A Charm City summer

If you haven’t heard, Baltimore ranks #22 as a best city to live in as a recent college grad. So Collegetown friends if you’re spending the summer in Charm City, here are a few ideas of what to check out!

1. Mt. Vernon: home of WTMD‘s First Thursday Concert
2. 2640 Space: beautiful venue in Charles Village for concerts, speakers, and everything in between
3. Fort McHenry: you don’t have to be a history buff to enjoy the view from the fort
4. American Visionary Art Museum: fun and quirky musuem in Federal Hill
5. Federal Hill Park: take a walk down from AVAM and take a look at the Inner Harbor from the top of the hill
6. Annapolis: Not quite Charm City, but if you’re looking for a day away take a drive to Annapolis.
7. Farmers Markets: take a bit of home-grown fruits and vegetables
8. Artscape: America’s largest free arts festival happens here
9. Little Italy Open Air Film Festival: grab a gelato and enjoy an outdoor movie
10. Explore! There’s so much going on this  summer to see and do. Check out these sites to start filling your calander.

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St. Patrick’s Day in Baltimore

Baltimoreans will put aside the purple for some green this weekend!

If you’re looking for St. Patrick’s Day plans Baltimore is filled with things to do. From a 5k to concerts, there will be something for everyone.Where else can you see the former mayor play traditional Irish music?  So, take advantage of the beautiful weather and start celebrating this weekend. But be sure to save some energy and green attire for the 17th!

Shamrock 5k
March 11
Charles & Franklin Street, 1 pm

St. Patrick’s Day Parade
March 11
Mt. Vernon Place 2 pm

Donegal’s Xpress
Mick O’Sheas, performing after parade

Shamrock Shindig
Phillips Seafood’s Dock
March 11, 12-2pm

O’Malley’s March
March 17
Creative Alliance, 7 and 9 pm

A Day in DC

Baltimore is a cultural hub filled with things to do and see. But, what’s also great about this city is location, location, location. Philly is a short drive, New York City is a bus ride away, and our nation’s capital is a little down the road. So, if you ever want to explore another city’s hustle and bustle there are many options!

This week, I crossed DC off my to do list. I have been to the city a few times before, but not as often as I have hoped while living in Baltimore. So, taking advantage of a beautiful Tuesday afternoon, a friend and I took a day to explore.

While we strolled around the monuments my friend had the great idea to ride bikes to our next destination; the Newseum. We found the closest bike share which is located all around the city and pedaled our way down the streets of DC. In no time we were at the Newseum which has an amazing collection of news and journalism. As a journalism student, I was in awe of what filled the walls of the gallery and could have stayed the entire afternoon!

But, back on the bikes we went. Our next stop was Dupont circle where we walked around and did a little window shopping. After working up an appetite we grabbed a quick bite to eat and made our way back on the Metro to head home.

We only scratched the surface of what DC has to offer. The city is filled with art, music, and museums that can keep you busy for days. So if the weather keeps us on our toes like it has, take advantage of the next sunny day and explore!

*Bolt Bus and Mega Bus offer cheap tickets to some great cities.

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Latinofest at Patterson Park

I was ready for some action this past weekend. I knew of a few festivals going on in Baltimore, so I grabbed a friend and we started our trip. The game plan was to go to ROOTSfest an arts and culture festival over the “Highway to Nowhere,” Route 40, at Franklin and N. Gilmor, but things didn’t turn out as planned.

Although I was excited to see Chuck Brown, we never made it to the festival. Somehow we ended up on the opposite side and next thing we knew we were at Patterson Park.

My friend had heard of Latinofest taking place so when we realized we were close we knew we’d find some fun at the festival. And our crazy car ride needed to come to an end.

Before we entered we did some exploring of the park. We stumbled onto a community garden and tried our best to get a good glimpse inside the Pagoda, which is only open on Sundays.

We made it down the hill to Latinofest and couldn’t take our eyes off all the delicious looking food. So we grabbed ourselves an empenada and made our way around the festival.

