Over spring break, I was able to return to my favorite place on Earth, Sint Maarten. In between scuba diving and reading law journal articles on my kindle (yes, I finally figured out how to put PDFs onto my Kindle!), my favorite activity was to walk along Simpson Bay Beach hunting for sea glass. I've mentioned Simpson Bay Beach in an earlier post, but for those who didn't read it, Simpson Bay Beach is my FAVORITE beach on Earth. Comprised of more than a mile of white powdery sand, Simpson Bay Beach offers spectacular views of neighboring islands on clear days (Saba, St.Eustatius, and on VERY clear days St. Kitts), as well as planes taking off/landing at Princess Julianna Airport, because the runway is literally just off the beach! I also think it's pretty photogenic, so I always try to take my DSLR along for the sea glass hunt!
I received a record player for Christmas this year and promptly started collecting vinyl. After raiding my parents' collections (thanks for all that disco, Mom!), I began the quest for records. In the last few years, records sales have gone up significantly, making vinyl readily available. Of course, you can just go on Amazon and buy vinyl, or go to Urban Outfitters to buy some albums, but there's nothing quite like spending a few hours in a record store, searching for some treasures to add to your collection.
Here's a few places that I've been to so far:
The True Vine Record Shop
3544 Hickory Ave
The True Vine Record shop is a neat little shop located just off The Avenue in Hampden. The shop has some CDs, but is mainly for vinyl enthusiasts. It is very well organized and there is plenty to look through. My favorite thing about True Vine is that they have "under $2" bins. They even have 50-65% off bins.The shop has a pretty great selection of international music and local music. I would recommend this shop to anyone looking for some eclectic music.
Finds that I'm proud of: "Eat the Beat"- Blondie, "Greatest Hits"- Joe Jackson, and "Samba Encore"- Stan Getz
Finds that are somewhat embarassing (read: completely embarassing): "Love Will Keep Us Together" - Captain & Tenille (It was 25 cents...channeling my inner Macklemore!)
718 W. 36th Street
JoJo South is also a small record shop on The Avenue in Hampden. Although it's small, the shop is definitely worth checking out. It is well organized and feels like a boutique for records. Like The Vine, JoJo South also has dollar bins which are always fun to look through. The shop has a good mix of new and older music, and it's pretty easy to look through the bins. I will definitely be back in the future to check out more records here.
Find that I'm proud of: "Hyanea" - Siouxisie & The Banshees
The Sound Garden
1616 Thames Street
Neighborhood: Fells Point
The Sound Garden is probably your best bet for all-around music and DVD shopping. They have a great selection of CDs and DVDs. The Sound Garden also sells new and used vinyl. The shop is conveniently located in Fells Point right near all the bars and restaurants on Thames street.The Sound Garden is definitely the largest music shop that I've visited in Baltimore and has the most new vinyl out of all the shops that I've visited. You can spend HOURS looking through all the CDs, DVDs, and LPs this store has to offer.
Finds that I'm proud of: "LIfe is Good" - NAS and "The Language of LIfe"- Everything But the Girl
Dimensions in Music
233 Park Avenue
Last but surely not least, Dimensions in Music is a great store located not too far from the Lexington Market or Mt. Vernon area. Dimensions in Music has both CDs and LPs. This store literally has something for everyone. I spent a long time in the downstairs area looking through the Jazz, Motown, and Old School Hip- Hop sections (They had DJ Jazzy Jeff on vinyl!). I haven't even made it to the upstairs area yet, but plan on heading back soon to check out what I've missed. I think this might be my favorite record shop in Baltimore. There's just SO MUCH to check out! I'm really looking forward to my next trip back.
Find that I'm Proud of: "Can I Kick it?" - A Tribe Called Quest
Baltimore is home to a rich and often underrated performing arts scene. Ranging from the big ole Broadway National tours to the independent and obscure, Baltimore hosts it all. We're going to try and get to all the venues, but here's just the beginning - enjoy!
