A Roundup of Awesome Things To Do in Fell’s Point, Baltimore

Sometimes I can’t just write about one location in a piece. Sometimes an area warrants a roundup piece which includes multiple sites within close proximity to each other. Fell’s Point is one of these cases. Fell’s Point, Baltimore is the section of Baltimore with the highest concentration of pubs and bars. Now that we’re all clear on my attraction to the area, we can get to the details. Pubs and bars aren’t the only thing in this trendy-enough-to-make-you-happy-to-be-there-without-suffocating-you neighborhood. From art galleries to record shops and fudge stores to music in the square, a handful of awesome places caught my eye in Fell’s Point. Without any further ado, I shall share with you these gems I found in a city I formally hated.

First and foremost, there is the hotel in which I spent the night. The Admiral Inn is a quaint and classic hotel right smack in the middle of the Fell’s Point area. Some locals told me it is actually the only hotel in the area. If that’s not a reason enough to stay there, I’ll give you a few others:

1. The bed was ridiculously comfortable.
2. I hear the place is haunted.
3. The cafe next door, Meli, is great for breakfast in the morning or lunch or dinner.
4. They have this in-room service where they’ll bring you anything from ice cream and chocolates to wine and roses.
5. Their soap/shampoo/lotion collection is eco-friendly.
6. They have tea and wine most nights of the week in the lobby.

Cat’s Eye Pub is not only on this list because it is a teal pub and I’m a sucker for that color, but it’s also my cousin’s favorite bar. He’s been going there for nearly 15 years now and he insisted on taking me through the place. The Sunday afternoon stench was surely that of lingering Saturday night regret, but I mean that in the best way possible. The pub has live music most nights and one of the most interesting collections of random memorabilia on the walls and ceilings I have yet to see in a bar. They also have a window looking onto the water and beers I highly approve of on tap.

TAG art galleries rocks. They sell some incredibly twisted, and thereby awesome, prints on canvas and paper alike.

Java-Roo fudge and coffee shop is adorable. I stopped in just for an iced soy chai latte and ended up chatting with the incredibly helpful, well-mannered, and music-knowledgable, Dave, who told me all about how he got robbed at knife point from his home the night before. But don’t worry, that was regular Baltimore–not Fell’s point. He chopped me off a square of English Toffee fudge and honestly, I really enjoyed it until my cavities started kicking in later on. His music he played was great and the vibe of the place was nice—especially for some downtime during the afternoon.

El Suprimo Record shop was musty and dark like your favorite uncle’s basement. You know, that basement you snuck into so you could leaf through his albums while he was at work and pretend you didn’t see the bong he hides behind the motorcycle? Oh what…you don’t have that uncle?

The Sound Garden, on the other hand, was a much larger record shop. It’s a big place that reminds me of what Amoeba might have once been with in-store performances, massive music collections, stickers, and candy. It’s big enough that you could get lost for a day, but not big enough to be considered ‘evil’ by underground music enthusiasts.

And there you have it, folks. A comprehensive map of my own footsteps, birthed only to guide your own feet around this, believe it or not, attractive section of Baltimore, Maryland.

By: Elizabeth Seward

Baltimore: Turning A New Leaf

I was born in Baltimore. By the time I was five years old, my family moved to Ohio and I was raised there partially because of how badly my family wanted to take me and my siblings away from the crime that Baltimore is so notoriously known for. Cities are cities and I can’t blame any parent of three children for wanting to transplant their children into a small, beautiful mid-western town instead of the city. So we packed our bags into our Toyota and we moved to Marietta, Ohio before I’d even begun my formal education. We visited Baltimore often and throughout my youth, it was a beacon of cultural light I looked forward to experiencing a few times a year. There were black people in Baltimore. There were asian people in Baltimore, too. There were street dancers, street musicians, street food, and street people I was told to stay away from.

The biggest problem in Marietta, Ohio was the tractors on the road slowing down all of the traffic and the skateboarding hooligans who refused to stop doing their skate tricks on the fountain downtown. One of them even put bubble bath in the fountain one summer and the town was on fire. Well, the front street of the town did literally catch on fire once. It burned down the only record shop we had. There was also a flood that swallowed our town whole once and a hurricane. I missed the hurricane because I was in Baltimore and I think that was the only time in my youth that I had wished I was in Marietta instead of Baltimore. (I was always a bit of an adrenaline-junkie).

When I moved to New York City at age 18, I slowly developed a distaste for Baltimore that I couldn’t shake. New York City was the real city in my eyes. Baltimore was a god forsaken ghetto land wherein I was born and I rarely disclosed that information to anyone; citing Ohio as my only home.

So you’re probably wondering why I just told you all of this crap about me and my relationship with Baltimore. It’s simple really. With the exception of starry-eyed country children from the woods, Baltimore is a city that is easy to hate. That’s why my parents left it and that’s why I never returned as an adult. (With the exception of one embarrassingly horrible show Devola had once in 2005 at a place I think was called Brass Monkey where the owner made us give him a check on deposit just to play incase we didn’t bring enough people to the show. And if my memory serves me correctly, he wouldn’t so much as give us a free beer).

I never returned to Baltimore until recently. Not only did I just have a great show in Columbia, Maryland this past weekend, but the time I spent down the street from the bus stop in Baltimore gave me something to look forward to the next time I’m in town.

On the 1700 block of N. Charles Street, Baltimore has got something to offer. Three places, in particular, are quaintly packed in next to each other and could fill an evening with fun alone, without any Baltimore street activity.

Here’s my recommendation:

1. Go to Tapas Teatro for top of the line tapas and sangria. The decor is amazing, the crowd is great, the staff are friendly, and the food and sangria are mouth-watering.

2. Catch a flick at the Charles Theatre next door. It’s a gaping avant-guarde spot with holiday lights streaming across the ceiling, an old school snack stand, and quirky decorations throughout. They play some new release mainstream movies, but old, foreign, and indie movies are their specialty.

3. Get dessert crepes at Sofi’s Crepes on the other side of the theater. This cute little crepe joint offers entree and dessert crepes. The best part? They have coffee ice cubse in their iced coffee and an occasional in-house dog who will lick your hand and ask you nicely to share the grapes and pretzels from your purse with him. You know…if you have grapes and pretzels in your purse.

I don’t love Baltimore. There are many cities I adore and Baltimore is not one of them and may never be. Maybe too much of my past is painted darkly all over the town. Maybe I have too many bad memories of trying to fall asleep as a little girl in bed with my sister, singing so we wouldn’t have to hear the fighting next door or outside. But if my predisposition toward Baltimore was icy my entire adult life, we can safely consider it slushy now.

By: Elizabeth Seward