For many locals, the term Station North, Baltimore’s officially designated Arts and Entertainment District, still draws a blank. Understandable really, because other than Joe Squared, the popular pizza and live music dive on North Avenue, what is there to see? But ask Charlie Duff, the charming and voluble head of non-profit development company Jubilee Baltimore, and you get a vivid picture of a neighborhood on the move.
“Baltimore is the number one city in the country for attracting young, educated kids over 25,” Duff begins, citing a USA Today story about top metro areas attracting 25-34 year olds. Between the percent change from 2000 to 2009 (we’re fourth), and the actual numbers, Baltimore does come out on top, and its vibrant arts and music scene is the most cited reason. The epicenter of that scene is Station North, where studios, theater companies, galleries, bars and clubs are coming up from the underground into the light of North Avenue, inviting comparisons to the arts scene that has revitalized large parts of Brooklyn, NYC.