Tag Archives: Baltimore

One Baltimore

Hi superfriends,

Many of you have texted/emailed/gchatted/called to check on me this week and I really appreciate it! The violence and rioting that occurred on Monday was fairly contained about three miles from us and I haven’t felt unsafe at any point this week.  I am still wrapping my thoughts around everything that has happened and my facebook feed has been flooded with articles, opinions and, from a few, ignorance. I try to keep politics and controversy off facebook but I thought a blog post could help me adequately sort through my feelings.

I want to start by saying I clearly can’t begin to imagine how Freddie Gray, his family and the residents of Sandtown-Winchester feel or what they have gone through, however everyone in the city is definitely feeling the impact of Gray’s illegal arrest (as just charged by the Maryland Sate’s Attorney) and death and the subsequent unrest throughout the city. The sound of choppers overhead has been a constant since Saturday as 4-6 media/police helicopters are constantly circling. My office has been closed since Monday afternoon when they sent us home after word of the planned protest/riot/”purge” was circulated. They played an O’s game two blocks from our apartment in front of zero fans. We’ve obeyed the 10pm-5am curfew which feels particularly surreal. Aside from all of that, the story has just been top of mind and the first thing everyone is talking about. We’ve briefly touched on it during every conference call as we work remotely, we’ve heard bartenders and restaurateurs discuss it in terms of closing early and economic impact, and we’ve had our own debates on whether or not we think the officers will get indicted.

We’ve heard from CNN/MSNBC/Fox News, local news, the mayor, the governor, the police chief, city council members, Chris Van Hollen, Martin O’Malley, Hilary Clinton and President Obama. Baltimore tweet

I was particularly impressed with President Obama’s statement and his call for institutional change. State’s Attorney Marilyn Mosby’s statement and the charges they are filing against the six police officers involved also call out the issues that have been seen between the Baltimore police and the residents of the poverty-stricken neighborhoods of the city: unlawful arrest and callousness/disregard for human life (read this NPR article for information on the charges). I in NO way think this reflects the actions/opinions of the entire police force, BUT I do agree that there needs to be systematic change. Read this investigative piece from 2014 by the Baltimore Sun for more information on the history of undue force used by Baltimore Police.

It was tough to watch criminals wreak havoc on the city Monday night – looting, attacking police, setting fires – and tough to know that viewers at home across the country and the world were passing judgement on Baltimore based on those actions.  What they did was wrong, illegal and incredibly hostile. However, it is with pride that I have seen the city come together and repair over the past few days. I just saw a couple interviews on local news with two men in Freddie Gray’s neighborhood who in the same statement thanked the State’s Attorney for bringing charges against the officers, thanked the police officers for maintaining safety in the neighborhood and encouraged everyone to stay peaceful over the weekend. Yesterday, Jeanette and I dropped off gatorade, fruit and granola bars to police officers who were working in the harbor since they have been working pretty much around the clock since Saturday to make sure our city stays safe.

Baltimore's Beautiful Inner Harbor

Baltimore’s Beautiful Inner Harbor

Christmas lights on 34th Street - Utz girl and Natty Boh man - Baltimore staples!

Christmas lights on 34th Street – Utz girl and Natty Boh man – Baltimore staples!

The emergency curfew has impacted local businesses.

The emergency curfew has impacted local businesses.

I still love this city and while this was a tough week, I did many things that reminded me of how great this city is. I went for a run around gorgeous Federal Hill and the Inner Harbor, Jeanette and I did some traditional Baltimore stoop-sitting for a pre-curfew drink and chat with our neighbors, and we walked into the neighborhood for early dinner/drinks to show support for local businesses.

Adam and his groomsmen at our wedding

Adam and his groomsmen taking photos in the Harbor before our wedding

The above photo is of Adam and his groomsmen at our wedding. To me this photo illustrates a couple things 1. Adam is totally badass and 2. clearly the cordial relationship we have with the Baltimore Police is not the same relationship other residents have elsewhere in the city. Hopefully everything that happened this week is a a wake up call and the start of change and healing- even after the national media stops shining a light on it.

Much love to Baltimore, our residents, our police, and our sports teams! One Baltimore. ❤

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End of Summer

After working pretty much every day for the entirety of June and July, it’s hard to not feel like summer has passed me by when I finally emerge from Kastles season in August. I’m trying to make the most of the final few weeks of summer weather and cram in as much outside time and ice cream as possible! This past weekend I got to play tour guide in my new city and show two Baltimore-newbies a good time. My cousin, Sarah, who has lived in DC for the past 7+ years has never made it up to Baltimore and my old neighbor, Thea, who I used to babysit for hadn’t been here since she was little. Since Thea is visiting the states from the UK this summer, it was great to have her up for the weekend! Thea’s family moved back to Great Britain when she was 9 and she is now 21, so it had been a while since I had last seen her. Kat – I still remember one of my first times baby-sitting for Thea and her sister was the same day as a party you were throwing (I think for St Patrick’s day?!) and I was upset about missing the party! Anywho, Adam and I planned a jam-packed Baltimore day to entertain our guests and enjoy the end of summer.

