Nick's Fish House)
  38. Utz potato chips
  39. Mozzarella Pie from Matthews Pizza
  40. Peach Cake from local bakery
  41. Special occasion dinner at Charleston
  42. Get fruit and veggies from a Arabber
  43. Maryland Strawberries
  44. Late night meal at the Sip N’ Bite
  45. Drink a fresh squeezed Orange Crush
  46. Burger from the Burger Wagon
  47. Burger Cookie Pie at Dangerously Delicious pies
  48. Gun Powder Bison (could be a burger from them at the Burger wagon)
  49. Mothers Heart Attack on a plate
  50. Polish sausage from Ostrowski’s


  1. Movie in Little Italy
  2. Movie on the Pier and/or Hill
  3. Attend a Maryland Spring steeplechase race
  4. Sherwood Gardens
  5. March for the Animals
  6. Feet on the Street (Towson, Belvedere Square, Hunt Valley)
  7. Federal Hill Block party
  8. Boordy Vineyard concert
  9. O’s opening day
  10. Privateer Day in Fells
  11. Hon Fest (June 11-13)
  12. Preakness festivities: crab race
  13. Preakness festivities: Parade
  14. Preakness festivities: Black Eyed Susan races
  15. Preakness festivities: Drinking a Black-eyed Susan at Preakness
  16. Preakness Festivities: Preakness Infield
  17. Ravens/O's Rally
  18. Lunch with the Elephants
  19. Flower Mart (have a lemon w/ peppermint stick!)
  20. Kinetic Sculpture Race


  1. Bike the NCR Trail
  2. Walk through Loch Raven
  3. Hike at Oregon Ridge
  4. Go out on the water in harbor (take your pick: sail, dragon boat, swan boat)
  5. Attend a polo match (Maryland Polo Club)
  6. Jog around the harbor
  7. Visit the Maryland Science Center
  8. Visit the Walter's Art Museum
  9. Browse the antique shops in Hampden
  10. Go to Ladew Gardens
  11. Run the Ft. McHenry loop
  12. Check out the Clipper City brewery tour
  13. Visit the American Visionary Art Museum
  14. Walk and look at painted screens
  15. Activity at Patterson park- go inside the pagoda
  16. Go to Landmark theater – bar pre-movie!
  17. Support local farmers at the farmers markets: JFX, Towson, etc.
  18. Shop for chocolate and shoes at Ma Petit Shoe
  19. Attend Free Outdoor concert at Rams Head
  20. Visit Poe's grave
  21. Go to the top of the Washington Monument
  22. Take the water taxi across the harbor


  1. Fireworks in the Park
  2. Fisher’s popcorn
  3. Thrashers fries
  4. Mini golf
  5. Take a ride on the Drunk Bus
  6. Bay Bridge game
  7. Salt water taffy and fudge
  8. Spend a day on the rafts at Seacrets

Hello Baltimore!

From this day forward April 1st 2010 will hold a very special place in our hearts; Day 1 of “Being Bawlmer: 100 Essential Baltimore Things To Do In The Next 100 Days.” For a long time the Michelle and I have thought about doing a blog that shows all the fun and unique things there are to do here in Baltimore. Well now that idea is finally going to become a reality.

A little background on the two of us…
Although 8 years apart, Michelle and I have always been very close. Although we each spent 4 years away at college (Michelle in VA and me in FL) we never even considered settling down anywhere other then Baltimore. Michelle works in the Baltimore County School Public School System and I work for a Public Relations Firm in Hampden.

A few months ago we began writing a few restaurant reviews for fun (you can check out our reviews at and in print every other week in Baltimore OUTLoud). Since then we have become a bit obsessed with checking out the latest in the Baltimore restaurant scene. As native Baltimoreans with our entire family living in Baltimore and the surrounding suburbs, we are very passionate about all things Baltimore.

Through a combination of reading Elizabeth Larges’ “100 things every foodie should do in Baltimore” and watching the movie Julie and Julia we became even more inspired to expand our horizons and do something a little outside of the box. And thus, “Being Bawlmer” was born. Our original idea was that we would do one essential Baltimore activity per day for 100 consecutive days. Unfortunately we began to worry that it would be a bit over whelming to find a good “Bawlmer” activity every single day for 100 days. So instead, we decided to make a list of the top 100 things to do in Baltimore and the surrounding area (this time of year!). We will do each one of these activities within the next 100 days and check off all 100 items in the allotted 100 day time frame. We will update this blog each time we cross something off the list.

The hardest part of this blog was trying to create the ultimate list of Baltimore activities. We had so many Baltimore Foodie type items on our list and had to really narrow these down to allow for other quintessential Baltimore events, such as Preakness and the Hon Fest. While we had to cut many different ideas from our original list, we think we have come up with a very well rounded list. Of course this list is not 100% set in stone and we are open to your suggestions. We will happily add/replace/swap items at YOUR suggestion, so please feel free to chime in! We should also mention that the two of us will be working together on this blog. We might not always do each item together but between the two of us, all 100 items on the list will get accomplished - that is our promise to you!