Wyman Park

Ciclovia, How I do Love Thee

The author on her bike at ciclovia. Photo by Anne Stuzin.


Ciclovia, (pronounced: seek-low-VEE-uh) how I do love thee! You are one of the most fun events that take place in Baltimore all year, and you take place just feet from my door.

I do not have to get in car to reach you, ciclovia. In fact, I MUST not get in a car to reach you. Cars are not allowed on your streets, ciclovia.  Feet, bikes, trikes, scooters, skates, unicycles, wagons only are allowed. No motorized vehicles of any sort for you, ciclovia. You are clean and green.

Photo by Sally Foster.

And this spring, ciclovia, you take place on a Saturday, NOT on a Sunday:  Saturday, May 5, from noon to 4 p.m.  What a civilized hour.

In Wyman Park, A Nice Little Row House


HOT HOUSE: 3733 Keswick Road, Baltimore 21211

End-of-group brick townhouse built in 1927, in good condition. Three floors, 2,200 square feet, with four bedrooms, two full and one half baths, finished basement and rear mahogany deck : $ 274,900

What:  A basic row house, recently and nicely refurbished, which, in addition to the price and location, makes it an interesting proposition. Open floor plan and high ceilings add light and space. The kitchen is new, with Energy Star appliances, blonde wood cabinets and corian countertops. There are hardwood floors in the main rooms. Large finished ‘above-ground lower level’ has the fourth bedroom and custom storage.

Nearby properties are well-kept and tidy, with lots of trees. Neighbors seem to be proud members of the 99%, judging by the signs.   

Where: Keswick Road runs from Roland Park south across 40th Street and down through Hampden. This house is three blocks south of 40th Street and three blocks north of the Avenue, on the east side of the Rotunda. Hopkins has just purchased the large Zurich insurance building at the Rotunda, so it’s a good bet that with Hopkins as an anchor, and the mall owner shopping around for a boutique grocery store (Trader Joe’s?) to replace the Giant, eventual redevelopment of this area will raise property values all around.


Why: Affordable property in a safe, stable city neighborhood.   The open spaces of Wyman Park, famous for its dog walking areas, are just a two minute walk away. The fun shops and restaurants on the Avenue in Hampden are about five.

Why Not:  No really good public schools.

Who: Young professionals, or older with dogs.  JHU employees could walk to work from here.

NB: No central air.



Gestalt & Pepper: When You’ve Been Everywhere, Where to Go?


Martin Knott — business owner, political guru and father of four — is one of those guys who seems to know everyone and everything in Baltimore. He is funny, very funny. Vince Vaughn-caliber funny. Based on those qualities alone he was on my short list to interview. What I didn’t know? He’s super passionate about food. I love the way his hippie tendencies (he is currently guest lecturing on “Dylan and The Dead” at McDonogh School) came through in his surprising answers.

I can’t wait to try his off-the-beaten path suggestions. Maybe I’ll ask him to join me. It’s bound to be more fun that way!

Home cook assessment:  Do you consider Durkee Onions and Campbell’s Mushroom Soup legitimate ingredients or cheating? 

Totally legitimate. We all have to eat and we want it to taste good. How you get there is up to the individual and it turns out that stuff tastes good.

Saturday night with the wife: Where do you book? What do you order?   

We are at the Ambassador. Binda and Kehar are the best hosts in Baltimore. They always put us in front of the fireplace. It’s all so good, but we usually go with the eggplant appetizer followed by the lamb vindaloo for me and the chicken tikka masala for Allison. Oh, and the vegetable samosas are seriously great too.

Where would you take fun friends in from New York?

I would want them to get a true sense of the city and for that I say Peter’s Inn (in Fells Point). It’s just so Baltimore. The atmosphere feels totally authentic. You can get a Natty Boh at the bar. They have a million great restaurants in New York but they don’t have Baltimore.

How about for a celebratory dinner?

I’m going with the Prime Rib.

Where is your go-to place with the kids?

Italian Garden’s, Red Robin and lately the Green Turtle in Hunt Valley. They love it because they can go over to Dick’s afterwards and buy our 500th basketball.

Any drive-ins, diners and dives?

The New Wyman Park Restaurant has a great breakfast and lunch. Jong Kak is a Korean barbeque spot downtown that is my go-to for a late night stop off. It’s ridiculously good.

What new restaurant are you dying to try?

I hear the Towson Tavern is good.

Where do you grocery shop and why?

I shop at Eddie’s just to make Dennis Graul mad. Just kidding. I shop at Graul’s. My whole family has gone there for years and I love recent renovations. We are also a huge farmer’s market family. In the summer months we hit the 32nd Street Farmer’s market every weekend.

Is there a food item that you regularly go out of your way to buy?

Can’t get enough kale these days. We bake kale chips in the morning and eat them all day.

What Baltimore restaurant has the best vibe?

For me? The Curb Shoppe in Mt. Washington. You literally feel like you are in a bar from college. The owner cooks up great bar food and there is an outstanding jukebox that has inspired great dance parties. We have started to befriend the regulars who are so nice. It’s the perfect place to start or end an evening out.

OK, we gotta do it. Best crab cake?

Hands down Faidley’s. Everyone knows that and if you don’t you haven’t tried them. Faidley’s.

Anything on your wish list for the Baltimore food scene?

I would love more ethnic places. African, Middle Eastern, Asian. I love discovering new flavors.