Friday, March 27, 2009

What's not to love about Baltimore?


Why don't eye?

If you live close to DC but have never been to the American Visionary Arts Museum next to the harbor in Baltimore, you must - you simply must go. You must. It's a revelation, it's inspirational. Funny, quirky, beautiful. Even on the most dreary rainy day, like yesterday, Baltimore is fun, especially if AVAM is on your list of scheduled stops.

After the museum, my friend and I drove to the Hampden district where we had lunch at Cafe Hon, then shopped at Ma Petit Shoe, a store that sells chocolate and shoes. Baltimore city is gearing up for their annual kinetic sculpture race. One year a flamenco dance company "recreated" the great Baltimore fire by placing dancers at locations where the fire was most severe. Isn't that cool?

Every time I'm in Baltimore I ask myself why I don't live there. I would certainly fit in to Baltimore culture far better than DC culture. People always say, "But Reya, DC needs you," or as my friend said yesterday, "Yeah, you would fit in here ... but ... you can't leave DC."

I love living in DC, even though I'm a stranger in a strange land here. Why I landed here has been the subject of many long and lumbering self-contemplations. I like it here; maybe that's reason enough to be a weirdo in a land of braniac achievers.

Still, it sure is fun to get way out of the neighborhood sometimes. It surely is!


The hallway leading to the exhibits at AVAM. "We are made of stars" was the theme.

25 comments:

Lisa said...

hey thats a great picture of eye art, with a little glimplse of reya in the bottom xx

rothko said...

Baltimore is fun to visit. But as somebody who made that move from DC to Baltimore, I'll say it's a different thing living there and if given the choice again, I'd stick with DC.

We lived in Hampden while we were there. It does have character, that's for sure ...

Next time you're up that way, try "Soup's On" which is a little further up the Avenue from Cafe Hon.

willow said...

How cool is this? I love the fabulous eye and your reflection is an added bonus!!

The Family Julz said...

Beautiful Reya, I love it when your pretty face sneaks into pics! That eye is awesome!

blonderthanyou said...

oh now youve gone and exposed one of my FAVE spots...the AVAM has a really great gift shop too...i always find interesting gifts there!
xoxo

mary said...

I love that you are so perfectly placed in the mosiac....this is a keeper for your sidebar!

Lizzy Frizzfrock said...

Reya, I perused through the links you provided & the sampling exhibits a really cute, funky city. It reminds me of the weird stuff that goes on in Austin, TX. The funkiness is some of the reasons that I fit so well in Austin & hated to leave it. Sometimes you find a place that fits. Love the photos. Baltimore gets a bad rap on some of the TV shows... I didn't know it is so cool.
Thanks for sharing!
Lizzy

Steve said...

I've never spent any time in Baltimore -- just passed through on the train. Guess it's time to change that! :)

Peggy said...

I've never even heard of that museum. Sounds like eye-candy! And a store that sells shoes AND chocolate?! I'm in heaven! Great post.

Angela said...

Surely all those braniac achievers need your soothing hands to keep them calm!

rothko said...

Ah yes. You're right. I've made that mistake before regarding the quote. Guess I want it to be Steinbeck.

deborah oak said...

We are made of stars. Jeez, this makes me LONG to see this exhibit, the memory of the water one I saw with you still rises up all the time to delight me.

ArtSparker said...

This so makes me want to visit Baltimore...Do you know about Howard Finster's Paradise Cardens? He was an american original.

Amy said...

Always great photos when Reya is visible somewhere in them!

Elizabeth said...

Such a blue blue sky!
Regarding yesterday's post, I agree that the mind doesn't age but the body does.
At 59 I fear I am verging on OLD but I feel about 39 like Jack Benny.....

California Girl said...

It's been twenty years since we left Richmond, Va. and I still miss the area. My clients were in D.C. and Baltimore so I spent alot of time in both cities. Best parts were the restaurants. In those days, the Aquarium was new as was the waterfront area. I really loved it. We were down in DC about 5 years ago and it's been too long. You provide intimate and neighborly looks at the cities.

Fire Byrd said...

Spent a day at the aquarium in Baltimore, followed by the Hard rock cafe..... does that count?

Reya Mellicker said...

Rothko I heard that all day today from clients. That the crime rate, the drugs and awfulness make it a hard city to enjoy.

Thank goodness I love DC so much!

Reya Mellicker said...

Rothko - thanks! Hampden NOT Campden. Duh.

Reya Mellicker said...

Deborah, so nice to see you here! That water exhibit was the best collection I've ever seen at AVAM.

Blonder than You - OF COURSE you love the Visionary Museum. YES the gift shop is amazing, too. I have to remember at Christmas time to get up there.

The cherry trees are popping and I'm so excited to be in DC. Home sweet home.

Washington Cube said...

Not to mention the Hon Fest and movies under the stars in Little Italy (they always show Moonstruck,) and Christmas in Hampden which I've blogged about and the Chanukkah House (equally bloggable,) and the Hot August Blues Festival and the great Pigtown area (Carl's Little House...a biker bar at Hamburg and Ostend,) and hot rod Grease Ball and the annual Night of 100 Elvises. Even if you don't MOVE there, there is a ton to do. Puh-leeze.

Thus spaketh the all-seeing Cube eye.

Merle Sneed said...

I loved the pix of you caught in the reflection.

Ronda Laveen said...

Ronda here! Logging in, late, as usual. With my schedule, I always feel like a late comer to the party. Or maybe an early arrival to the "after party."

Let's see. On the surface, this post seems simple but on a deeper level I notice my neurons firing like the Feds at Bonnie & Clyde.

Firstly, I have never been to AVAM, but the placement of the "Big Eye" looks like your 3rd Eye, placed perfectly for inward, clear seeing.

Secondly, a store that sell shoes and chocolate? My Orgasmatron is going to short circuit...crcuit... circuit...circut...

Thirdly, Kinetic Sculpture Race? On the left coast, there is one every year just 3 hours from me in Ferndale, a few miles south of Eureka. An outstanding, creative event.

Fourthly, "stranger in a strange land"? A Robert A. Heinlein reference? It can be no other.

Fifthyly, "a weirdo in a land of braniac achievers..." Sorry to disturb the status quo, but, my dear dopelganger, you are a "braniac achiever." That category doesn't, by defination, require a PHd.

Sixtly, It is fun to get out of the neighborhood!!! Tonight, with the week I've had and the bodies that have needed rebalancing and restructuring, one or two bourbons down the road, I am relaxing and releasing (passing out?). Economic slow down? I don't see it. I see a whole lot of STRESSED OUT beings out there. I am not complaining. This is just an observance. But my booty is tired tonight and I'm on again tomorrow. Pray for me!!

LUV, R

lettuce said...

flamenco is so fiery, that would have been great to see.

I love living in London but getting out from time to time is vital

Reya Mellicker said...

Ronda I've been so busy, too! At tense moments like right now, people need healing. It's a good profession, but like you, I am totally exhausted from my day yesterday. Sheesh.

OMG - that IS a pic of my third eye, isn't it? Time to dial it down from wide open, I guess!