The Wire fans will recognize Highlandtown as the rapidly gentrifying home to organized-crime boss "The Greek." The show's dockworkers might have resented this blue-collar neighborhood's art-renewal initiative, but it's a fun place to spend the day. Start your adventures at the 137-acre Patterson Park, where bike races, ethnic festivals, and flea markets dominate in warmer months. Check the park's Website for a full schedule of activities. Stand atop the pagoda for panoramic views of the city, then head to Eastern Avenue for bargain shopping. Stop into Value Village (3424 Eastern Ave.; 410-327-5300) for gently used boots that cost only a few bucks. A few doors down, stop into the Creative Alliance to check out a gallery show, concert, or play. Cap off the day with a game of duckpin (a pint-size version of bowling) at Patterson’s Bowling Center; games are $4 per person and drinks are BYO. After tallying up your scorecards, grab a mouth-watering, thick-crust slice at Matthew’s Pizza (3131 Eastern Ave.; 410-276-8755), open since 1943.
The Five-Point Weekend Escape Plan
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5. Oddball Day
Published on May 14, 2008 as a web exclusive.