The afternoon took a turn, but was an overall success.

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Day 3 Chile Study Tour – Parallelism


Well I’m back to talk about Day 3 of the study tour that I’m currently on with Loyola’s MBA program.  After recapping today’s events in my head, I figured the ideal theme for Day 3 is parallelism (which you will see below!)

We’re a group of 28 individuals and today we broke off into different groups to go on different excursions before the experiential component of our trip officially begins.  Some chose to go to a ski resort, others elected to participate in a 10 KM hike, while I along with 11 others decided to go on a city bike tour.  It wasn’t physically aggressive but it was definitely enough to get the blood flowing and feel you got a nice little workout in. 

One of our first stops on the bike tour was Pablo Neruda’s house.  Neruda was a popular poet  in Chile and won a Nobel Prize in Literature.   Outside his house, there was an ampitheater-esque seating arrangement where my friends and I sat there listening to our amazing tour guide talking about Neruda’s influence on Chilean culture.  Some of his works were displayed right outside his house (not gonna lie – Google translate would have been hella helpful!)  From there, we travelled to this bustling indoor market with a plethora of vendors selling fruits, veggies meats, fish, cheeses, household products – you name it.  Sunday is a really popular shopping day and you saw lots of locals carrying huge carts with large bags with substantial amounts of groceries.  We took a quick break at the market and this delicious sweet tea, barley, and peach drink.  Yeah, it sounds like an odd combination, but honestly it tastes delicious!

In between stops, our tour guide also informed us about the different hotspots in the area.  He  mentioned a couple of neighborhoods which had some great nightlife.  There was a street that separates the “old” and “modern” neighboorhoods – meaning the older one wasn’t as “glam”  and more affordble, while the newly developed neighboorhood had more European inflence with modern discotheques and bars, ergo slightly pricier. 

After the bike tour, we made a quick round through an art museum which had amazing contemporary photography to look at.  By the way, museums in Chile on Sundays tend to be free :).  Move forward a few hours after a nice trek through an outdoor shopping market, exhilirating ride on their well-developed metro system, and siesta to offset the excitement from the previous nights’ festivities, we headed on over to our dinner with Loyola MBA alums. 

The restaurant was surrounded by beautiful greenery and a breathtaking view of the Santiago.  Inside it got even bettter with the serenity of a fountain dead center of the ballroom.  Highlight of the evening was having the pleasure of sitting at the same table as Andre Sougarret, the brains behind the mine rescue back in October.  Andre is actually an alum of the Loyola’s MBA program that was once held in Chile (betcha didn’t know that…bam!)  Quality conversation with good company along with delicious red and white wine were flowing all night along.  The last two hours were spent singing karaoke to Abba, Journey, the Beatles, and my personal fave Johnny Cash.

Now, how does this all tie into the theme for today?  Plain and simple.  Despite being a continent away experiencing a different culture, I kept thinking about the PARALLELS  Santiago shares with Baltimore.  Riding through the city and looking at all the beautiful architecture made me feel like at home and think about the beautiful edifices we have in our city.  Neruda’ influence on Chile made me think about Poe’s influece on Baltimore and the legacy he left behind.  Hearing about neighborhood disparities made me think about Baltimore where in one instance you can be in a well-developed neighborhood surrounded by patrons and the next block or two an older development with minimal foot traffic.  Going into the museum, a part of me felt like I was in the Walters Art Museum touring one of the many special exhibits they host throughout the year.  Dinner tonight, proved once again that pride in one’s country and city can be a motivating force for the betterment, which is the passion (along with many others) I share for Baltimore.

Yes, it is true, as states and nations we have physical borders, but honestly we are a globalized world where the lines of national distinction are slowly blurring.  I am a continent away with different people, language, etc, but regardless I feel Baltimore is still with me.  Anyways, that’s all I got for now….stay tuned for Day 4!

For now, this is Ankur…

Signing offf…