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Keyword: discover baltimore

I’ll be honest, I’m not a city person. In graduate school, I lived in a city. I tried to like it. I desperately tried to embrace and thrive in the city. But the truth is, I like trees. I love the mountains. The color green in nature brings me joy and a sense of safety. So, when I took my job as the Communication Associate, I did hesitate because it meant moving from a small mountain town in Pennsylvania to Baltimore. Not just any city, but Baltimore, where the reputation made a country girl like me scared. But here I am, three and a half years later, and I love Baltimore.

Baltimore has its problems, but every community has problems and struggles. What national media fails to share is what we see in local news and by being involved in the local community. In the City of Neighborhoods (no really, that’s one of our nicknames and there are a lot of neighborhoods) community organizations thrive. The Enoch Pratt Free Library was voted as a top 10 finalist in the Reader’s Digest’s 2018 Nicest Places in America (I wrote a blog about it). Our marathon may not be famous like New York City, Boston or Chicago, but the Baltimore Running Festival aims to get everyone involved with a 5K for all ages, team relay (14 and up), a half marathon, the marathon and for those crazy runners that want to embrace their bit of crazy the BaltiMORON-a-thon that is the 5k and the half-Marathon. Whether in Little Italy with multi-colored strung lights across the street or Butcher’s Hill with easy access to Patterson Park, every community has a defining vibe and community characteristics.

Weekend mornings in Baltimore can be a variety of things, from the Baltimore Farmers’ Market & Bazaar and smaller neighborhood famers’ markets to street festivals like Hon Fest. Every fall the Baltimore Book Festival takes over Federal Hill and this year will be partnering with Light City for the first time. Community gardens are becoming more and more popular throughout the city and offer more opportunities for the people to come together.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m still not a city girl, but Baltimore has become a home for me because of the people. Despite what national media coverage on Baltimore would imply, it is a city made up of hardworking, committed individuals who work together to improve city conditions in their communities. It’s a wonderful place to call home.

Sunday, October 7 is the 169th anniversary of Edgar Allan Poe’s death, and Baltimore is where he died and was buried. Many Charm City natives celebrate his death with some readings of “The Raven” or watching for the new “Poe Toaster” (originally, an anonymous person who brought three red roses and a bottle of cognac to Poe’s grave for 60 years). I, on the other hand, have a different recommendation. Stop by the Annabel Lee Tavern in Canton for a delicious meal and a decadent Poe-themed mixed drink.

Even before a patron walks into the Annabel Lee Tavern, the ominous nature of Poe’s writing also seeps from the bar to the door.

Annabel Lee Tavern Door

And upon opening the door, a patron’s eyes will immediately be drawn to the mantel on the far side of the bar.

Inside Annabel Lee Tavern

In addition to featuring an Edgar Allan Poe Drink list of martinis and cocktails inspired by the life and writings of the poet, Annabel Lee Tavern serves upscale pub food such as Duck Fat Fries, “Resurrection Mac n Cheese” and Grilled Mahi Mahi alongside classics such as Nachos and a BBQ Pulled Pork Sandwich.

And while you eat, be warry of the ravens watching. You might just imagine them whispering “nevermore.” 

Raven on a light

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.