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The Five-Point Weekend Escape Plan

Go Neighborhood-Hopping in Baltimore


3. What to Do

The Open Walls street-art project in the Station North neighborhood.  

Hang with hipsters in Hampden, a popular neighborhood of galleries, bars, and boutiques that feels a little like Williamsburg ten years ago. Get a Counter Culture pour-over and sage-flecked egg sandwich at Artifact (breakfast from $6), then catch the latest at Gallery 788, where recent exhibition themes include Skate Culture and Elements: A Metal Art Show. Afterward, shop for art and apparel at Minás Gallery and Boutique, where painter Minás Konsolas sells well-priced vintage clothing (sport coats from $20) and displays contemporary collections from local artists. Toast your acquisition with one of 40 wines by the glass at nearby 13.5% Wine Bar (from $6).

Go on an art crawl in Station North, Baltimore’s newest arts district. Stroll along North Avenue, Charles, and Barclay Streets to see 23 murals and installations by 30 local and international taggers like Gaia, Momo, Vhils, and Freddy Sam. All are part of Open Walls, a city-supported, groundbreaking street-art project that transformed the once-desolate neighborhood into an open-air gallery. Then, step inside Area 405, an abandoned warehouse turned exhibition space and residence for 40 international artists. Twice monthly, it hosts dinner-and-a-movie nights, screening pulp flicks like Lolita and Cape Fear while neighborhood residents lounge on couches strewn throughout the gallery ($15 tickets include three-course BYOB dinner; check website for reservations and show times).

Join the party at Joe Squared, a neighborhood club favored by local artists for its late hours, live music, and signature coal-fired, square-shaped pizzas. Acoustic sets typically play throughout dinner service, but by 9 or 10 p.m., tables are pushed aside and the space transforms into a bona fide concert hall and dance club (no cover, craft beer and cocktails from $5.50). Acts like the Lily Kills, Reina Williams, and D.J. Napspace keep the multicultural, multigenerational crowd dancing until dawn or last call—whichever comes first.

Published on Oct 17, 2013 as a web exclusive.

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