Friday, November 30, 2012

Tomorrow it's okay to listen to Christmas Music

Who are we kidding? We've been playing Christmas music in the house since the day after Thanksgiving. The Christmas decorations were already primed and ready to be put up as soon as the Turkey was cold in the refrigerator. They may have been put up on November 23rd, the wreath wasn't added until the 28th.

Ok, but tomorrow is December 1st, so now it's fully appropriate to bust out the Christmas cheer for the rest of the month.

And what better way to get into the festive spirit by seeing what is happening around town in the next few days to kick off everything. If you haven't been up in Hampden as of late 34th street and the Avenue are already decked out. 34th Street is as bright and gaudy and wonderful as ever. The shops on the Avenue have their store windows decorated and light, and the whole street looks lively from Chestnut Ave to Falls Road. Sunday is the Mayor's Christmas Parade which traverses from Poly/Western to Hampden, and with the temperatures forecast in the mid to upper 50s it will be pleasant!

If you're downtown the Baltimore Farmer's Market is heading into its final month of 2012, but still going strong. Creative Alliance on Eastern Avenue is hosting it's Merry Mart craft show from 11am-5pm with tons of local artists, so it will be a great place to find some early Christmas deals...and help local business.

Thursday December 6th is the lighting of the Washington Monument. A Monumental Occasion is in its 41st year and Lardarius Webb will be hosting since he can't be on the football field this season for the Ravens. Ceremony starts at 7pm with lighting and fireworks before 8pm. This is a great and unique Baltimore tradition, and if you have never gone, we would encourage you to do so.

Lastly, It's A Waterfront Life, is up and running in the Inner Harbor. The nightly light show projected on the Powerplant building is a sight to see, especially if you're a tourist and don't know what to expect. Santa's Christmas village is next to the pavilions. If you are prepared for an extra walk (or quick ride on the CCC) head over to Harbor East which is decked out in winter decorations and the new for this year Window Wonderland, where shops and restaurant windows have been decorated by local Baltimore artists.

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Busiest Travel Day of the Year

Tomorrow is the day that everyone looks forward to; today, on the other hand is the busiest travel day of the year. Across the country folks are packing the car or heading to the airport, or jumping on the train to go someplace for Thanksgiving.

Around here that means cars will be cramming onto I-95, people will be queuing up at the security lines at BWI waiting to board completely full flights, commuters will be taking the early MARC train home, and long-distance travelers will be funneling into Penn Station to catch also full Amtrak trains along the NEC. This is also the time of the year that if you're lucky you will see MARC equipment making runs as extra Amtrak trainsets up the NEC toward New York to accommodate the holiday travelers.

This year I won't be making the travels on Thanksgiving, instead Skyline wife and I are making the family come to us! In the past I have made many trips out of Baltimore Penn Station and Philadelphia 30th Street (when I lived there) at Thanksgiving, and it is a great sight to see our old public buildings teeming with people coming and going like I guess they would have been more frequently during their golden age. I sometimes just wish our city would invest a little more into Penn Station so visitors do not need to be greeted by awful bathrooms, completely empty upper floors, and rusted un-used platform stairs....maybe one day. Oh, but at least we'll have a swanky new sign in 2013. Well at least it's some improvement.

Whether you're baking, roasting, or deep frying your turkey; or going out to dinner, have a Happy Thanksgiving! And do resist the urge to go shopping after dinner, wait until Friday or maybe Saturday and support small local businesses.