Our day started out a little rocky – Adam had to move his car since they were bringing in some equipment on the street he had parked on and it became a no parking zone Saturday morning. Since he had to move his car anyway he decided to go fill it up with gas and then got blocked out of our neighborhood because of a half-marathon that shut down a few streets. He was super frustrated and tried to hop on the highway and enter our neighborhood another way. Traffic was so bad he literally gave up – parked the car at a meter and walked the last few blocks home!! What was the cause of all the traffic? The annual Otakon convention! Otakon is an anime convention and our city was taken over by countless fans dressed in the WILDEST costumes. It made for incredible people watching, but awful, awful traffic.

After the traffic fiasco, we set out toward the Inner Harbor and took in the sights (and made a quick breakfast stop at Starbucks) before heading to the aquarium. I had only been to the aquarium one, about five years ago, and it was way more entertaining than I remember! We saw dolphins doing tricks, big sharks, brightly colored fishies and scary jelly fish (horrid beasties?).

Jelly fish at the National Aquarium

Jelly fish at the National Aquarium

Adam must have been having a rough day because in one of the open air exhibits with free roaming birds and bats – he got crapped on! A big glob of bird poo right on his shorts! We all told him it was good luck and the museum staff quickly grabbed him some wet wipes. He was a very good sport about it.

With Sarah at the Aquarium

With Sarah at the Aquarium

Little known fact – the aquarium is also home to a sloth and a couple little golden lion tamarins! You know how much I love the zoo so I appreciated the furry creatures who put in an appearance. After the aquarium, we headed to Lexington Market for some of the best crab cakes in Baltimore at Faidley’s. Lexington Market has been around since 1782 and definitely has a feel of old Baltimore. The jumbo lump crab cakes were on point and so delicious. I washed mine down with a freshly squeezed lemonade while Adam had Baltimore’s finest Natty Boh. From the market, we walked back down to the baseball stadium with a quick pitstop at Pickles first. Pickles is THE spot to grab a drink before and O’s game and we each had a quick beer.

Natty Bohs at Pickles before the O's game!

Natty Bohs at Pickles before the O’s game!

We chugged our beers and hightailed it to the stadium about an hour before first pitch because the Orioles had an awesome giveaway: a Wild Bill Cowboy Hat. We knew they only had hats enough for the first 20,000 fans and maybe Adam’s bird-crap luck paid off – we got hats from the very last box!

Rocking our Wild Bill cowboy hats!

Rocking our Wild Bill cowboy hats

We wore them with pride during the game! The Orioles also kicked the St. Louis Cardinals’ butts and after the game we headed home for some snacks and to spend time with Jack. All in all it was a great Baltimore day and I had a blast showing our guests what Charm City is all about!

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Snowing in Baltimore!

Hi all – sending a quick update from Maryland! We had about 10″ of snow over night and more is expected to come down today. We have all the essential groceries including plenty of wine, beer and Bailey’s (mmm). Adam made us a yummy snow day breakfast: scrambled eggs, toast, and an Italian chicken sausage we had leftover from a dinner earlier this week. This morning we’ll knock out a few episodes of the Wire (Adam has been raving about this Baltimore-based show for years and he finally convinced me to start watching it – it’s so good!) and this afternoon we will trek over to Kristian’s and get out Settlers of Catan on with Jeanette and K. Love having friends within walking distance.

I’d love to see what the weather is like in everybody else’s cities! Am I going to be jealous of the sun in Austin and SD and Nola? Jess, are you in the same snow boat in NYC? What the heck happens in Germany? Superfriends – snap some pics on yo camera phone and throw them up on the blog!

 

Thanks to our neighbors who shoveled out a little doggy business area!

Thanks to our neighbors who shoveled out a little doggy business area!

Jack got himself stuck in the snow!

Jack got himself stuck in the snow!

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Ringing In 2014

The time between Christmas and New Year’s always seems to fly by and this year was no exception! The past few days have been a whirlwind as Adam and I have looked at wedding venues, moved things out of my parent’s house and spent time with family and friends. Highlights included a night out with Jessie in Baltimore. We started the evening with amazing Greek food from Baba’s and then went out for drinks with Jeanette and some of Adam’s friends. Another night we went to Adam’s parent’s place for Chili Mafalda, a throwback meal that Adam’s mom used to make for the family when the kids were little.  It’s essentially a chili pasta but it was delicious and had nostalgic value for the whole fam.

