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Coming from a small town in Central Pennsylvania where farms were abundant, I miss the farmers’ markets and driving up to the houses in the Amish communities for the freshest produce. I have been discovering farmers’ trucks along the side of the road, but I miss the experience of what I refer to as Farmers’ Market Day. When my coworkers told me about the Baltimore Farmers’ Market and Bazaar, I knew this was something that couldn’t wait on my Discovering Baltimore list.

Every Sunday, the Baltimore’s Farmers’ Market and Bazaar takes place under highway Mushroom Stand83 from 7 a.m. to sell out, typically around noon. The market usually runs from mid-April through mid-December. The market is also a bit of a bazaar where local craftsmen have items for sale and some vendors sell delectable items for customers’ breakfast, lunch or brunch. There was one stand that only sold mushrooms while another specialized in pickles. Add a fruit salsa stand and I was no longer surprised by what I would come across as I wandered through the expansive market.

I prefer to buy my weekly veggies from the small family farmers’ stands. This week I Knopp's Farm Standwas delighted by Knopp’s Farm from Severn, Maryland. Although I didn’t buy any sweet potatoes this week, I did purchase some juicy blueberries and a small basket of mixed squash. In addition to the last snow peas for the season and lettuce from a few other stands, I purchased some bread from a local bakery. The Breadery stone grinds the flour and uses whole grains, even in the white Montana Bread. I chose the hearty Orange Cranberry Pecan loaf, which makes a delicious peanut butter sandwich.

With free parking in a few parking lots and the Mercy Hospital garage, the Baltimore The Day's PurchasesFarmers’ Market and Bazaar was easy to get to and a wonderful experience. For all of you moving to Baltimore for the coming year, or thinking of applying to the Bloomberg School, The Baltimore Farmers’ Market and Bazaar is an absolute must.

When I moved here 8 months ago, a big part of my decision of where to live had to do with the commute into the East Baltimore/Medical Campus.

Personally, I knew I wanted to live in the suburbs and chose north of the outer loop Charles Village(695) in the Timonium/Lutherville area. I love my choice and getting to campus is easy. I get on 83 South and my satellite parking lot is two blocks away from my exit. I then take a free shuttle from the parking lot to campus. Most mornings it takes me about 25 minutes to get to work by 7:30 a.m. However, if I’m running late or there is an accident, the commute can take up to an hour. (I’d like to note that I usually miss the majority of rush hour traffic and I don’t experience too many accidents.)

I’ve learned that the west side of Baltimore on 695 and 795 tend to have a lot of traffic during rush hour—at least that is what my radio station’s traffic reports imply. On the south and east side, 95 is another highway that gets backed up very quickly. However, if you want a suburb on the west side, Owings Mills is the start of the metro subway line and it runs straight to Johns Hopkins Hospital, which is across the street from the Bloomberg School of Public Health.

A lot of students choose to live near the Homewood Campus in Charles Village. JHU runs a free shuttle regularly between the Homewood and Johns Hopkins Medical Institute (two blocks from the main Bloomberg building). That shuttle also stops at the Peabody Institute, which is in Mt. Vernon, another popular place for students. If you are looking for more of a city experience, then Canton, Fell’s Point, Harbor East, and the Inner Harbor might be the place for you. These “city” neighborhoods are easily assessable by bike, public transit and Baltimore’s free bus, the Charm City Circulator.

For those of you who want to walk to campus every day, there are a few apartment options surrounding our campus. New apartment buildings have been added recently and there are several townhouse options in most directions from campus.

Hopefully this insight into how to get from future neighborhoods to campus will help you in deciding where to live in Baltimore. Some helpful websites for finding places to live are as follows:

We had an interesting winter here in Baltimore with the record snow fall, but I think I can officially say the spring weather has arrived. April definitely began like a lion, but it left like a lamb with beautiful 70-80 degree weather. Spring also means that the local festivals and events are beginning.

At the beginning of April, despite some cool evenLight Cityings, Baltimore hosted the inaugural Light City, “A festival of light, music and innovation.” Designed along the inner harbor, people gathered to see light displays that incorporated storytelling, motion and sound. The weeklong festival was declared a success and planning is already in motion for the 2017 Light City to be expanded to 10 days. To the right is a picture my co-worker’s husband took.

Personally, I’m really looking forward to the Baltimore Book Festival. After all, anything involving books is pretty awesome, but a three day festival in the fall? Baltimore can count on me being there!

Being new to the city, this coming summer I’ll be writing several posts about discovering Baltimore. I hope you join me as I explore the many different festivals and events that make up the community fondly known as Charm City. And since I won’t be able to attend every single event, here is a great listing that allows you to filter the events.

As I learned when I started here at the Bloomberg School of Public Health, Public Health is about serving the communities and the population, rather than the individual. All our students have a particular focus on what topic in a particular community or population they want to work with, whether it is toilets in India, Dengue Virus research, gun policy, or one of the thousands of other topics being researched and studied. But putting into practice what you’re learning in the Baltimore community is a wonderful opportunity open to all Bloomberg students.Student Volunteering

The Student Outreach Resource Center (SOURCE) was founded ten years ago to connect the Bloomberg School of Public Health, the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine and the Johns Hopkins School of Nursing with the Baltimore community. Partnering with a large number of organizations ranging from advocacy, chronic/infectious diseases, and tutoring/mentoring, students from the medical campus are able to reach out with their personal skills and expertise and practice public health in our urban setting. Whether students are looking for a short term or long term commitment, our students have the opportunity to put into practice the very ideas they are discussing during class in the community.

Our tagline is Protecting Health, Saving Lives-Millions at a Time. That tagline isn’t just referring to the work as a whole the School is doing, or what our alumni have and are accomplishing, it also is for our current students who volunteer in Baltimore thanks to the opportunities SOURCE provides.

I apologize for the silence.

We’ve been busy – in part with our usual spring tasks of preparing for Orientation and fall recruitment– but also with talking about and reflecting upon the events surrounding Freddie Gray’s death.

On Wednesday, April 29, the Bloomberg School held a town hall of students, alumni, faculty and staff to discuss our commitment to this city and the challenges its people face. Today, the School is hosting “Engage Baltimore: A Day of Reflection and Progress.” This event features speakers and performances from the community providing a venue for attendees to find ways of moving forward together.

To keep the momentum toward meaningful change, the Bloomberg School has also launched a website, Engage Baltimore, with daily updates, volunteer opportunities, and a news feed highlighting public health efforts and heroes in our neighborhood.

Like so many cities, Baltimore has a host of complex issues that will not be easy to solve. But finding solutions that help whole communities is what public health is all about.

We’re proud of our school and its commitment to this city. And we’re proud of this city, its efforts toward healing and that we call it home.

View of Baltimore from JHSPH ninth floor