Some of Baltimore's Hidden Charms

Some of Baltimore's Hidden Charms

Much of the city's character is from the lesser known.
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I've heard more often than not that Baltimore is such a boring city. Nothing exciting happens here, the crime is ridiculous (kind of true), and it's too small of a city for continuous fun-filled activities. I'd beg to differ. Not because I am a born and bred Baltimore girl, but because Baltimore's charm is defined by its under-the-radar events, the happenings that are tucked away in the most eccentric corners of the city.

There is virtually something to check out every weekend in the Baltimore area. Some are family friendly, some are for a mature crowd only. But there is something for everyone. An awesome source I refer to for fresh ideas on how and where to spend my free time is Baltimore Magazine. Each week on Friday morning, they post a weekend lineup article which outlines some of the best things to check out that weekend. If nothing there suits your fancy, you can also refer to their reviews on restaurants and retail shops. The magazine also does a monthly round-up of openings, events, and news from the arts world.

I've found really dope events like monthly meet-ups hosted by Sunsets. And from those get-ups, I've found out about other events at spaces like Red Emmas and Dovecoate. You will find inclusive, eclectic people at these venues and through sharing space with them, chatting with them, sharing a drink with them, you get to know Baltimore's charm.

This weekend in particular, I attended Sunsets' December session at MICA. This time, I heard speakers such as Paul Coates, father of author Ta-Nehisi Coats, who was a black Panther in the 60's in Baltimore. Coates spoke about his interactions with the Panther party and how the relationships he built earned him respect and conviction in his pursuits. To make the event even better, a young poet performed some of his work on blackness and the constraints of being black in America today. An older griot from West Baltimore told playful tales of his youth in the 50's during the holidays. He says Santa is the people who love you. The evening closed out with a soulful jazz singer who freestyled to the sounds of a violin. This was all in less than two hours.

I'd say Baltimore is the town for enthusiasts of the lesser known, and for the dreamers dreaming just to stay alive and indulge everything around them. Baltimore isn't a popular city; it's a unique city, an emerging city experiencing new birth. Its arts scene is underrated and often overlooked. This is why you must seek out its gems. Authenticity is all you will find.

Cover Image Credit: Karin M. Yearwood

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I'm The Girl Without A 'Friend Group'

And here's why I'm OK with it

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Little things remind me all the time.

For example, I'll be sitting in the lounge with the people on my floor, just talking about how everyone's days went. Someone will turn to someone else and ask something along the lines of, "When are we going to so-and-so's place tonight?" Sometimes it'll even be, "Are you ready to go to so-and-so's place now? Okay, we'll see you later, Taylor!"

It's little things like that, little things that remind me I don't have a "friend group." And it's been like that forever. I don't have the same people to keep me company 24 hours of the day, the same people to do absolutely everything with, and the same people to cling to like glue. I don't have a whole cast of characters to entertain me and care for me and support me. Sometimes, especially when it feels obvious to me, not having a "friend group" makes me feel like a waste of space. If I don't have more friends than I can count, what's the point in trying to make friends at all?

I can tell you that there is a point. As a matter of fact, just because I don't have a close-knit clique doesn't mean I don't have any friends. The friends I have come from all different walks of life, some are from my town back home and some are from across the country. I've known some of my friends for years, and others I've only known for a few months. It doesn't really matter where they come from, though. What matters is that the friends I have all entertain me, care for me, and support me. Just because I'm not in that "friend group" with all of them together doesn't mean that we can't be friends to each other.

Still, I hate avoiding sticking myself in a box, and I'm not afraid to seek out friendships. I've noticed that a lot of the people I see who consider themselves to be in a "friend group" don't really venture outside the pack very often. I've never had a pack to venture outside of, so I don't mind reaching out to new people whenever.

I'm not going to lie, when I hear people talking about all the fun they're going to have with their "friend group" over the weekend, part of me wishes I could be included in something like that. I do sometimes want to have the personality type that allows me to mesh perfectly into a clique. I couldn't tell you what it is about me, but there is some part of me that just happens to function better one-on-one with people.

I hated it all my life up until very recently, and that's because I've finally learned that not having a "friend group" is never going to be the same as not having friends.

SEE ALSO: To The Girls Who Float Between Friend Groups

Cover Image Credit: wordpress.com

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15 Thing Only Early 2000's Kids Will Understand

"Get connected for free, with education connection"

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This is it early 2000's babies, a compilation finally made for you. This list is loaded with things that will make you swoon with nostalgia.

1. Not being accepted by the late 90's kids.

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Contrary to what one may think, late 90's and early 00's kids had the same childhood, but whenever a 00's kid says they remember something on an "only 90's kids will understand" post they are ridiculed.

2. Fortune tellers.

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Every day in elementary school you would whip one of these bad boys out of your desk, and proceed to tell all of your classmates what lifestyle they were going to live and who they were going to marry.

3.Bunnicula

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You could never read this book past 8 o'clock at night out of fear that your beloved pet rabbit would come after you.

4. Silly bands.

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You vividly remember begging your parents to buy you $10 worth of cheap rubber bands that vaguely resembles the shape of an everyday object.

5. Parachutes.

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The joy and excitement that washed over you whenever you saw the gym teacher pull out the huge rainbow parachute. The adrenaline that pumped through your veins whenever your gym teacher tells you the pull the chute under you and sit to make a huge "fort".

6. Putty Erasers

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You always bought one whenever there was a school store.

7. iPod shuffle.

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The smallest, least technological iPpd apple has made, made you the coolest kid at the bus stop.

8. "Education Connection"

You knew EVERY wood to the "Education Connection" commercials. Every. Single.Word.

9. " The Naked Brothers Band"

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The "Naked Brothers Band" had a short run on Nickelodeon and wrote some absolute bangers including, "Crazy Car' and "I Don't Wanna Go To School"

10. Dance Dance Revolution

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This one video game caused so many sibling, friend, and parent rivalries. This is also where you learned all of your super sick dance moves.

11. Tamagotchi

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Going to school with fear of your Tamagotchi dying while you were away was your biggest worry.

12. Gym Scooters

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You, or somebody you know most likely broke or jammed their finger on one of these bad boys, but it was worth it.

13. Scholastic book fairs

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Begging your parents for money to buy a new book, and then actually spending it on pens, pencils, erasers, and posters.

14.Go-Gurt

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Who knew that putting yogurt in a plastic tube made it taste so much better?

15. Slap Bracelets

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Your school probably banned these for being "too dangerous".

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