Falafel, hummus and Greek salad

Falafel, hummus and Greek salad

Before I knew it, New Year’s Eve was here and it was time to clean the apartment and prep for the night’s festivities! This year was my first year hosting NYE in our new apartment and I was excited to show off Baltimore to my Northern Virginia friends. Jess, Kat and Kat’s Swedish boyfriend arrived in the afternoon and we spent some time walking around the Inner Harbor and riding the carousel.

New Year Countdown!

New Year Countdown!

Inner Harbor on New Year's Eve

Inner Harbor on New Year’s Eve

After a windy walk around the harbor we met up with our other guests to have some snacks and get dolled up before dinner. Around 8pm we walked over to Kona Grill, mostly chosen because of it’s proximity to our place, fairly reasonable prices and the fact that it could take a group of 12 on New Year’s Eve. We enjoyed tasty cocktails (I had a strawberry basil rum lemonade) and some decent Asian fusion-type food. Several people at our table got a miso sake sea bass and I had shrimp pad Thai. I don’t think any of us were blown away, but it certainly got the job done and our waiters were friendly and attentive. After dinner we came back to the apartment for drinks and games. We played several rounds of Head’s Up and were laughing hysterically over some of the guesses and clues.

Clue: Not Dunkin’ Donuts, but the other donut

Guess: Bagel

Actual Answer: Krispy Kreme

Ladies dressed up for New Year's Eve

Ladies dressed up for New Year’s Eve

Champagne toast! (pic leftover from Christmas)

Champagne toast! (pic left over from Christmas)

At midnight we all grabbed some champagne and headed to the roof to watch the fireworks display in the harbor. The fireworks were fantastic and we spent the rest of the evening having an impromptu dance 90’s dance party until the wee hours of the morning. It was the perfect way to ring in 2014!

I have spent most of New Year’s Day on the couch nursing a mysterious ankle injury and watching movies. Speaking of which, did you know that Renee Zellweger’s character in Jerry Maguire is supposed to be 26?! JMags is one of my all time favorite movies and I have always thought of her character as an adult. A real adult, well into a career and stuff. But she is the same age as I am now! When did I get this old?? Between this startling realization and the start of the New Year, I feel like I need to actually set some resolutions for 2014, you know, beyond the standard “I want to lose weight and get in shape for my wedding.” I have some general goals like graduate and find a job I love, but I will have to think of some real actionable resolutions for the coming year. I’ll share on the blog once I figure those out! In the meantime, happy 2014 everyone and show me the money!

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Music in the Harbor

Adam and I did something kind of out of the ordinary last night: we saw his family friend’s band play at the Hard Rock Cafe in the Inner Harbor. (Yes, the same stage Imagine Dragons played on just a couple of weeks ago!). Down to Everything performed as part of 98 Rock’s Hard Rock Unplugged concert series which takes place every Thursday.  The band was great and I loved the “unplugged” element of the show. When the international superfriends were in high school we went to a ton of shows (and Sarah, Jessie, Kat and I even had a “band”), but since I have gotten old and boring I rarely go to concerts anymore. It was great to see some live music on a Thursday night and even better was that Adam and I could walk there from our place!

 

Down To Everything Hard Rock Cafe Baltimore

Sorry for the terrible quality, that’s the band on stage.

Hard Rock Cafe Baltimore

I love that Hard Rock is bringing in local bands, we will definitely have to check out more of them. In the meantime, you can check out Down to Everything (and yes, I believe the name was inspired by Jersey Shore’s DTF).

Abby Fish Baltimore Inner Harbor

On the way home I had to take a pic with that fish statues. Which allows me to bring back this amazing throwback of Jessie and the fish circa 2007.

Jessie Fish Inner Harbor Baltimore

 

Happy Friday everyone! Fishy Fishyyyy.

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Weekend Update 10/11-13: Abby

Hi Superfriends!

I thought I would update you all on my cold and rainy weekend in Maryland. Despite my best efforts to avoid it, I had to come down to College Park on Friday for a group project meeting. I usually try to work remotely on Fridays and avoid an extra day of commuting, but since I had already made the shlep, I followed up my meeting with a trip to the gym and actually got an awesome work out in which made me feel a little bit better about the whole thing. After driving home, churning out a cover letter and taking a quick shower it was time to put out some snackies for our evening visitors.

