Friday, December 31, 2010

Federal Hill's Angel Tree: Success!

For two weeks before Christmas, the Angel Tree stood in the middle of Cross Street Market, encouraging passers-by to sponsor a child in need by providing him or her with a present. Over 102 packages, $1,700 worth of gifts, were donated to the cause. Market merchants encouraged giving by awarding those who donated gifts with a $5 Marketbuxx coupon, good at participating merchants in Cross Street Market.

Robert Wilson of Konstant’s Hot Dogs worked with other Market vendors to coordinate the project. "It came as no surprise that this year's economic downturn affected abnormal numbers of families. The Angel Tree program was a way for the merchants in the market to give back to the community, as the community gives so much for the Cross Street Market," said Robert Wilson.

The program was so effective that the program will be expanded next year with Angel Trees at multiple Baltimore public markets.

--Chelsea Ryder

Monday, December 27, 2010

"Body By Donavon" of Federal Hill

Donavon Israel, personal trainer at Federal Hill Fitness, is partnering with Federal Hill restaurants to make working on your ideal body easier than ever. His program is designed to help steer clients toward healthier, yet still delicious, options when dining out.

“I hope to show people that they can have fun at the gym and that they can enjoy their favorite restaurants without sabotaging their diets,” said Donavon, one of the most popular trainers at Federal Hill Fitness.

The business plan incorporates hand-picked meals Donavan selects at restaurants as well as some of his own signature dishes, indicated on menus with a “Body By Donavon/Federal Hill Fitness” logo.

As of now, participating Federal Hill restaurants include Abbey Burger Bistro, Big Jim’s Deli, Mad River Grill, Metropolitan Coffeehouse & Wine Bar, Mother’s Federal Hill Grille, Ryleigh’s Oyster, Taverna Corvino, Pizza Bolis, and Spoons. Spoons, Mad River, Big Jim's Deli, Pizza Bolis, and Miguel’s already have the revamped menu's out and open to the public.

Helping people lead a healthy lifestyle is what Donavon does everyday. "As a trainer I try to emphasize a holistic approach to fitness: nutrition, physical activity as well as sustaining a positive mindset," he explained. "All three should be in balance; finding physical activity that isn’t a chore and finding nutritious foods that you actually look forward to eating will help you stick to a diet.”

Check out the Body by Donavon Facebook page:!/pages/BODYbyDONAVON/146374812080584

The page includes posts by Donavon, providing simple tips on how to stay healthy, exercise, as well as heads up about sponsored dishes in specific restaurants.

--Chelsea Ryder

Friday, December 10, 2010

Angel Tree in Federal Hill’s Cross Street Market

The Salvation Army’s Angel Tree now sits in the middle of the Cross Street Market. Help brighten the holidays for a child in need by sponsoring an Angel (or more than one). Pick yours from off the tree and then drop off the unwrapped gift underneath the tree on or before December 18th.

Thanks to you, Cross Street Market, and the Salvation Army, one more child's Christmas will be made very very merry.

--Chelsea Ryder

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Santa Claus in Federal Hill

Bring your wish list and your camera, Santa will be at the Cross Street Market (1065 S. Charles Street) on Saturday, December 11 from noon to 3:00pm.

In the market, there will be a face painter as well as crafts and treats from Santa for all good boys and girls.

Ho Ho Ho-pe to see you there!

--Chelsea Ryder

Friday, December 3, 2010

Moonlight Madness in Federal Hill

This coming Friday, December 10, is Moonlight Madness! One of Federal Hill's most popular holiday events, the night will offer the opportunity to shop for everyone on your list - at generous discounts!

Starting at 8pm, shops and galleries stay open until 12am, extending progressive discounts to neighborhood shoppers. There will be carolers wandering the decorated streets and FREE gift wrapping as well as light refreshments in the Main Street Office (42 E. Cross Street).

As of now, participating businesses include: Amy's Boutique, Artesanos Don Bosco, Babe, Crystal Moll Gallery, Doggie Style, Federal Hill Kitchen and Bath, Klein’s Antiques, Honey’s Treasure Chest, Mark Cottman Gallery, Ladybugs & Fireflies, Lucky Lucy’s Canine Cafe, Lucinda Gallery & Boutique (pictured above), Pandora’s Box, Phina’s for the Home, So Botanical, The Bottom Drawer, Vanessa’s Vintage Treasures, Whimsy Boutique.

This is a great chance to shop local and save!

--Chelsea Ryder

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Tonight in Federal Hill: Another First Thursday

Tonight, December 2, is the next First Thursday!

Come down to Federal Hill from 6-8pm and enjoy bargains, refreshments, and fun. Shop local and save at shops throughout the neighborhood.

Participating shops:
Alexandra Webb Artisan Jewelry, Amy's Boutique, Artesanos don Bosco, Babe, Crystal Moll Gallery, Honey's Treasure Chest, Jordan Faye Contemporary, Ladybugs&Fireflies, Lucinda Gallery, Mark Cottman Gallery, Pandora's Box, Phina's for the Home, The Book Escape, The Bottom Drawer, Tradestone Gallery, and Whimsy (pictured above)

--Chelsea Ryder

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Coming soon: Federal Hill's Festive Flavors

A friendly reminder that one of Federal Hill's most popular holiday events is right around the corner. Festive Flavors will take place this coming Tuesday, December 7 from 6:00 pm to 10:00 pm.

