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.
www.baltimorecollegetown.org
www.whatweekly.com
www.citypaper.com

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Kickstarter: A place to inspire and be inspired

(Google images)

Kickstarter is one of my favorite sites to visit for a little inspiration. This innovative platform allows people to spread the word about their project or idea and raise the funds to see it come to life.

Everyone is encouraged to use Kickstarter. Musicians, artists, filmmakers, designers, illustrators, etc. can use Kickstarter’s tools to create campaigns and watch as they gain backers and supporters.

There’s a few rules and guidelines, but once your video is up and running your project has the potential to be fully funded.

Whether you’re looking for inspiration or looking to inspire, Kickstarter lets you take a look at innovative and creative projects happening all over.

Search by city and you can see what’s going on right in Baltimore.

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

Loch Raven Resevoir

Even though the weather’s been super hot lately, I can’t help but be outside.

After a few hours at the pool I realized I couldn’t lay outside anymore, but being inside wasn’t an option.

I brainstormed ideas..do I run? Too hot. Do I drive around? Too boring.

Finally I remembered Loch Raven Resevoir. The air started cooling and the sun was beginning to set, so I grabbed my camera and headed to the water.

The wooded path was filled with cars. There were people everywhere along the water. Tents, grills, frisbees, and families filled the grass. I sat down for a little and did some daydreaming. Then I got my camera and went for a little stroll…

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Best of Summer 2010… Baltimore Style!

Summer is almost here! The weather is warm, the sun is shining bright and there is plenty to do around Baltimore! Summer is my favorite season. Not only because my birthday falls in June, but because summer draws people out of their homes and out onto the streets! Summer also just makes you feel good overall! Every summer I tend to have the same routine. Work a lot, make a few Rita’s stops here and there and maybe head down to the beach for a weekend or two. This summer, I am committed to changing my routine.

I will be trying out a new activity, restaurant or event in Baltimore each week over the course of the summer. All of these events will be unique to Baltimore in some way. I am then going to come back and report on what I have experienced. I am calling this blog series “The BEST of Summer 2010…Baltimore style!”  Please feel free to comment on my experiences and make suggestions for places I should try next!

First Stop: Mt. Vernon

I recently moved to the Park Charles apartments located at the intersection of Charles and Saratoga. So far, I have no complaints for my new location and new apartment. Southern Management has been great and I feel right at home in my new space. I have come to realize that my favorite part about my new apartment is its location! I feel as if I have the best of both worlds by sitting on the border of Mt. Vernon and the Downtown district.

I haven’t spent much time out and about in Mt. Vernon so I decided to look for something to do in the area. I heard about the Mt. Vernon First Thursday concert series sponsored by WTMD so I thought I would check it out. I head up to the Washington Monument off of Charles Street and was shocked by the amount of people who were lounging in the park.

The stage was set up on the monument side of the park and people filled the grass with their lounge chairs and blankets. Most people packed up their coolers with snacks and beverages to kick back, relax and watch the concert. Speaking of the concert Can’t Hang performed while everyone was enjoying the outdoors. Vendors were set up from the surrounding businesses. I decided to stop at the Mic O’Sheas tent where I picked up and beef sandwich and corn on the cob sprinkled with old bay, truly Baltimore style.

The best part about the evening, the concert was FREE! Minus the cost of the food I chose to buy, the whole evening would have been free. Many people save money by packing snacks instead of buying from the vendors, definitely something I will do the next first Thursday.

For my first adventure in Baltimore this summer, I was nothing but pleased with the event. Great weather, good food and some music are the perfect way to close out a week. Don’t miss the next first Thursday in Mt. Vernon. WARNING: To get a spot on the grass I advise you get their earlier than 6:00 p.m.!

Stay tuned for more Best of Summer 2010… Baltimore Style!

Until next time…

Kristen

Washington Monument!

Beef sandwhich and corn on the cob!

Can't Hang!

Apartment Hunting 101

We all know that feeling. It happens usually around the beginning of the second semester when you are finally comfortable in your apartment, all your knick knacks are in place and this once vacant 1000 square foot space is actually starting to feel like home. Right at that very moment a sense of relief is in sight. And then it hits you. The questions you are dreading to ask yourself. Where am I going to live next year? Who am I going to live with? Are my roommates going to be mad that I don’t want to live here anymore? Wouldn’t it be really cool to live in the downtown area?

Trust me, I feel your pain. Out of the four years I attended Towson I moved three time. The moving progressed from year-to-year as I started accumulating more “things”, especially furniture.(Ugh!) However, every moving year I learned something along the way. I hope to share with you today “Kristen’s Trial & Error Moving Wisdom”

Location

The most important part of moving is figuring out where you want to live. There are pro’s and con’s to every housing option you are going to choose and you need to consider all your options. Things to look out for when choosing your location are as follows; safety (can you walk alone at night), closest grocery store, high rise area or local neighborhood, distance of the commute you will have to make each day, distance from closest friends house, closest public transportation. Location is unique to the individual. Pick a spot that feels right to you.

Parking

This issue needs a category of its own. If you are looking for an apartment in the downtown area you need to think about parking when looking at the cost for the apartment! Many complexes offer parking but at a very high cost for the average college student. Along with the cost how far do you have to walk to you apartment complex from your parking spot? Will your car be safe in the area that you are going to be parking in? All good things to think about.

