City-Zen: Meet Laura, Card Carrying Member of the Hampden Village People

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Laura with a Hampden Village Baby
Laura with a Hampden Village Baby
Welcome to City-Zena Q & A series of real conversations with real Baltimoreans sharing their thoughts on issues that are top-of-mind to many of us.  Whether you’re just starting out, raising a family, struggling to get by, or at the top of your game, we all have something in common.  It’s easier to communicate once we understand each other.

Meet Laura Marisco20-year Baltimore resident, the past 14 of which were in her Hampden row home, where she’s raised a family.  Laura was a kindergarten teacher at The GreenMount School for eight years and is currently the CO-OP manager and co-curricular program manager for the school.  While much of her academic career occurred out of state, she took a few classes at The College of Notre Dame of Maryland.

What do you most like about your neighborhood?
 I love Hampden because it is a true community. I am surrounded by neighbors who have become friends and family. From cat-sitter, to baby-sitter, to crab feasts, to block parties, to hand-me-down sharing, we are a village.
What is the most positive community action happening in your area?
I partner with  GRIA  as part of my school community. We schedule community clean-ups (just recently we partnered with JHU to clean our school, shared playground, and areas surrounding our school). In Hampden, my village people hung peace flags on our stoop rails to let kids know that we are a SAFE house. They can ask for water, a snack, or a hug.
Where is your favorite place to eat out and what’s your favorite dish?
Cafe Cito has the best breakfast bahn mi!
Where do you go to escape the madness?
In the summer, I go to Beaver Dam Swim Club to escape the heat.  Although it is a bit pricey for daily admittance, a yearly pass is reasonable and it fits the needs for my family. We go on weekdays. I also frequent Druid Hill Park Pool where I do laps as my kiddos master their backflips!
In the winter, I go monthly to SEOUL SPA. If you can get past the location (inside a vacant part of Security Square Mall), and full nudity in the women’s area, then this is the place for you. Food, warmth, relaxation, hot water, saunas…I go alone because I don’t want my friends to be that intimate with my private parts!
What is your most significant personal success?
My biggest success is innovation! I helped start The GreenMount School’s kindergarten program nine years ago. The program saved our school from financial ruin and made many kids and parents believe in education again. It was the opportunity of a lifetime! Last year, I started the ECHOES of GreenMount program which includes connected extended day care, and many new enrichment opportunities for the students of GMS. My goal was to bring everything in-house so that parents don’t have to stress themselves out getting their kids places after school. So far, we have Spanish, judo, instrument lessons, soccer, chess, NHD club, improv/theater, running, math, yearbook, private tutoring, and game clubs. There are more to come…

Chris Frederick

Account Manager at Baltimore Fishbowl
Chris is the Account Manager for Baltimore Fishbowl.With 30+ years of experience in media, a background in journalism and a career in advertising and marketing, Chris has spent the past 5+ years dedicated to Baltimore Fishbowl, helping local businesses reach Baltimore Fishbowl viewers, with a little writing sprinkled in here and there.
Chris Frederick

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