Holiday Craft Fairs Come to Baltimore
By Liz Creed
During the holiday season Baltimore is home to holiday fairs and exhibitions that are perfect for gift giving and as a way to spend quality time with friends and family. Throughout the month of December, holiday fairs featuring unique crafts, products and experiences can be found throughout the city.
Monument Lighting Ceremony and Family Festival
The Walter Art Museum will be hosting the Monument Lighting Ceremony and Family Festival on December 1st. From 5p.m. to 8:30p.m. the museum will be hosting a series of events centered around the holidays including family holiday films, cookies and cider, themed crafts and special art exhibits. The Monument will be lit at 7p.m. with fireworks to follow.
The Holiday Heap is a craft fair taking place on December 3rd from 10a.m. to 5p.m. in the St. John’s Church. Over 40 Baltimore crafters will be featured, each bringing their own unique crafts to the fair. A complete list of vendors can be found on Charm City Craft Mafia’s website.
MICA Art Market
The MICA Art Market will be featuring products made exclusively by MICA students, faculty, staff and alumni. From December 8th to December 11th from 10a.m. to 6p.m. interested shoppers can find these original crafts in the Brown Center’s Leidy Atrium, Falvey Hall lobby and Rosenberg Gallery. Josephine Willliams, a junior communications student at Loyola plans on visiting the Art Market with her roommates before going home for the holidays.“ I’ll probably get most of my Christmas shopping done there.”
Notra Dame of Maryland University Holiday Bazaar
For those on the “Nice List” who want to sit on Santa’s lap, the Notre Dame of Maryland University Holiday Bazaar is a family-friendly event. On December 3rd, visitors to Notre Dame’s campus can purchase holiday gifts while visiting Santa and engaging in holiday activities.
A Night of Broken Solidarity
By: Margaret George
They say you never know a man until you’ve walked a day in his shoes. Well then, how about spending a night on his steps? On November 19, about 20 Loyola students ventured to city hall in an attempt to raise awareness and spend one night in solidarity with the homeless for the “Bench is not a Bed” cause.
Loyola has been doing this program for a few years, along with a few other universities including Johns Hopkins, Goucher and University of Maryland. Julia Benner, a freshman at Loyola, was one of the twenty participants. Her ambition was to learn more about the program. After seeing posters around campus she went to the Internet to register to sleep-out, “I’d never done anything like it before and I thought it would be an eye-opening experience,” Benner exclaimed.
The night started with the students participating in information and meditation sessions. “We listened to the stories of some people that had experienced homelessness. Then we split up into groups to learn about different issues that impact Baltimore’s homelessness,” Benner explained. Benner was also one of the few students who took a tour around Baltimore where they were able to see shelters and learn about certain food programs in the city.
The night continued to move smoothly until the Baltimore police forced the group to move from the steps of city hall to the area where the Occupiers were. Benner who prepared for a good night of solidarity, expressed disappointment when rehashing that, “We stayed with them overnight and left at 7 am the following morning.”
Beloved Landmark Up In Smoke
By Meagan Mallen
Where there’s smoke, there’s fire, a lesson Baltimoreans learned this past Halloween at about 4:30 a.m. when the local Mt. Washington Tavern went up in flames. The Tavern, also known as “Sparwasser’s” after its original owner, has been a fixture in the Mt. Washington area of Baltimore since its establishment in 1979.
The fire was estimated to have caused $2.5 million in damage and the cause is still unknown. The two-alarm fire ravaged the building and left it looking “devastated,” though no one was injured in the blaze. According to a statement made by the tavern’s two owners Rob Frisch and Dave Lichty, “The fire has taken the Tavern for now but we look very forward to rebuilding and being better than ever.”
Loyola University students and Baltimore residents alike appreciate the nostalgia the Tavern setting evokes. Michelle Mallen, a student acquiring her Master's of Art in Teaching at Loyola's Graduate school said “it’s really charming in the winter, it’s a quaint place to go to get warm.” She added that “it’s also really nice in the summer. There’s a balcony on the roof where you can hang out and drink or eat. I hope it opens back up soon!” The “Sky Bar” she mentioned was a particular draw of the restaurant.
Frisch and Lichty are hoping to have the Tavern rebuilt as soon as possible in a way that won’t compromise the history of the building. As reported by a note on the Tavern facebook page: “We…look forward to celebrating with you at our grand re-opening.”
Black Friday in Maryland
By Liz Creed
Black Friday in Maryland
‘Tis the season to shop! Thousands of Maryland shoppers fled to the stores on Black Friday this past week in search of the best deals and the perfect gifts. Black Friday of 2011 was unlike any previous Black Friday shopping day with its earlier opening times and online shopping trends.
Black Friday shoppers wait in the dark outside of Best Buy for some of the store's best deals.
Traditionally, Black Friday is when stores open their doors during the ungodly hours of the morning, offering the best deals on high-priced and sought-after products. This year, however, malls and individual stores opened their doors at midnight, with some even opening Thanksgiving night. In Maryland, Arundel Mills Mall opened at midnight, Toys R Us in Towson began its deals at 9 p.m. Thanksgiving night as well as Walmart at 10 p.m.
There was some conflict of opinion regarding the operating Thanksgiving shopping hours this season. Many feel that Thanksgiving should be about family and being thankful, while other shoppers feel as though this is an opportunity to save even more money during a tough economic time. Leigh Erlandson of Lutherville, a shopper waiting in line at Toys R Us on Thursday evening, said that she understood why people would be opposed to shopping on Thanksgiving but also said, “I also think in this economy, it's important for people to save a little…These are businesses. They're out looking to make money. That's their job. You can't stop that."
