Welcome to the Baltimore Fishbowl Local Gift Guide series. We’ll be featuring ten themed items each week through the holidays. Let us help you find that special something for everyone on your list, while supporting local businesses, and getting out to shop in different parts of this diverse and thriving city.
The best gifts are those that are special, delightful and unique. This holiday season, when hunting for those perfect gifts, why not skip the mall in favor of local businesses right in your backyard? At Ruxton Station and Wyndhurst Station, you’ll find two small, well-curated shopping centers filled with fabulous items that won’t be under every other tree in Baltimore.
This weekend, Makers and shoppers alike will descend on Green Spring Station for the first annual Green Spring Station Maker’s Market. From 10am-5pm on Saturday, some of Baltimore’s best artists and crafters will ‘set up shop’ around the center of Green Spring Station. The day will host DIY workshops, cocktails, and snacks for reasonable ticket prices (the craft show itself is free). In addition to the individual crafters, a unique pop-up shop, called Taken, will feature a curated mix of vintage finds and handmade goods by local makers. Taken is “popping up” in multiple city locations this holiday season (they are also taking over the new Strand Theatre on Harford Rd every weekend through the holidays).
You’re invited to join neighbors in Charles Village at the Village Learning Place tonight as they jumpstart the holiday season with their annual Artisan Market. Crafters from all over the city will descend on the free, neighborhood run, library for a nighttime celebration of community, craft, and fundraising (20% of all sales go to the VLP itself). Jewelers, Sculpture Artists, Painters, Home goods makers and more will be selling their own wares. Snacks, refreshments and lots of community spirit on hand, free of charge, to cheer everyone up on this rainy fall day.
Village Learning Place is an independent non-profit library that houses educational programs, enrichment opportunities, and informational resources for Baltimore City. Their mission is to serve as a repository for books, and a community center for personal and professional growth of patrons. The library, originally part of the original 6-branch Enoch Pratt Library system in Baltimore, was dropped by the city in 1997, and re-opened by Baltimore residents in the community the same year. Since its grassroots inception, the VLP has worked to keep up with diverse needs of the community, and now houses both a library and computer lab as well as new classroom space across the street from its main location for kids programs, a reading resource room and staff offices.
Village Learning Place’s Holiday Artisan Market is open tonight, 7pm-9pm. 2521 St. Paul St., Baltimore, MD 21218. The event is free and open to the public. More info at www.villagelearningplace.org
Rachel Bone’s column – The Rack, is proudly sponsored by The Village of Cross Keys, celebrating 50 years of featuring some of Baltimore’s best shopping, dining and lodging in a courtyard setting. Click to See What’s Happening at the Keys this Season.
It’s lip balm season, all right. But before you reach for the store-bought stuff… have you ever considered what’s in the products you’re putting precariously close to your mouth? What about skincare products? You know to eat organic, but is that artificially scented lotion something you feel comfortable absorbing into your skin? Can you pronounce all (or any) of the ingredients?
Sometimes what pairs best with age are age-old traditions. If you agree, then look no further than Mount Vernon. Local vintage clothing goldmine, Keeper’s Vintage, has been in multiple locations in Baltimore, both permanent and nomadic. Starting at outdoor events, and in shared spaces, owner Erica Bentley eventually opened her own space in 2015. Craftswoman Letta Moore of Knits, Soy & Metal has been selling her earth-conscious line of hand-poured Soy candles, chunky hand-knit scarves, and delicate handmade jewelry at art fairs and online, as well as to local retail shops for years. Both women collected sizable followings as they grew their small businesses. Now the two are teaming together in a new, more permanent location of Keeper’s Vintage on Read Street, opening just in time for unique holiday shopping.
Hampden’s comeback as a successful retail & dining locale has been credited largely to restauranteur Denise Whiting, who in the early 90s opened her quirky Café Hon on 36th street with a celebratory (if not slightly mocking) acknowledgment of the area’s traditional personalities.
Welcome to our new weekly feature, “The Rack,” about local shopping news and finds.
This weekend, Baltimore’s fine arts community opens its doors to show the public how and where art is being made. School 33 Arts Center kicks off its 28th annual event with a guide in this week’s City Paper, with an easy-to-follow map, and list of associated events.
Want to treat your Valentine to a romantic dinner? Take your date to the best place in town—your place. Whether you’re an experienced chef or new to cooking, here’s how to make your date night delicious: