My Favorite Things

By Pat Galluzzo ’14 (Photographic & Electronic Media M.F.A.)

A recent alumnus reflects on his love for Baltimore.

Around four and a half years ago, I moved to the Bolton Hill Neighborhood of Baltimore, also home to MICA, by way of Northfield, Massachusetts, Burlington, Vermont, and Rochester, New York. I have lived in a few places, each different, and each with different levels of support and funding for their respective creative communities.

My favorite thing about Baltimore is the ever-growing resources and focus on developing the city’s artistic and creative community.  

With public lectures and talks at organizations across the city; an increasing number of maker spaces that offer affordable access to tools, materials and training; and awards and grants that support creative endeavors of all kinds, Baltimore — from the single unit to the largest institution — showcases a unique atmosphere that is welcoming for creative people of all disciplines, skills and commitment levels, which make it a great place for a creative person to be.

Baltimore is also just a fun place to live. It has a bustling arts scene, but it also has great food and music, neighborhoods with different energies and easy access to places beyond the city for R&R.

You can’t go wrong with steamed Maryland blue crabs, especially at LP Steamers in Locust Point near the harbor. If you have a hankering for live music, you will surely find it here. The beer goes well with the music at Joe Squared near the Studio Center. A few blocks away, you can dance it up at the Brown. And I’d be doing Baltimore a disservice if I didn’t mention “Dirt Church” — or Mount Royal Tavern — always a go-to if everywhere else is feeling bland.

I love Baltimore Bike Party. Get on a bike, ride with the massive crowd around Baltimore and burn off steam at the after party — don’t forget to dress up and decorate your bike! Other arts events and festivals are the Transmodern Festival, Artscape and Akimbo Baltimore.

There are so many neighborhoods here that you can always find something to do. There are free outdoor films around the city each summer. Or you can learn to play bocce at the public courts in Little Italy.

Having grown up in the woods, I like that I don’t have to travel far to find outdoor recreation areas, like Fort McHenry and Druid Hill Park in the city, and Oregon Ridge, Pretty Boy Reservoir and Loch Raven Reservoir just outside of Baltimore. To head even further out, the MARC train at Penn Station has cheap, easy access to Washington, D.C. Finally, Baltimore Washington International Airport (BWI) is also easily accessible if you want to catch one of the airport’s inexpensive flights to many destinations (even winter getaways to the Caribbean!).

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