For many, the early hours, crowded malls and long lines are not the ideal way to spend the holiday weekend. Online shopping is an opportunity for those who prefer to stay at home and avoid the zoo-like parking lots and never-ending lines. About 47 percent of consumers will be doing some form of online shopping, up from 44 percent in 2010. It is also estimated that 70 percent of tablet owners and about 50 percent of smart phone owners will use their devices to purchase items and to research products.
If you felt too full from Thanksgiving dinner and could not make it out to the stores or simply did not know how to tackle Black Friday, it is important to know that there are still plenty of sales and good discounts throughout the holiday shopping season. Experts are recommending to do research before you buy a product and to familiarize yourself with upcoming sales and return policies from your favorite retailers. Social media sites such as Facebook and Twitter have constant updates as well as access to mobile coupons and online discounts. It is also recommended that shoppers utilize retail apps on iPhones and tablets that offer product information, inventory and special discounts.
For all you bar lovers out there, here is a list of the top five places to get a drink in Baltimore. Whether your taste is simple or eclectic there is a bar in Baltimore for you. Here is a list of bars that stretch from Fell's Point to Mount Vernon. Each bar is given a ranking from 1 to 10 based on the following criteria: quality of service, value, bar size, beer selection, ambiance, elbow room and bathroom.
This place is always packed, but the bartenders surprisingly do a great job of keeping your drinks coming. Don't be intimidated by the 140 beers on tap or the 1,200 bottled beers in stock, the bartenders are very helpful when it comes to finding a beer that suits your taste buds. If you're not a fan of talking to people, you can always get your hands on one of the beer reference sheets that are scattered around the tap house, but be mindful of your spending, these rarities come with a cost. When you've had enough beer to force you to break the seal you may find yourself waiting in line for a stall, but the pink flamingo on the wall will keep your mind occupied and the automatic sinks, though low pressure, are pretty nifty. This taphouse is popular so if you don't do well with crowds find a bar that isn't as well known.
Woody's is a hidden oasis and the closest thing you'll get to the beach while roaming the city streets of Baltimore. Located right across the street from the Fell's Point ports you can enjoy a drink while feeling the cool breeze off the water and watching the boats pass by. This hidden paradise, though quite cozy, packs a big punch. Its size adds to the quality of service. As long as the place isn't swarming with people, you and your friends can sit comfortably at one of the artsy, decorative tables or along the railing at one of the two seater high tops. Woody's summer beer list is extensive, but it could use some work in satisfying customers' winter cravings. The bathroom is small and its a bit of a hike to get there.
Tucked away in an alley along side Cross Street Market The Abbey Burger surprises you with it's classy yet low key atmosphere. Paired with the good service, is the great beer selection that includes various delicious craft brews on tap. The bar is average in size, but with two bartenders everyone is well tended to. The bathrooms are well updated and very clean. Much like Max's, great beer doesn't come without the cost. So if cheep beer is what you desire, maybe try somewhere else. If big crowds are what you're trying to avoid, but still looking to enjoy a great beer in a great bar, then maybe Abbey Burger is for you. Get a move on because this secret won't be kept for too much longer.
Known for its delicious seafood, especially the raw oysters, Ryleigh's brings other overlooked qualities to the table. The old wood flooring and wall decor make you feel as if you're actually on a ship, sailing the blue sea. When the weather is nice the full length windows in the bar area are opened up so you can choose to enjoy your drinks inside the ship-like setting or outside in the sun. This bar is well-known so the crowds pour in on nights and weekends. Even with three bars it can be difficult to get a drink at this place. First-timers may want to go when its not as packed so they can get the full experience. A good variety of beer ensures all beer lovers taste buds to be satisfied, but you won't find the rarities here. The layout of the place is pretty weird, the dining is positioned in the middle of two separate bars causing bar hoppers to ruin many customers' dining experiences. The bathrooms are spacious and clean.
The Brewer's Art:
This small bar is located in the heart of Mount Vernon. Featured on tap are a variety of quality home brewed beers that are worth the trip alone for any beer lover. Unfortunately, if you aren't a regular here you'll be bombarded with unwelcoming stares from the moment you walk in the door until the moment you stumble down the abnormally large step outside the front door. The bartenders are friendly and when you can make your way through the overprotective, artsy crowd the service is pretty prompt. I can't say the same about the red headed hostess who stomps around in the back dining area, she is as unpleasant and unwelcoming as the occupants of the front bar. The single toilet bathrooms are unisex, which is convenient, but there are only two so you may have to wait. Overall the bar has great beer, but an awful vibe that has the potential of turning off many customers.
The Midtown Yacht Club:
Located between Mount Vernon and the Inner Harbor, unlike Brewer's Art, the Midtown Yacht Club has a very welcoming vibe and offers customers a totally different experience. Who can knock a bar that offers barrels of complimentary peanuts where you can freely chuck the shells on the floor? From the laid back bartenders to the mediocre, yet inexpensive beer they serve, the Midtown Yacht Club seems like a down to earth family friendly bar. The single toilet bathrooms are well kept, but if its crowed you may have to wait in line. The bar area is big, but there isn't much wondering room, so the place gets uncomfortably crowded on nights and weekends.
Here are the results:
|Bar Name||Service||Value||Beer||Ambiance||Bar Size||Elbow Room||Bathroom||Total|
|MT Yacht Club||8||7||6||7||8||8||5||48|
- Baltimore Museum of Art
- The Baltimore Museum of Art
- The Baltimore Museum of Art
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- "Halloweekend" and Fall Festivities in Fells
- Baltimore's Burried History
- Running For The Soul
- Students Unite After Bin Laden's Death On York
- Aboard The Fearless
- White House Celebration - The Capture of Osama Bin Laden
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