Bummer on 34th Street: The Dark Side of Hampden’s Tacky Light Display

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34th Street in Hampden

Hampden’s 34th Street Christmas display may be getting featured on Japanese TV, but much of the rest of the news concerning Baltimore’s most famous tacky lights display has been a real downer.

First there was residents’ threat to not illuminate their street at all unless the Baltimore Police ramped up its presence in the neighborhood. (The threat of protest came after a few high-profile robberies and assaults in the area.)

Now, the Washington Post Wall Street Journal is reporting on how hard it is to live on 34th Street, given “high public expectations, traffic jams, a parking shortage, litter and nosy visitors.” But despite the general Grinch vibe of the WSJ article, most of the Hampdenites in the article seem pretty pleased with all the attention on their neighborhood.

And I’m grateful that the WSJ article finally answers the one burning question that everyone has about the festive display: Electricity bills go up only about $20/month when the lights are on, at least according to one 34th Street-er. Not bad at all!


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  1. People who buy on this street are well aware of the requirements written into contracts when purchasing a house. When we were looking, our realtor gave us a vivid picture what it would be like if we bought on 34th.
    The WaPo is trying to make a fuss when there isn’t one. We bought a house just a block over, and although parking is a nightmare this time of year, we knew going in that’s what happens.

  2. The folks who live on 34th Street are doing something selfless and difficult to enrich the lives of the people of Baltimore and enhance the image of our city. They deserve our respect and undying gratitude. They have mine.

  3. WHAT is suzannahkolbeck talking about?!?! I’m a Realtor – there are NO requirements written into the contracts of people buying on this block.

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