Square Footage

Space has been a huge problem for me in my most recent apartment. Some good space tips. Look for closets. All kinds of closets; coat closet, linen closet, walk-in closet, etc. Closets allow you to put your belongings away and out of your everyday sight, which in turn can make your apartment feel a lot bigger.  Bedroom size is also something to look out for. 9 foot by 9 foot sounds like a lot of space, but trust me it’s not! Furniture takes up a lot of space in an apartment so if you like a lot of it, make sure you have the space. If you can’t get in to see a model apartment, make sure you look at the FLOOR PLAN to get a good idea of the room sizes.

Pets

Whether you currently have a furry friend or not it is always good to know what is and what is not allowed in your building! Pets can be a very large additional cost to your rent. I have visited some places that have a $500 NON REFUNDABLE pet deposit. I think that is the extreme case but still be on lookout for the “pesty” regulations. It is also really good to know how large an animal can be to live in your building. This all plays a role in noise and cleanliness!

Amenities

Ah, amenities. There is nothing wrong with great amenities! Actually, if you are choosing to live in a complex this is a very important piece to look at since you are paying for them! Amenities are usual broken up into two categories; unit amenities and community amenities. The top three things I search for when browsing apartment amenities are washer and dryer (in unit), work out facility (community) and a pool! These are just things I would really like to have, I do not NEED them by any stretch. Some apartments have luxury amenities like a concierge service, on-site dry cleaning and much more. The better the amenities the higher the rent so make sure to take your head out of the clouds when analyzing this section.

Obviously, I am not a moving pro, I have just learned from a lot of bad choices. Hopefully these tips will help you on your search for your new home. My last piece of advice is this. Anyone showing you an apartment is in sales. They know how to pitch you and show you only the positives. It is your job to look at all the apartment has to offer with a critical eye.

Luckily you are looking in one of the best cities to live in…Baltimore! Check out the Neighborhood section on our website to help you get a feel for what each are about.

Baltimore Neighborhoods

Welcome Home!

Until next time…CIAO!

Interning the summer away

There are loads of good reasons why you should intern. It helps you build contacts in a professional network; it provides you with valuable industry work experience; it looks good on your resume; if you’re lucky, you can get paid; you can get class credit; you can build your resume. And these reasons make sense. You might have spent the first 19 years of your life dying to become a professional Purple-People-Eater breeder, and then you intern for a summer on a Purple-People-Eater farm and hate it. Never want to see a Purple-People-Eater again. Good thing you know before you invest your life savings into a farm.

Just kidding.

But in all honesty, being a summer (or semester intern, for that matter) is a vitally important part of the college experience. It certainly was for me.

As I finished up my undergraduate career, I began searching for a full-time job position. But with the economy, interning in the field I want to work seemed like a great option. Rather than taking some time off to laze around the pool in between job applications, I decided that becoming the Marketing Intern at the Baltimore Collegetown Network would be a nice way for me gain useful skills and spend some time in a professional work environment. Plus, it would be fun.

As the marketing intern at BCN, I was responsible for a wide array of different things, from handling website maintenance to going to campuses to speak directly with incoming students about what services the Collegetown Network can offer them. I even helped to give a bus tour of Baltimore to a group of incoming freshmen’s parents. I would never have thought to send my parents on a bus tour of Baltimore.

Probably one of the coolest opportunities I had at Collegetown was when we attended the unveiling of the new Charm City Circulator. The fact that the city was showing its new bus line for the first time was exciting enough: the bus was all new and shiny, and had that “new car smell” (I actually blogged about this earlier in the summer). Adding to the cool factor was seeing Mayor Dixon holding the press conference in person. As a former editor on my college newspaper, I loved seeing the T.V. crews and reporters conducting interviews. I was very tempted to grab a notepad and start following around the cameraman myself. A second really cool meeting that I attended was the BACVA Town Hall meeting (BACVA is the Baltimore Area Convention and Visitor’s Association, which is essentially the tourism organization). Turns out, tourism is one of Baltimore’s biggest industries. After hearing Mayor Dixon give a very dynamic speech, there were some awards and then a surprise announcement: BACVA will now be called “Visit Baltimore.” The event was a great opportunity to network and get to know other people at local Baltimore businesses.

We also had our Downtown 101 event, with the Downtown Partnership. This event was a great opportunity to collaborate with another group working within Baltimore and to meet other young professionals in the area.

I also manned our table at one of Goucher’s orientation open houses. That was a nice opportunity to tell both students and their parents about the different activities that Baltimore has to offer (other than merely the aquarium). Many people aren’t aware of the vast number of things to do in Baltimore on any given day. If you know the right places to look, there is no reason to ever be bored in Baltimore.

Interning this summer was a great experience. I was able (on more than one occasion) to apply a fair amount of what I learned in my business classes while doing completing my marketing duties, such as reading an analytics dashboard or creating a media kit for inquires. I also shadowed BCN’s executive director, Kristen Campbell, to a couple of meetings. It was interesting to attend these meetings and watch how different organizations make their decisions and conduct their daily tasks.

Plus, I’ve meet a lot of new people that I would not have met if I stayed solely in my “Hopkins bubble.” Luckily, the College of Notre Dame (where BCN has its offices) has a lot of young employees and with them I was able to go to new places and events in Baltimore I would not have known about otherwise (like the Beer Flight I blogged about earlier).

Overall, it was a very interesting and productive summer. Granted, with most internships they are what you make of them. I tried to make the most of my experience with the Baltimore Collegetown Network by making suggestions for new ways to do things, asking questions about why certain things work the way they do, and taking every opportunity to expand my skill base.

Hope you all have a great fall! Maybe one of you all will be writing here next!

Many more adventures to come.

Signing off,

Heather 🙂