I organized a group tour of Hampden for the spouse program that was in town last week. I stopped by to alert the stores and find the Hampden merchants map for the group.
Avenue Antiques sent me to Atomic Books on Falls Road.
is an independent bookstore full of objects made of paper, vinyl, plastic and various other actual materials at the edge of time.
They have the best section of do it yourself books.
They have a custom Charm City Cake. Do you see the John Waters photo to the right? Love JW.
Benn, one of the owners writes the hilarious and clever blog, Mobtown Shank. The Overheard comic section is my favorite!
Hampden feels like a step back in time...the mailman stopped in during my visit. It has such a small town feel.
Next door is doubledutch, hands down one of the most fabulous women's clothing and accessory boutiques in Baltimore and a great anchor to The Avenue.
Well, hooty whoo, more owls. I guess they are super popular.
They have little owl bookmarks, shoes, great bags, vintage clothing and even Quicksilver clothing.
They also have wonderful jewelry and accessories.
They also have a great wall of what to do, where to find a photographer and a "lost cat" type pin up wall.
Urban Baby is for the stylish kid.
The owner sells toys and books.
As well as wee baby Vans.
And little Fedora's and punky caps.
This is a view of The Avenue looking east.
The owner is adorable and was reading Tribes.
Cozy Baby is really for the earth parent looking for an all natural diaper experience, organic clothing, yoga baby books and more. I'm not so sure how I feel about washing dirty diapers. Love the concept, not so sure I could actually go forth with it.
The owner is wonderful and quite the sales person. She was teaching a new mom how to swaddle and fasten a Velcro cloth diaper.
The Hamdpen Family Chiropractic office is across the street too.
The crossing guard in Hampden is our neighbor.
You can't visit Hampden and not stop by Falkenhan's Hardware. Deb's shop is the heartbeat of this village.
It is on 34th Street, where the Miracle on 34th Street takes place for Christmas.
Copcar is the chair of the welcoming committee.
I've bought every type of mouse trap under the moon from Deb, but the old school ones still work the best.
Now, don't get all soft on me...I know this photo is gross as gross can be but I have to tell you, I felt victorious with my little Victor traps. We have an exterminator come out to Stone Hill every 45 days or so. Living in an 160 year old house has it's benefits...charm, character for days and ghosts....but the mice I can DEAL WITHOUT. They make us crazy. So die you little suckers. You are not welcome!!!
Maybe we could rent Copcar for help with our mice issue. Knock on wood, we haven't seen or heard hide nor hair of a meece since I took the dead mouse photo. That's right. I'm taking photos and posting them on the Internet as intimidation mice!!! I repeat, you are not welcome.
The cast of characters at Falkenhan's is always a long and lovely one. Everyone is welcome.
Across from Falkenhan's on Chestnut is Wholly Terra.
Steve Baker's studio has this iconic circle themed sculpture he uses from recylced materials.
He's another guy you just fall in love with the minute you meet him! He is runner up for Mayor of Hampden next to Deb at Falkenhan's and Denise at Cafe Hon.
He made this kitty out of his old VW bug.
He's excited about a new venture in the building next door to his gallery.
He's planning on opening a gelato and coffee shop.
That will be a nice addition to Chestnut.
New System was two doors down and there was a collective GASP in Hampden when the bakery closed after over 80 years in business. It breaks my heart but has saved me hundreds of calories.
Steve's artwork is whimsical and sincerely happy.
His son was taking a break from planting trees in the neighborhood.
Little bug in a rug.
What a precious kid! He's grown up so fast in three years. He was just a babe when we first met him.
And Georgia is a great watch dog.
There are even more shops and restaurant in this section of town that I haven't captured. Come visit. It's the best part of Baltimore in our humble opinion.