According to it’s website, the Hippodrome originally opened
in 1914, built over the old Eutaw House which was a luxury hotel first
constructed in 1835. Largely used as a
vaudeville venue and as a movie theater, the Hippodrome closed in 1990 and was
the last operating movie theater downtown at the time of its closing. Reconstruction began in 2002 and combined two
historic buildings and a new structure to create the theater we see today. Since its grand reopening in 2004, the Hippodrome
has hosted touring Broadway theaters, celebrity shows, and additionally can be
rented for functions.
(Something to think about when you have your next student
organization general body meeting, eh?)
Theater of Maryland
700 N. Calvert Street, 21202
Celebrating its 50-year anniversary this year, CENTERSTAGE Theater of
Maryland has been a constant staple of the Baltimore theater scene. According to its website, CENTERSTAGE was
first started by a community drama group in 1963 and has survived struggles and
arson to remain a mainstay of the Mt. Vernon Cultural Arts District. There isn’t likely a school child in the
Baltimore area for the past 30 years that hasn’t attended CENTERSTAGE on some
type of field trip or another. Offering educational programs, a variety of
performances, and even “pay what you can” days, CENTERSTAGE has remained
dedicated to serving its community.
Located in the historic Columbian Fire Company No. 9
building, the Fell’s Point Corner Theater provides an intimate setting to
experience the theater. Showcasing a
variety of independent productions, community education programs, and actors’
workshops, the FPCT is a great way to not only see a show but to get involved
in local theater culture.
According to its Wikipedia page, the Single Carrot Theater
began in 2005 with an ensemble group from the University of Colorado. Selecting a Baltimore location after a
nationwide search, the troupe has performed everything from Shakespeare to the avant-garde,
winning numerous awards and becoming a local favorite. In addition to performance, the Single Carrot
Theater still stays focused on developing artist talent and provides numerous
workshops and master classes for local talent.
1115 Hollings Street, 21223 blackcherry.org
Punch and Judy have come a long way
from Covent Garden circa 1600. Baltimore’s
own Black Cherry Puppet Theater has been providing mobile puppet theater since
1980, performing in schools and other venues throughout the Mid-Atlantic
Region. With a focus upon education and
art, the BCPT has brought talent and passion to local schools, theater workshops,
and art festivals, and has dauntingly performed thousands of shows.
"I graduated from law school knowing I didn't know how to think like a lawyer." The words of Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor echoed through the columns of the classic auditorium in the Enoch Pratt Free Library last week as she spoke to hundreds of visitors, all eager to hear her words. She was doing a book tour for her biography, My Beloved World, and her audience had been waiting in the cold for hours just for the chance to see her. She was soft-spoken and kindly, like a aunt you just love to visit and listen to, full of stories and soft smiles.
The Justice was even so gracious as to visit those in the overflow room who wouldn't be able to see her live because of space constraints. She walked through the crowd and spoke to us, answering questions from little girls, school teachers, and law students.
She shared about her life, her inspirations, and how much she loved being a Supreme Court Justice. Her father died when she was 9, and her admiration for her strong mother and love of books got her through some pretty dark times. "To me, there was no greater place than being in the library with a book." I had to smile at this - she reminded me so much of myself growing up. Books are a great escape and an incredible way to learn about and imagine anything and everything when your world is so small.
Justice Sotomayor talked about loving and listening to the people close to you, the older ones especially, because you never know how much time you'll have with them. She talked about the value of education - she grew up in the Bronx, NY and went to Princeton and then Yale. But of course, she remembers fondly her early years of self-education in her community library. As she stated earlier, she knew graduating from law school she didn't know how to "think like a lawyer", but working in the District Attorney's office was when she really did learn how to analyze, strategize and argue like a lawyer.
She told the law students to not give up. For her, the law was a calling. "I knew law was the way I wanted to help people."
Thanks for the time and inspiration, Justice Sotomayor!