Groups tour the streets, receiving tasty treats at seven different establishments throughout the neighborhood. Eat, drink, socialize, and be festive! Tickets are $55 and can be ordered online at

Friday, November 19, 2010

Federal Hill Cookbook For Sale

After much anticipation, the time has finally come. Just in time for the gift giving season, you can now buy a copy of Federal Hill’s original cookbook, Federal Hill Cooks.

A bargain at $20, the book contains 200 selections from South Baltimore neighbors, business owners, and chefs. Chapters include Appetizers, Salads, Soups & Sandwiches, Main Dishes, Side Dishes, Desserts, Breakfast, Beverages, Kids in the Kitchen, and more!

Come pick up your copy in The Main Street office (42 E. Cross Street) Monday through Friday or at The Book Escape (805 Light Street) any day of the week. You can even order online at:

--Chelsea Ryder

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Vote for Federal Hill Main Street Green Roof!

42 E. Cross Street could be the first building in the community to have its very own green roof. Federal Hill Main Street is in the running for a FREE green roof, and we need your help!

Cole Roofing of Baltimore is donating a green roof ($30,000 value) to one local nonprofit organization. This would be a perfect addition to our historic building that houses our office and Visitors' Center at 42 East Cross Street in the heart of Federal Hill.

You can help by voting for Federal Hill Main Street by going to the following link:

Scroll down until you get to Federal Hill Main Street (unfortunately, the listings are not alphabetical) and then click on the Vote button. You have to register to vote, but it's a simple email and password set-up.

The competition is fierce, so please vote often (once a day is allowed) as there are only 31 days left to vote. And tell all your neighbors and friends, too!

Also know as vegetated roofs, these growing mediums that are planted over a waterproofing membrane facilitate stormwater runoff, a reduction in the heat island effect, lower utility bills through natural insulation, and protection from UV damage.

Thank you for supporting Federal Hill Main Street!

Sunday, November 14, 2010

The Holiday Season - Federal Hill Style!

Believe it or not, it is that time of year again! December always ushers in two very popular Federal Hill events, enjoyed by neighbors, friends, and visitors alike.
You won't want to miss the 15th annual Festive Flavors on Tuesday, December 7 from 6:00 pm to 10:00 pm. Groups stroll the streets, stopping for tasty food and drink at seven different establishments throughout the neighborhood. Eat, drink, socialize, and be festive! Tickets are $55 and can be ordered online at

Three days later, December 10, Moonlight Madness offers the opportunity to shop for everyone on your list - at generous discounts! Throughout the night, shops and galleries offer progressive discounts while they stay open until midnight. There will be carolers wandering the decorated streets and FREE gift wrapping as well as light refreshments in the Main Street Office (42 E. Cross Street).

The holidays are all about tradition - come and celebrate in Historic Federal Hill style!

--Chelsea Ryder

Friday, November 12, 2010

Facelift for Federal Hill's Light Street

Several area residents, merchants, and elected officials showed up on 11/11 at 11 am to celebrate the ceremonial groundbreaking for a $33 million mixed use project at 1111 Light Street, home of the former Epstein's department store. The vacant properties at 1105-1115 Light Street, stretching between Cross Street Tobacco (1103 Light) and James Pharmacy (1119 Light) and all of Weber Street, will be demolished and replaced with an attractive new LEED certified structure. Demolition is set to begin later this month.

"This is a very exciting day and truly a great project," said Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake, who thanked the developer, Arsh Mirmiran, for his perseverance in a difficult economic climate. Also on hand were City Council Vice President Ed Reisinger and Federal Hill Business Association President Sonny Morstein, who said, "We are looking for a second renaissance in the 1100 block of Light Street," which has seen tough times since the closing of the Epstein's department store 20 years ago.

The project will create 6,000 square feet of retail, 22,000 commercial office space, and 93 luxury rental apartments; estimated completion is late 2011. The living quarters will come equipped with a parking garage, an entertainment lounge, a gym, and a landscaped courtyard. The architect's rendering of the new building (see photo) was unveiled to much applause.

The project’s web site is

--Chelsea Ryder

Friday, November 5, 2010

Federal Hill Illusionist Wows Crowds

People flocked the streets in front of Illusions Magic Bar, 1029 South Charles Street on October 29th to watch Spencer Horsman escape from not one, but two, straightjackets while suspended 50 feet in the air from a crane. He successfully completed the stunt to wild applause. "I'm just glad the wind died down," said Spencer.
The street was blocked off to cars to make way for the event, and hundreds gathered under the spotlights to wait for the main act. Many were community residents who came to support their neighborhood magician, others came from outside the city to catch the stunt, and some diners and shoppers from area restaurants and boutiques got an unexpected treat. The media was well represented as well.

Spencer dazzles the audience every Friday and Saturday night with shows starting at 9:00pm and 10:00pm, respectively. Sit back, relax, have a few drinks, and be prepared to be kept on the edge of your seat all night. The next special event will be Illusion’s New Year's Eve party on December 31, 2010. Call (410)-727-5811 or visit for more details.

--Chelsea Ryder

Photo by Helen Huriaux

Thursday, October 28, 2010

You Are Invited: Federal Hill Tasting Party!

You won't want to miss the much anticipated debut of Federal Hill’s brand new cookbook, Federal Hill Cooks! You can check it out, hot off the presses, AND sample some of the prepared recipes at our Tasting Party!

This fun event will be on
Thursday, November 18, 7-9 pm at Jordan Faye Contemporary (1401 Light Street). Tickets are just $15 and include food tastings and wine. Come celebrate the book release with friends and neighbors!
Cookbooks will be on sale for $20, a bargain with over 200 selections from South Baltimore neighbors, business owners, and chefs. Chapters include Appetizers, Salads, Soups & Sandwiches, Main Dishes, Side Dishes, Desserts, Breakfast, Beverages, Kids in the Kitchen, and more!

To get your Tasting Party ticket, stop by or call Jane at Main Street 410-727-4500.

--Chelsea Ryder

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Federal Hill's Byblos: More Than Good Food

Some say cooking is an art form. There is no doubt that food and art are two of life’s greatest joys. No one knows this better than Sami Tabet. The owner of Byblos Lebanese cuisine at 1033 Light Street, Sami not only runs the restaurant six days a week, he is also an accomplished artist. His oil paintings add a unique flair to the authentic atmosphere of the Lebanese restaurant in the heart of Federal Hill.

Sami paints Arabic words depicting thoughts, stories, and poems in the background of his paintings. This approach reflects the fact, Sami says, that “whenever you do what you do, you are always thinking.” One painting includes names of people he grew up with or once knew incorporated into a scene of seven individuals sitting in a field beneath a tree. The painting that serves as the quintessential piece that delivers this message is titled “No Such A Thing Called Silence.” Sami also dubbed it “Screaming Quiet Place."

Sami discovered his talent for painting at the age of 11 and his passion never ceased. He began taking classes in 1984 in Beirut, Lebanon. His wife, Hala Tabet, is the one behind all of the delicious Lebanese dishes at Byblos, while Sami serves the dishes.

However, meeting his wife and starting a family did not cut short his career as an artist. Soon after coming to the United States in 1988, he began to do full-finishing decorating for restaurants. Now, he decorates his own with his paintings (all of which are for sale). In fact, Sami’s artwork will be on display in a show dedicated to Sami Tabet starting November 1 at The Lutheran Center (700 Light Street). Opening night will ring in with a reception, a chance to meet the artist, walk around, and check out his beautiful and meaningful paintings.

--Chelsea Ryder

Friday, October 22, 2010

Federal Hill’s Businesses Truly Shine

Highlighted in the “AT HOME” section of The Baltimore Sun newspaper are five unique Federal Hill shops. Entitled “For those nights at home,” the article focuses on stores offering home furnishings and housewares that would be delightful inside any home.
Artesanos Don Bosco (828 S. Charles Street) offers beautiful hand-crafted Peruvian furniture. But, it is involved in more than just the business of selling. The store supports a nonprofit organization that provides financial aid to Peruvian communities. The artisans have been trained by Italian craftsmen through the program which operates in Peru. Better yet, all of the profits go right back to the artisans and their communities. (

At Klein’s Antiques (912 S. Charles Street), you will find antique items being sold at wholesale prices. It's also a two-for-one situation -- Baltimore Antique Brokerage buys and sells the products, while downstairs at Federal Restorations and Antiques, the items are restored.

Phina’s for the Home (919 S. Charles Street) is offer affordable and high-quality lines of linens, throw pillows, hand soaps, comforters and more. (

Shofer’s Furniture (930 S. Charles Street), established in 1914, is showecased for its five floors and 70,000 square feet of attractive furniture and home furnishings. And if that wasn’t enough, they also have a clearance center located across the street. (

Zelda Zen (46 E. Cross Street) was included for its unique, playful home decor items, kitchenware, and their famous “Hon Balls." (410-645-2424). (Pictured above)

See photos of the aforementioned (and more!) home goods available in Federal Hill at:

--Chelsea Ryder

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Federal Hill: A Long Way from Japan

The Street Beat Festival wasn’t the only anticipated event happening on September 19th. This was also the day that Hiro Matsumoto came all the way from Japan to visit Federal Hill Main Street, winner of the 2009 Great American Main Street Award! Hiro is interested in starting a similar community revitalization program in his native Japan and was visiting successful organizations throughout the Baltimore/Washington area. Hiro enjoyed the Street Beat Festival activities, particularly the music, and then visited the Main Street Office and Visitors' Center to learn more about the program and its 10-year history.

--Chelsea Ryder

Pictured above are Hiro, Lauren Atkins of National Main Street Center in Washington, DC, and Federal Hill Main Street director Jane Seebold at the festival.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Come n' Get it in Federal Hill: New, New, New!

Federal Hill welcomes three brand new businesses: Midnite, Curiosity, and D&J Gift Shop.

Midnite confection’s cupcakery officially opens at 1051 South Charles on Saturday, October 9th. Along with a cozy, modern atmosphere, Midnite offers a unique twist on the delicious treat we all know and love. Perhaps the most unique are their signature cocktail-themed cupcakes. Other signature flavors include cupcakes with names like “playboy” and “sublime-inal” and, of course, the “midnite” cupcake. If every every night my midnight routine consisted of a chocolate chip cream cheese surprise tucked inside a decadent chocolate cupcake, topped with a sinful chocolate buttercream frosting, I wouldn't mind at all!

Curiosity, another newcomer, is located just above another Federal Hill shop favorite, Whimsy, 1033 South Charles. An expansion of an established interior design studio, Destefano & Graleski, this retail space enables them to offer their own unique flavor with items such as light fixtures, small home accessories, prints, and other specialty home goods.

Located on Light Street, D&J Gift Shop (1129 Light Street) peaks ones curiosity with their supply of various odds and ends. From Halloween masks to jewelry, pocketbooks, hats, china ware tea sets, comical coffee mugs, computer accessories, iPhone covers, and of course, both Orioles and Ravens large life-size chinese umbrellas.

All three are places you surely need to check out for yourself!

--Chelsea Ryder

Friday, October 15, 2010

Another Useful WEB Workshop in Federal Hill

Women Entrepreneurs of Baltimore is hosting “Boomer & Business 101” - a FREE workshop comprised of guidance on career paths, balancing work and home life, as well as entrepreneurship tips.

There will be two program sessions, the first held Wednesday, October 27, 2010 from 6:30-7:45pm and the second on Friday, October 29, 2010 from 12:00-1:15pm. Both workshops will be held at the WEB Federal Hill Training Location (1118 Light Street, Suite 101, Baltimore MD 21230).

Pre-registration is required! To do so, call WEB at 410-727-4921.

--Chelsea Ryder

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Federal Hill Shop Crawl

Come browse the eclectic mix of boutiques Federal Hill has to offer at the Baltimore magazine VIP Shop Crawl on Thursday, October 21st, from 6-9pm.

Businesses will be offering exclusive sales, food and drink specials, and gifts for the first 100 shoppers to arrive! The night starts at Taverna Corvino (1117 S. Charles Street) with beer, wine, and flatbread pizza specials.

Participating shops include: Alexandra Webb Artisan Jewelry, Amy’s Boutique, Babe. (a boutique), Crystal Moll Gallery, Curiosity…, Honey’s Treasure Chest Accessories Boutique, Ladybugs & Fireflies, Lucinda Gallery & Unique Boutique, Mark Cottman Gallery, Pandora’s Box, Phina’s for the Home, The Bottom Drawer, Vanessa's Vintage Treasures, and Whimsy Boutique, all offering at least a 10% discount!

Check out for more information.

--Chelsea Ryder

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Federal Hill’s Magical Main Man

Spencer Horsman of Illusions Magic Bar (1025 S. Charles Street), a fourth generation Federal Hill-er who entered the world of magic at age four, is embarking on a year-long journey with Cirque du Soleil as a performer and MC.

Even though Illusions will be losing its main man, the establishment, owned by Spencer and his father, Ken Horsman, will not be dark. While Spencer is wowing spectators across 14 countries and 36 U.S cities starting in January 2011, some new and exciting acts will take the stage at Illusions. And, Spencer will make appearances and re-appearances on his home stage in between stops on his international tour. You can even catch him in a new light when Cirque Du Soleil comes to the Washington/Batimore area.

Although Spencer looks forward to the opportunity of working in front of such large and diverse crowds, some mysterious force always pulls him back to Federal Hill, where he will continue to “ooo” and “ahh” the crowd at Illusions. Luckily for us, Spencer has not disappeared into thin air and shall return.

--Chelsea Ryder

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

'Federal Hill COOKS!' Coming Soon

... And, you can, too. With Federal Hill Main Street’s soon-to-be-published cookbook, featuring more than 200 unique and personal recipes from local residents, chefs, and business owners. Family secrets revealed as well as restaurant quality dishes, all can be found in the Federal Hill Main Street Cookbook.

The Cookbook will arrive in mid-November, just in time to make the perfect holiday present for a special someone, or to help you actually make something special for all those holiday parties. Besides tons of delicious and unique recipes, the cookbook will also contain original drawings by Kerri Misiaszek of Locust Point and photographs by Steve Cole of Federal Hill South.

Events centered around the Federal Hill Main Street Cookbook are currently being planned at Jordan Faye Contemporary Gallery as well as The Book Escape! Watch for details at

--Chelsea Ryder

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Flavors of Federal Hill For All

Charm City Food Tours introduces Federal Hill as its newest location. Unlike more traditional tours, these food tours are not just for newcomers. Locals and tourists alike can experience the unique flavors of fine dining in Baltimore. In addition to great tastes for the palate, the tours also provide food for thought as participants learn about local history and architecture.

The Federal Hill tour makes stops at different restaurants each time. Participating establishments include:
Big Jim’s Deli, Abbey Burger Bistro, Scarborough Fair Bed & Breakfast, Cross Street Market, Trattoria Anna Maria, and Dangerously Delicious Pies. More venues will be added to the route in the future.

Since my recent discovery of Federal Hill, I've done a little food touring of my own. There are so many great options! I've gotten hooked on Byblos Lebanese Cuisine. Located at 1033 Light Street, Byblos is relatively new, but I predict it will becomes as historic as the neighborhood itself. Dishes include traditional middle eastern entrees such as falafel, babaganoush, and both spinach and meat pies. They also serve desserts and even
vegan options! Not to mention, owners Sami Tabet and his wife Hala Tabet fit in perfectly with their Fellow Federal Hill-ers: kind, friendly, and dedicated, not only to their restaurant but to the Federal Hill neighborhood as well. If Byblos does not get added to the food tours in the future, be sure to check it out on your own personal food tour.

For more information on Charm City Food Tours, visit:

--Chelsea Ryder

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Adopt-A-Pot Flourishes in Federal Hill

As part of Main Street’s beautification mission, four new planting pots were recently placed along the sidewalk on South Charles, adding to the now 21 all-weather pots that bring growing curb appeal to the Federal Hill neighborhood – all thanks to resident, volunteer, and green thumb extraordinaire Helen Huriaux.

Neighbors and business owners care and maintain the pots and the flowers that grow within, all selected by Helen for their color, heartiness, and attractiveness. Two new pots were added on the Charles Street entrance of Advent Senior Housing, another at Green Door Properties (1138 S. Charles Street), and the last welcomes the newly established Kim’s Day Spa (1137 S. Charles). Cobblestone Wealth Management (2 E. Wheeling) is also expecting the delivery of a pot.
Adopt the challenge and take on the mission to check out all 21 pots spread throughout Light Street, E. Cross Street, and S. Charles Street. Or better yet, join other Federal Hill Businesses and residents as an Adopt-A-Pot sponsor. Contact Federal Hill Main Street for more information: 410-727-4500.

--Chelsea Ryder

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Federal Hill Workshop: Access to Capital

Women’s Entrepreneurs of Baltimore (WEB) and Federal Hill Main Street are teaming up to offer a workshop to assist business owners interested in exploring financing options. The event is Thursday, September 30, 2010, 8:30 to 11 am at WEB, 1118 Light Street, Suite 101.

Banks, microlenders, and government agencies will share information about small business funding opportunities and tips for borrowers seeking a loan. Even if you’re not sure if your business is ready to borrow, business planning and credit repair professionals will provide key strategies for getting your financial activities on track and your business focused on advancement, improvement, and most importantly, long-term success.

The workshop is a great value, at $35 ($25 for Federal Hill Main Street members and $30 for WEB graduates). Seating is limited and registration is required, so act now! To register, go online at Eventbrite or contact WEB at 410-727-4921, ext. 20, or Federal Hill Main Street, 410-727-4500.

--Chelsea Ryder

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

New to the Neighborhood!

Federal Hill has adopted three brand new businesses into its attractive and eclectic mix of businesses. Introducing:

Kim’s Day Spa: 1137 S.Charles, 410-752-0070

Also located in Canton, Kim’s Day Spa allows you to pamper yourself with a variety of services including manicures, pedicures, waxing, massage, facials, and even safe and radiant airbrush tanning.

Konstant’s: Cross Street Market, 410-685-4422

Family owned and operated and conveniently located within the Cross Street Market, at Konstant’s you can indulge in hot dogs with many topping options and specialty coffees.

Youcha Bubble Tea Cafe: Cross Street Market, 443-253-1897

The Cross Street Market bubbles with excitement since Youcha’s arrival, offering bubble tea, fresh fruit flavored smoothies, and milk shakes.

And don’t forget about First Thursdays, a promotional event designed for old and new businesses in the area. Many shops and galleries extend their business hours on the first Thursday of each month and offer specials, refreshments, and more! First Thursdays: October 7, November 4, December 2.

-- Chelsea Ryder

Monday, September 20, 2010

Federal Hill Thanks YOU!

Thanks to the beautiful weather, great turnout, and many unique vendors, people enjoyed the music, food & drink, and arts & crafts at the Street Beat Festival this past Sunday. But more importantly, thanks to YOU! Whether you were one of the 70 or so volunteers whose hard work and dedication made the festival possible, a vendor who showcased their wares, or even just a patron who wandered the streets of Federal Hill, we couldn't have done it without you.

Besides the usual delicious food & drink that can always be counted on at the Festival, the addition of new activities for older children helped boost Little Ones Lane, which featured a contest for a new name for the area; watch the blog for details to come!

--Chelsea Ryder

Federal Hill’s Beats Rocked The Streets!

Starting at 11:30 am, bands took to three separate stages at the annual Street Beat Festival in Federal Hill. The weather was hot, but the bands were hotter. The streets were lined with people and live music filled the air, so no matter where you were ordering food & drink, checking out original tee-shirt designs, rummaging through artwork, or trying on hand-made jewelry, you could rock out.

Speaking of rocking out, the School of Rock All Stars performed their version of Lady Gaga’s, “Bad Romance.” Although their wardrobes were not quite as over-the-top as Gaga usually is, the All Stars sounded great. Also keeping the beat throughout the streets were Yum Yum Gimme Sum and, Kings of Belmont, Nelly’s Echon Paul Sanchez and Chris Jacobs (The Bridge), The Bullbuckers, Can’t Hang, Stones Throw, Old Man Brown, Lowercase Blues, All Mighty Senators (always a major crowd pleaser, with many dancing in the streets), Rock Bottom, 9 lb Hammer, Sons of the Radio, Cold Cold Heartbreakers, Down Goes Frazier, and Chopteeth Afrofunk Big Band.

The constant delivery of live music by these great bands certainly provided the background that allowed all festival goers to eat, drink, and be merry at another great Street Beat Festival.

--Chelsea Ryder

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Federal Hill Street Beat's Updated Band Schedule

Take note of the changes in red in the fabulous line-up for the Street Beat Festival this Sunday, September 19, 11 am to 7 pm on the streets of Federal Hill!

11:30 Yum Yum Gimme Sum & Naughty Bits
12:35-1:35 Kings of Belmont
1:50-2:50 Nelly’s Echo
3:10-4:10 Paul Sanchez and Cris Jacobs (The Bridge)
4:30-5:30 The Bullbuckers
5:50-7:00 Can’t Hang

11:30-12:30 School of Rock All Stars
1:00-1:50 Stones Throw
*2:15-3:15 Old Man Brown *NOTE TIME CHANGE!
3:30-4:20 Lowercase Blues
4:40-5:40 All Mighty Senators
6:00-7:00 Rock Bottom (Kiss Tribute Band)

12:00-12:50 9 lb Hammer
1:10-2:10 Sons of the Radio
2:30-3:30 Cold Cold Heartbreakers
3:50-4:50 Down Goes Frazier
*5:20-7:00 Chopteeth Afrofunk Big Band *NOTE:

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Street Beat Band Schedule

It isn’t called the Street Beat Festival for nothing! Besides the fantastic arts & crafts and food & drink, a great reason to wander the streets of Federal Hill this Sunday, September 19th, is the live performances, all FREE! Beats are set to hit the streets starting at 11:30 am:

11:30-12:15 Yum Yum Gimme Sum and The Naughty Bits
12:35-1:35 Kings of Belmont
1:50-2:50 Nelly’s Echo
3:10-4:10 Paul Sanchez and Cris Jacobs from the Bridge
4:30-5:30 The Bullbuckers
5:50-7:00 Can’t Hang (Pictured Above)

11:30-12:30 School of Rock All Stars
1:00-1:50 Stones Throw
2:15-3:00 Chopteeth Afrofunk Big Band
3:30-4:20 Lowercase Blues
4:40-5:40 All Mighty Senators
6:00-7:00 Rock Bottom (Kiss Tribute Band)

12:00-12:50 9 lb Hammer
1:10-2:10 Sons of the Radio
2:30-3:30 Cold Cold Heartbreakers
3:50-4:50 Down Goes Frazier
5:15-7:00 Old Man Brown

--Chelsea Ryder

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Street Beat Bands Announced!

Come check out all these bands and more on Sunday, September 19, 11 am to 7 pm, all for FREE:

All Mighty Senators
Can't Hang
Chopteeth Afrofunk Big Band
Old Man Brown
Stones Throw
Nelly's Echo
Rock Bottom, Kiss Tribute Band
Kings of Belmont
Cold Cold Heartbreakers
Sons of the Radio
The Bullbuckers
Lower Case Blues

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Federal Hill's Best of Baltimore 2010

According to Baltimore Magazine’s August 2010 issue, Federal Hill is hopping with some of the BEST businesses and services in town!

Brunch – Mr. Rain’s Fun House
Pies – Dangerously Delicious Pies
Side Dish – Regi’s American Bistro
Tequila Bar – Blue Agave
Vodka Bar – Stalking Horse
Massage – Apothecary Wellness
Personal Trainer – Reese Ashe at Federal Hill Fitness
Dresses – Whimsy
Jewelry – Alexandra Webb
... So, go out and try these establishments and meet your local business owners. We are very proud to have a neighborhood so full of success stories.
... We also have three more "Bests" from Baltimore Magazine’s annual Readers' Poll:
Bar for Watching the Ravens – Mother's Federal Hill Grille
Museum – American Visionary Art Museum
Women's Clothing Store – babe. (a boutique)
... And in the same issue, Scarborough Fair Bed & Breakfast was named and photographed as one of the Best Bed & Breakfasts in the area.

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Federal Hill: Art Destination

Federal Hill’s art scene is heating up. Two beautiful new galleries opened recently, an art show at Main Street’s last street festival attracted a steady flow of buyers and admirers, and a unique art show at Lucinda Gallery pulled in impressive sales.

