Skip Navigation


Admissions Blog

Keyword: discovering baltimore

Last Friday my friends and I spent the evening downtown. As we were heading out of the city, my friend excitedly suggested we get hot chocolate. As it was a cold night, I too thought this was a lovely idea. What I didn’t know was that she wanted a hot chocolate from Little Italy. My friend and I agreed that a cannoli would be a great dessert to accompany our hot chocolate. We quickly found parking not too far from Little Italy and walked to the Italian bakery.

The Little Italy neighborhood stands out from the surrounding area thanks to the multi colored lights strung across the main street that is filled with authentic Italian restaurants. When we reached Vaccaro’s, we crowded into the long line for a sweet treat. The seated section was already filled with people enjoying meals, pastries and gelato.

Pastry display at Vaccaro's

After the chilly walk, I decided to indulge in a hot chocolate as well as a mini cannoli. This hot chocolate was the best hot chocolate I have ever had. Besides being creamy, each sip burst with smooth chocolate followed by a nutty richness. The cannoli also balanced delicate flavors and is among the best I’ve tasted.

If you’re looking for a quaint neighborhood within Baltimore to live, I highly recommend Little Italy. And if you are simply looking for a sweet treat or someplace to celebrate finishing a project, finals or results from a research study, enjoy the delicacies of Vaccaro’s.

Me with my hot chocolate and cannolis

Me at SamosBaltimore – and Maryland– cuisine tends to revolve around blue crabs. And, while I have blogged about my favorite crab cake and my experience picking crabs, today I want to introduce you to a wonderful little restaurant in Greektown.

On the corner of two neighborhood streets, Samos almost blends in to the row of houses. But, as soon as you open the restaurant doors, you are flooded with the scents of Greek and Mediterranean cooking thanks to the open kitchen design. With a full menu of traditional Greek food, it was difficult to decide, but eventually I chose two appetizers, the spanakopita and a lamb skewer with slices of pita. Both were perfection; the lamb tender and perfectly seasoned and the spanakopita had the proper amount of spinach to feta proportions. My coworker, Lauren, loved her shrimp gyro and cup of chicken noodle soup.

Lamb Skewers


Shrimp Gyro

If the pictures don’t further convince you of your need to visit this delightful, local spot, I don’t know what will. But be assured, you won’t be disappointed by this local highlight.


A friend of mine recently informed me that one of her favorite things about Baltimore is that you can go from city, to suburb, to rural all within five miles. I don’t know if that’s necessarily true throughout all of Baltimore, but it does seem fairly accurate when you live on the outer edges of the city. True or not, the Baltimore area does have plenty of U-Pick farms. And I love to spend a Saturday picking fresh produce.

My first U-Pick experience in Maryland was at Baugher’s Orchard and Farm. It is much farther outside Baltimore in Westminster, Maryland (Westminster is northwest of Baltimore). This orchard truly caters to the family experience. In addition to picking your own fruit, there is a petting zoo, a child’s dream of a playground, a family restaurant and market.

Sydney feeds a llamaLarriland Farm quickly became one of my favorite farms as it is a wonderful place for both the family experience as well as the young adult afternoon out. As a farm, Larriland offers U-pick vegetables and fruit. Whether you want to pick your own kale, carrots, beets and other vegetables, or pick your own fruit from apples, peaches and cherries to black raspberries to blueberries, this is the place to go. And perhaps the best perk is that you can pet and feed the farm’s llama (see the picture of my co-worker’s daughter on the right)! This farm is west of Baltimore off of I-70 and about 45 minutes outside the city.

My most recent, and favorite, experience took place at Weber’s Farm. This farm is very close to Baltimore and what caused my friend to comment on how quickly you move from city to farm land. In Parkville, which is on the northeast side of Baltimore, Weber’s is a much smaller farm and a quieter experience. Still wonderful for children, the festivals and petting zoo take place in a different location. So whether you’re picking blueberries, blackberries, peaches or apples, you will hear the birds chirping amid the delight of children’s exclamations. U-pick hours are limited so it’s import to check their Facebook page for the most up-to-date hours.

As I’m sitting here writing, and snacking on some of the best blueberries I’ve ever had (thanks Weber’s Farm!), I encourage you to take some time and go experience a U-pick farm.

The last week in Baltimore has felt more summer like than spring, but nobody on the East Baltimore Medical Campus is complaining. Here are some photos of our green spaces in the middle of the city.

Students, Faculty and Staff eat lunch in the courtyard

Medical School Courtyard

Outside Hampton House

Students walk along N Broadway


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!