Adam’s parents and their family friend Eric came over for dinner at our place. Eric hadn’t yet seen our new condo and Adam’s parents hadn’t spent any time there since we had gotten our furniture and hung our pictures. They are a fun group and we enjoyed wine and snacks before picking up Baba’s Mediterranean food for dinner. I wish I had taken a pic of our food because it was delicious! We also went to Baba’s two weeks ago for dinner before my birthday festivities. We got a bunch of dishes to share included homemade hummus, land kabobs and Greek salad. It is a neighborhood gem! After our guests headed home, Adam and I made a late night trip to Harris Teeter since I needed some ingredients for a recipe and we remembered that it would be difficult to get around Saturday morning because of the Baltimore Running Festival. I wish I had known about the festival a few months ago because I would have signed up for the 5k that was held alongside the longer half-marathon, marathon and relays. Clearly, the 5k is about all I can handle. Jeanette and I ran the color run in May and have been looking for another fun race to sign up for.

Color Run 5k

Jeanette and me post-color run 5k

 

Anywho, sorry about that tangent, back to my weekend! Saturday, Adam and I headed back down to College Park for the Maryland/UVA Football game. Adam and I went to practically every football game together when we were in undergrad, but hadn’t been back in years! We had fun walking across campus to get to the stadium, but I was less than thrilled to sit in the wet cold for hours during the game. I was however very excited when the Terps held on to win as UVA missed a field goal as time expired. Go Terps! Sorry Lindsay!

Abby Adam on Maryland Campus

Adam and me on campus

 

After the football game we headed to Jannette’s house for birthday celebrations! Because we went to the game we arrived about five hours late, but in true Jannette fashion, the party was still going strong! We had a few beers, played some games and took some pics before heading back up to Baltimore and calling it a night. Happy Birthday Jannette!!

Terps fans

Jannette Birthday

We were bums in Terps gear, but at least we made it, right?!

 

Sunday was yet another drive down south, since we went to brunch at my mom’s house before heading back to Baltimore to watch the Ravens games. Both the Ravens and the Redskins were huge disappointments yesterday, but in between games we went to Target and I got new boots so all in all, not a bad day! Sunday evening wrapped up with sushi and homework and this morning I had my second to last 8:30am class! Woohoo!

How was everyone else’s weekend? Were the non-East coasters rain-free at least?

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Ahoy Matey

So I mentioned in my last post how I have been going running in my new neighborhood. I’m not a huge runner, but on a nice day I would rather run outside than go to the gym. I love running around Federal Hill Park and taking in the gorgeous views of the harbor. I definitely need a nice view and plenty of things to look at to keep me motivated. The only issue is that there is a pirate ship that sails around the harbor for parties and tours and every so often it shoots off a cannon. No, I don’t think it is an actual cannon, but it does make a giant exploding noise and scares the bejesus out of me every single time!! Without fail my first thought is that a bomb is going off and I should run for safety or drop to the ground and take cover. I think of it as “Baltimore Problems” – where else would a pirate ship interrupt your run?!

Do you all have any funny running stories? I can’t be the only one right?

Harbor

Baltimore Inner Harbor grogeousness

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Ain’t No Party Like a Mascot Party

I am full on obsessed with my new living situation. I love living with Adam, I love our actual condo, and I looove the location! We live just a couple of blocks from Baltimore’s Inner Harbor which provides gorgeous views and a myriad of different shops, restaurants and entertainment options. We have been taking advantage of the gorgeous weather and squeezing in long walks around the neighborhood whenever possible (we’ve also gone running together but my short legs and slow speed don’t make me the best running buddy). Last week, during an evening walk, we stumbled upon a party at the Hard Rock Cafe complete with the Oriole Bird and the Ravens mascot, Poe! Of course, I had get a pic since I love mascots of all kinds! Apparently, the Hard Rock Cafe was hosting a reopening party and there was an Imagine Dragons concert that night. We didn’t have tickets to the show, but enjoyed a drink at the outdoor bar and entertainment from a fire breather!

Baltimore Oriole Bird

Adam, Oriole Bird, Abby

Baltimore Ravens Mascot

Hanging out with Poe

Baltimore Inner Harbor Fire Breather

Fire breather in the Harbor!

I love that there is always something fun going on at the Harbor and hope that we get to enjoy more random events in the future!

My weekend was fun and busy. Adam’s cousin Anna and her boyfriend were in town so Friday we spent fun family time with Adam’s brother and his wife. Saturday we went to the Fell’s Point Festival and enjoyed outdoor music, fair food and wine poured with a heavy hand (score!). They also had trucks on site giving away product samples of Sabra hummus and Chobani – two of my favorite brands. I nabbed a Key Lime Chobani and it was amaaaazing. I had read about it on the Peanut Butter Fingers blog and I was very excited to try it. It did not disappoint! Is it weird that free Greek yogurt is a highlight of my weekend? I am a sucker for all things free.  Sunday I went to a pig roast down in Alexandria and spent the rest of the evening working out and doing homework. FUN!

Had to add my favorite throwback mascot pic…Lindsay, Kat, and me with Testudo circa winter ’05-’06

Girls with Testudo

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