Art displays added pizzazz to Federal Hill Main Street’s Jazz & Blues Festival on June 6. “The festival was a great way for us to connect with the community. We were able to bring the art out where the public and neighbors could see it,” said Jordan Faye Block of jordan faye contemporary at 1401 Light St. Jordan exhibited her own work and that of 16 other local artists.
A few days earlier the Mark Cottman Gallery opened at 1014 S. Charles with brilliantly colored paintings popping out from a space brightened by a skylight (photo, above). Mark’s themes range from cityscapes to homelessness and the environment. He chose Federal Hill for his gallery because “this is a great neighborhood and people are supportive,” he said.
Federal Hill artists Jane and Al Wehrle agree. They are now filling special orders after their recent successful opening at Lucinda Gallery, 929 S. Charles. “Affordable art and varied styles: that’s what’s happening on South Charles Street,” said Jane.
Just a few steps down from the Mark Cottman Gallery is the Crystal Moll Gallery at at 1030 S. Charles. Crystal, known for her Federal Hill paintings, said, “This is just the kind of thing we need. We want people to know this street is a destination for art.”
Artists who showed their work at the Jazz & Blues Wine & Art Festival included Nick Aumiller, Halcyon Studios, Baltimore, who said: "It was great to meet and talk to people, and the location for the art venue was excellent." Nick said he was pleased with the crowd.
-- Story & photo by Helen Huriaux

Monday, July 5, 2010

Sidewalk Sale This Saturday, 11-6

There will be bargains galore along Light, S. Charles, and Cross streets this Saturday for the 4th Annual Federal Hill Summer Sidewalk Sale. Don't miss it!

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Have a Happy & Safe Fourth!

Enjoy the holiday and the fireworks from atop Federal Hill!

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Shop Late on "First Thursday" in Federal Hill

It's Federal Hill's "First Thursday" again! Many shops are staying open late on July 1, from 6-8 pm. Come on down for specials, refreshments, and fun at participating galleries, shops, and boutiques along South Charles and Light streets. Here are the places that will be open:

Alexandra Webb Artisan Jewelry
Amy's Boutique
Artesanos don Bosco
Babe. (a boutique)
The Book Escape
Crystal Moll Gallery
Honey's Treasure Chest
Jordan Faye Contemporary
Ladybugs & Fireflies
Lucinda Gallery
Pandora's Box
Phina's for the Home
Tradestone Gallery
Vanessa's Vintage Treasures

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Riverside Park Concerts Begin Sunday Night

The Riverside Concerts in the Park series returns this Sunday, June 27, with the first of a great summer-long line-up! The free concerts begin at 6 pm (rain or shine) at the Riverside Park pavilion at the corner of Riverside Ave. and E. Randall St. Bring a picnic dinner and some chairs and enjoy a fun night out with your neighbors.

Here's the music line-up:

June 27 - Nelly’s Echo (soulful pop, pictured)
July 18 - ilyAIMY (percussive folk-rock)
August 1 - Captain Jack (popular cover songs)
August 15 - ellen cherry trio (literate original pop)
August 29 - Rumba Club (hot Latin jazz)

The concert series is organized by several of your hard-working neighbors with the help of many local businesses, including the Federal Hill Hospitality Association, the Steve Murphy Real Estate Team at Prudential Carruthers, Port Networks, A.J. Billig & Co., Ladybugs & Fireflies, the UPS Store at Southside Market, Bumper Globe Collision Center, Abbey Burger Bistro, Porters of Federal Hill, New Renaissance Architects & Builders, Federal Hill Fitness, and Downtown Dog Resort & Spa.

Hope to see you at the park on Sunday!

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Circulator "Rider Appreciation Day" in Fed Hill Park

This Friday, June 25, from noon to 4 p.m., the Charm City Circulator is celebrating "Rider Appreciation Day" in our very own Federal Hill Park.

The event is free and open to the public. The celebration will feature games and entertainment for the children, raffle drawings throughout the day, and more. The city opened its latest free Circulator bus route - the Purple Line from Federal Hill to Penn Station - earlier this month.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Main Street Pushes for Small Business Solutions

Direct government loans and establishment of microlenders were among the suggestions for increasing access to working capital for small businesses at a roundtable discussion at the Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond in Otterbein on Monday, June 14. Federal Hill Main Street participated in the discussion along with elected officials, banking industry representatives and federal regulators, government officials, and small business owners.

U.S. Representative John Sarbanes said his discussions with Federal Hill Main Street helped him understand that current programs designed to help "were not reaching those that need it." Lack of access to financing for inventory purchases and other critical activities are choking small businesses.

Meetings such as this one that bring regulators, bankers, and small businesses together are being held nationwide to help identify solutions to the credit crunch.

Monday, June 7, 2010

Circulator Purple Line Launches with Fanfare!

Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake and other city officials listening to remarks by Federal Hill Main Street's Jane Seebold at today's ceremony. Main Street volunteer Erin Hopkins shows off the new "Welcome to Federal Hill" purple banners that will soon line neighborhood streets. (Photo by Lauren Marks)

An impressive crowd showed up this morning at Federal Hill's Cross Street Market to kick off the long-awaited Purple Line of the Charm City Circulator. The "fast, friendly, FREE" bus service now runs north-south between Penn Station and Federal Hill, stopping along Light Street turning on Ostend Street, and traveling back up South Charles.

