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Keyword: baltimore

Last spring was the inaugural LightCity Baltimore, where technology and art merged for a weeklong event at the Inner Harbor (check out last year’s blog that mentioned LightCity). With family friendly activities, foodie favorite vendors and local band performances, LightCity Baltimore was declared a success and advertised its 2017 return before the inaugural week was over.

While the favorites from last year remain, one of the additions to the 2017 Light City Baltimore are daytime “labs”, or mini-conferences, open to the public. With the HealthLab kicking off the series, the Bloomberg School was right there with faculty, current students and an alumna presenting.

Jeffrey Kahn, Director of the Berman Institute of Bioethics, spoke on the ethics of genetic editing. At the basis of all advancements he asked, “How do we control these kinds of technologies? Science does not know borders.”

Later in the day a fourth year PhD student in the Department of Mental Health, David Fakunle, and MPH alumna Sonia Sarkar presented on the important role community engagement plays on health. And current part-time MPH student Nick Rodricks got things moving—literally—while speaking about building community through fitness.

With all the buzz surrounding this year’s LightCity, I can only imagine what next year’s event will bring!

Home of the Orioles

Happy opening day, Baltimore! The opening pitch is set for 3:05 this afternoon. Let’s go O’s!

For over 70 years, 34th street has been lit up every December to welcome in the holiday season. Fondly known to locals as The Miracle on 34th Street, the block is located in the neighborhood of Hampden and attracts visitors from all over the city and world (there is a Japanese documentary on the annual light display). It was all started by a boy who loved putting a string of lights up on a tree in the front yard when growing up on 34th street.

Hampden is a neighborhood near the Homewood campus (main campus for Johns Hopkins) and is one of the places students choose to live.

Here’s a peek at the festive display.

Hampden Lights1

Hampden Lights 2

Hampden Lights 3

Hampden Lights 4

I’ve now been a Maryland resident for 9 months, but it didn’t take me that long to discover there are three things Maryland takes very seriously: Crabs, Old Bay and Crab Cakes. Yes, crabs are separate from crab cakes.

I personally never understood the whole crab cake thing until a few years ago when visiting a friend and I had one in Annapolis. It was by far the best crab cake I’d ever had, and it wasn’t 75% bread, 25% imitation crab. It was more like 75% real crab and 25% filler. So I became a fan. And then I moved to Baltimore.Crab Cake Platter

As with any city, there are about ten places that claim to have the best of the state’s specialty. Since arriving, I’ve been trying each out (all for you of course,) and I have to say, yes they were good. But nothing that really screamed at me as the best. Most of them have very little filler and depending on how spicy you like your food would depend which one you like best—I prefer less spice. But then, I went to Pappas. I quickly realized why these crab cakes made Oprah’s Favorite Things.

This crab cake was one of the best things I’ve ever eaten. There was absolutely no breaded filler! It was lump crab meat with some spices, all held together by their special mayonnaise mix. 100% large lumps of crab, cooked to perfection. And it actually tasted like crab! This delectable crab cake is by far the best crab cake I’ve ever had. Never mind Baltimore, I’m going to say it’s the best in the USA! And making it even better, you can ship crab cakes across the county for a delectable treat.

So when you come to Baltimore to visit the Bloomberg School, be a classic Marylander and stop by Pappas for their Crab Cake Platter. Trust me, you’ll be glad you did!

Planet Sculpture

Earlier this month was Baltimore’s annual Artscape, the largest free arts festival in the nation. This year’s festival theme was “Explore What’s Out There.” There were several sculptures around the blocked off streets. The one pictured above is of the planets in our solar system. Each planet was accompanied by a sign with facts about its physicality and differences with Earth. The coolest location in the sculpture was Earth because it came with street dancers and a DJ. It was a great area to enjoy some food truck Crossroads Bistro Truckdeliciousness.

With the food truck options, I was not about to stop at one of the restaurants bordering Artscape. After much deliberation, I indulged in Crossroads Bistro Truck, which features combining two cultures into one dish. I stayed pretty tame and had the American-Mexican mix of the Rueben Quesadilla. Let me tell you, it was spot on. The Greek Salad Spring Rolls were also tempting, but I needed to save room for that all American funnel cake from a more traditional food stand. (I still don’t understand why fried dough tastes so good.)

Rueben QuesadillaFunnel Cake

One thing I really enjoyed about Artscape was the way strangers were able to come together around art. Although a permanent sculpture on the Maryland Institute College of Art (MICA)’s campus, I enjoyed watching strangers determined to move the rocks to change the balance of the baskets in the sculpture “Ripple.” I never saw ripples made from the baskets dropping into the water, but I saw many ripples as we tossed the rocks and missed the basket and in a philosophical sense many people joined in after watching a few people struggle to make a change in the cantilevers. In addition to conversing over permanent sculptures, the festival gave the Baltimore community a chance to see the artwork of many local artists as well as student artists at MICA.Ripple

While I perused the Artists’ Market, and picked out my mother’s Christmas present, I enjoyed learning about food in outer space. As with all festivals, there were many activities for the kids. While I didn’t explore Kidscape, which always features hands-on activities for the kids, I did enjoy a tent that presented the combination of science and culinary art to sustain astronauts.

Despite the heat, Artscape was a wonderful evening out. It is officially on my list of annual activities.