One of my goals for this year was to go to Baltimore (at least) 50 times. This was not hard for me to do, at all. I’m excited to share that I can check this goal off my list, with more love for Baltimore than I knew I could have!

One thing that I notice in the city, is that my frustration and road rage diminishes drastically. Most people hate driving in cities, but it’s my favorite place to. I don’t mind waiting at a traffic light or going less than 40 miles an hour when I’m there. There’s so much to look at that it’s never boring. I really wonder what it would be like to live there, and if I would be overall a more relaxed person.
The beginning of this year was so different than the tail end of it. I had never done any type of public art and I honestly wasn’t being that creative in general. The majority of my first trips to Baltimore involved bars or nights out in that sense. My life has shifted drastically in 2012, and I’m glad to be able to say that Baltimore was a part of that transition. The latter half of my trips to Baltimore were done solo, and I think I’ve learned more about the area by myself than I would have if I would have just kept drinking till the bars closed.

I had a good time on 95% of my trips, I’d say. It’s almost always an enjoyable experience for me. I’m going to do a series of posts that briefly recaps my trips there this year. I’ve kept a journal of my trips that I will use as a guide.

I want to generally thank the city for being a great landscape for my experiences this year and providing such great feedback.

Trip #1: January 1

Matt and I went to The Book Thing and it was actually nice enough to have the windows down. I got a book about yoyos. On the way out of the city I stopped the car so I could photograph the rainbow fence I’d spotted once before.

Trip #2: January 7

Never got out of the car. Matt and I just drove the streets at night. I let Matt pick songs on my iPod and we mostly listened to Say Anything and Spoon. There were lots of purple lights illuminating the buildings and streets in honor of the Ravens.
Trip #3: January 13
Not just any 13th, mind you.. it was a Friday! Charlotte and I planned to go to this Friday The 13th Party and we would do happy hour first. We got to Fells Point too early for happy hour, so we ate some lunch at Sticky Rice and went to a pirate bar for drinks. Then we bought airplane bottles of liquor and took them to the gelato shop where we poured them into our delicious hot chocolates. The view you see here is what we saw as we sipped while we stirred. We left to find the party, but couldn’t find the building, so we went to Federal Hill where we hung out at Illusions with Spencer (who you might recognize from America’s Got Talent) and then saw the magic show where Charlotte got to go on stage!

Trip #4: February 2
Once you get the craving for Nacho Mama’s, it’s hard to not go. Even if the wait is over an hour long. Charlotte and I walked across the street to Claddagh while we waited for a table… and then to Looney’s. When we got a table we ordered a hubcap (which is literally a hubcap full of margarita) and some crab nachos (which are delicious). After that we drove to Sticky Rice for Blingo (fast paced Bingo). Charlotte won a round and had to do a tie breaker, which required her to sing songs from Little Mermaid and Aladdin.

Trip #5: February 9

Charlotte, Katie, Andrew and I went to Mother’s in Federal Hill where I ran into an ex-co-worker, Alvin. Katie and Andrew did the crossword on the pizza box we made Andrew buy for us. After we left Mother’s we went to Nevin’s where we sang a lot of karaoke. Here you can see Charlotte and I singing Lady Marmalade. I would also like to point out that I made friends with a large black man named James.

Trip #6: February 21

I planned a trip to take twelve of the members from my work to the American Visionary Art Museum. I drove everyone and my coworker, Samantha, to Baltimore. Everyone enjoyed the exhibits and the gift shop even more so. My favorite piece of art was one with colorful paper plates. In the third building, Samantha and I had a good talk with an employee about the float race/parades they have annually with the gigantic poodles. I actually ended coming back to AVAM after work, because a member left his backpack at the front desk. But I still count all that as part of trip 6.

Trip #7: February 26

Matt and I went to the Book Thing. I got five books. We drove down St. Paul Street and I took a bunch of pictures of buildings from the car.

Trip #8: March 1

Charlotte and I went to Sticky Rice for my second Blingo experience. It was really crowded that night and it took forever to get drinks. Charlotte did a challenge where she had to stick maxi pads to her partner (which she won). Katie ended up coming closer to the end of the night and we all drunkenly danced to Bohemian Rhapsody. It was pretty wonderful.

Trip #9: March 2

I went with Katie, Andrew, and Katie’s parents to this new restaurant called Heavy Seas for dinner. We waited for a table for over an hour and our seats were really close to the bar and we kept getting bumped into because we were seated at a table for four, not five. The food was good, but I had a headache and we were there for about 3 hours total.

Trip #10: March 3

For Katie’s birthday we went to Power Plant. I was feeling pretty awful, but I was determined to go and have a good time. First we went to PBR to utilize the bottomless cup till 11pm deal. All ladies were called to dance on the ledge, so we went (which you see here). I saw an old high school friend which prompted me to text another high school friend and she (Tiffany) actually ended up meeting us at the next bar. The next bar was Howl At The Moon, which is a dueling piano bar. We hung out in the back, which was unusual for us. There was a man with bagpipes and Katie got to dance on stage. After the bar closed Katie wanted to get food at Sip N Bite, so we did.

Bare with me as I recap the rest of my trips!