Tuesday, November 2, 2010


We live in a little village called Hampden just three miles from the Inner Harbor in Baltimore. This is a tour of 36th Street, lovingly know as The Avenue.


Cafe Hon's iconic bird lets you know you have arrived in Hampden. Denise Whiting is the owner and is practically the mayor of Hampden. She created Hon Fest and is just the most fun person!

The ladies at Flaunt were in full Halloween mode on Saturday.

Katie rocked a great Edward Scissor-hands.

Lindsay always makes me happy!!! Happytown-USA in the Hair Chair at Flaunt on the AVE!!! I love her orange highlights for the holiday.

E. had to work so I took the afternoon to shop with my fab new hairs for dining chairs virtually so he could pick the ones he liked best. I took a million photos so grab a cup of tea and enjoy a tour of Hampden.

9th Life sells vintage patterns and quirky items from the past.

Roller skates and I spy a very cute orange lamp and my favorite color ice bucket.

Vinyl bowls. Way to recycle!

Angela is the owner. She said she would be open until people stopped visiting her shop the day before Halloween. I'm sure she was slammed.

Charlotte Eliott is a great find for the silver junkie. They have antique furniture, linens, china and little gems.

I have a collection of Kasmir boxes. These are way too expensive at $45 each. You can get them for $10 most of the time.The owner admitted she had paid too much for them and would most likely have them for a long time. Good thing I have one almost identical to this one.

The lower level has vintage clothing.

We are fond of ladder back chairs but these were a little too turned and curvy. Momma would dig the Imari china on the hutch. If you could only see my mother's collection. My weakness is silver, mother's is china.

Avenue Antiques is just the most fun. They are on Twitter which makes me happy @AvenueAntiques.

From the pressed tin ceilings to the wall to wall loot, you just can't go wrong with a stop in this shop. I love the hanging lamps lining the aisles.


Love oil cloth but not on a chair...

I thought this chair had potential. Brought E. back on Sunday and we found them to be too rickety.

Too bad. They were priced well at $70.00 each.

This was the first of many owls I saw on The Avenue. Boo to the Who.

Razzo is another spot that you just have to stop and see. It's the second most touristy place to visit on the block next to Hon.

Tom Matarazzo is the artist and is just a doll! He's an ex-Baltimore cop, God Bless Him.

He too is finding great ways to recycle.

And enjoys retirement being creative.

Baltimore screen painting is becoming a lost art. The row houses in Hampden have very low windows at street level. When people walked on the sidewalk they could look right into your living room. These screens were a way of creating privacy with a bit of flare.

The good ones are made of metal.

Red Tree is one of the only locations with brand new furniture. They also have extraordinary gifts.

More owls.

Handmade jewelry

Clever displays

And more owls. How cute is that Owl sock monkey?

And the owl onesie we gave at a recent baby shower can be found at this chic shop.

They also sell Shawn Theron's art.

J'adore this chair for the living room. But way too cher for my spending freeze.

Boo for spending freezes.

So back to discount stores, of which there are a plenty. David's is a classic. You have to go often to find good stuff and they have great outdoor furniture in the warmer months.

Paradiso is one of our favorite shops. We bought a very cool garden trellis/planter here our first spring.

Ric and Sharona own Paradiso. They are the art dealers of The Avenue.

E. loves mid-century modern. I love the lines. These babies are contenders for our Thanksgiving table.

They were moving and shaking the whole time during my visit. It is so great to see that people still appreciate well made items and great customer service.

Hampden Junque had my Granddmommy Nancy's old phone!

I prank called a million people just because it was so much fun to "play" with when I was little. Trip are you reading? Do you remember that?

Green Owl.

Owl, owl, owl, owl.

Hoooty Whoooooo owl?

Hon serves my favorite BLT in all the world.

Denise has done such a great job redecorating the back room.

Now, there is one location that can NOT be missed. Ma Petite Shoe. I call Virginie ma petite choux, which means "my little cabbage" so I love this store even more. They sell shoes and chocolates and have chocolate happy hours. I mean, are you kidding me?

Susanna, the owner gave me the royal treatment one late night. I saw the light on. Backed my car into a parking spot, walked up the stairs to find the ladies refinishing the wood floors at the shop. I was deseperate for shoes. Aren't we all? But seriously, I was on the verge of a three day tradshow and needed flats...STAT. She brought me every 7 1/2 in the house to try on, ON THE FRONT PORCH. How awesome is that? I bought two. Thank you again and again Susanna for saving me!!!

And if shoes and chocolate were not a big enough temptation, Puffs and Pastries is right next door.

The only dime I spent all day was on this gorgeous bit of goeyness, a piece of walnut baklava.

They also feature another Hampden artist, Steve Baker of Wholly Terra. Wholly Beautiful more like.

Some whiches started early on the trick or treating. Every year at 5:00 pm on Halloween Hampden becomes a mecca for ghosts and goblins all of ages. I was a bit peeved to see 14 year olds out at 2pm sans costume. That's just tacky.

Flourish is the new kid on the block and has all of your shabby chic needs.

In Watermelon Sugar is an apothecary of French milled soaps, lotions and other home decor gifts. It smells amazing when you walk in the front door.

I see you owl. We did have an owl hoot in our tree at Stone Hill that was magnificent. I didn't realize how many owls I had seen in Hampden until I got home and looked at the camera. And I thought I had a bunny fetish.

And finally, if you don't know Jack....

...you don't know Hampden.

Much appreciation to Flaunt for my fabu do. I appreciate your patience with me. Thank you to all the Hampden hot spots that didn't get mentioned. 13.5 and Golden West, Grano and Common Ground, Spro and Breathe Books, Double Dutch and Atomic Books...we are so lucky to have such a rich, diverse group of independent shops just minutes away. And Deb Falkenhan, you made us feel like part of the community the minute we landed. Thank you for being the very first to welcome us to our new village!!!


Ella said...

God morning Nelle,
My oldest daughter flies to Stockholm today for shopping with her best friends, I'm not jealous.... But lucky me, having you and your pics. Having my coffee and at the same time visiting and enjoying all the fascinating shops and other places in Baltimore.

Nelle Somerville said...

Hi Ella!
I've been working all day during a fun event and just saw your note. Glad you enjoyed your coffee. How old are your girls? My computer was down so my Tranquil Tuesday post will have to wait until next week. Best to you, Nelle

Bethany said...

Love it! Hampden is such a fun place to explore. The Natty Boh earrings are too funny and I love the antiques you found, although I could skip the oilcloth upholstered chair! I'm going to Mexico this week and am actually planning to buy a bunch of cool oilcloth to make aprons, not upholster chairs! Have a great day.