Before cutting the ribbon on the eco-friendly bus, Baltimore Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake thanked Federal Hill Main Street and city and elected officials for helping to make the service a reality. Federal Hill Main Street and Federal Hill Business Association were instrumental in extending the route beyond Montgomery Street and past Cross Street Market to serve all of the community.

"We are thrilled to be standing here today, in the heart of Federal Hill, to celebrate this launch," said Main Street Executive Director Jane Seebold. With the route expanded into Federal Hill, "visitors will now be able to see all we have to offer in this great business district."

The Mayor touted the service as a means for reducing traffic congestion and greenhouse gases. In addition, "it will play a significant role in helping us build stronger neighborhoods and businesses within the city."

Residents, visitors, workers, tourists, and sports fans can now travel for free back and forth between Federal Hill, downtown, Mt. Vernon, and Penn Station. Buses run every 10 minutes.

Friday, June 4, 2010

Sunday's Jazz & Blues Festival: The Bands

We've got another great music line-up for Federal Hill's free Jazz & Blues Festival on Sunday, June 6. The party starts at 11am and doesn't quit till 7pm. Our 2 music stages are on S. Charles St.

West Street Stage
11:30-12:15 - Matt Wigler
12:30-1:20 - Ruben Montoya
1:40-2:30 - Lower Case Blues
2:50-3:50 - Funk Daddy G
4:20-5:30 - Kelly Bell Band
5:50-7 - Eric Lindell

Hamburg Street Stage
11:45-12:30 - Blue Collar Band
12:45-1:30 - Tom Laguna Band
1:45-2:40 - Higher Hands
2:55-4 - Honey Island Swamp Band
4:20-5:10 - Greg Hatza Organization
5:40-7 - Lafayette Gilchrist

There will also be lots of great food & drink to keep you going all day, plus arts & crafts, Little One's Lane for the kids, and the brand new Wine & Art Alley on E. Cross St. We've even added some extra parking. See you there!

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Extra Parking Added for Sunday's Jazz & Blues Fest

There's an Orioles-Red Sox game June 6 during Federal Hill Main Street's Jazz & Blues Festival so we've arranged for additional parking in the neighborhood. Parking will be available at 139 West Ostend St. in the lot across from the Post Office. All day parking is $10 starting at 11am.

We're expecting increased traffic Sunday so if you can take public transportation to the festival, please do! And with the home O's game, "stadium event" parking restrictions will be in effect in Federal Hill's residential areas, which can mean a $75 ticket or towing.

These are the streets that will be closed for the festival, which runs from 11am to 7pm: S. Charles from West to Hamburg streets, and E. Cross between Light and Hanover streets.

Hope to see you Sunday. It's going to be a lot of fun!

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

The Wine & Art at Sunday's Jazz & Blues Festival

This year's Federal Hill Jazz & Blues Festival features two additions to a great day: wine tastings & art. Here's what you'll find on Sunday, June 6, at the "Wine & Art Alley" on E. Cross St. ...

Crystal Moll Gallery, Elizabeth O’Hara, Erin Erb, Halcyon Studios: Nick Aumiller, Jordan Faye Contemporary Gallery (several artists), Paul Marks and Cissy Smith Marks, and Stephen Kishel

Wine Sampling
There will also be informal wine seminars at 3 & 5 pm at the Wine Station on E. Cross St. at Light St. Here are just some of the wines you can try ...
BV (Beaulieu Vineyards), Sterling, New Harbor, Dynamite, Edna Valley, Sagelands, Rosenblum, Snap Dragon, Terrazas, San Telmo, Casa Lapostolle, Stellina di Notte, Archetype, Green Point, Chalone Monterey, A by Acacia, Navarro Correas, Wily Jack

Federal Hill's free street festival starts at 11am and runs to 7pm with two stages of music, arts & craft vendors, Little One's Lane for the kids, food & drink, and lots of neighbors & fun. Don't miss it!

Friday, May 14, 2010

New at Jazz&Blues Fest: Wine & Art Alley

To celebrate the 10th year of Main Street's Jazz & Blues Festival in Federal Hill, we're spicing things up with a new "Wine & Art Alley." There will be wine sampling, wine seminars, and a whole collection of local artists on E. Cross St., north of Cross Street Market.

And of course we'll have all the things that make Jazz & Blues so much fun: two stages of live music, food & drink and arts & crafts vendors, and Little One's Lane for the kids. It's all happening on S. Charles and E. Cross streets on Sunday, June 6 from 11am to 7pm. Free admission!

The festival is part of Federal Hill Main Street's ongoing program to promote and improve the neighborhood's central business district. If you're interested in volunteering for the festival, call 410-727-4500.

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Just 4 Weeks Till Jazz & Blues Fest

Mark your calendars for Federal Hill's 10th annual Jazz & Blues Festival on Sunday, June 6. This year the free street festival features Eric Lindell from New Orleans and Baltimore's own Kelly Bell Band. There will be music all day (11-7) on two stages, arts & crafts, and Little One's Lane for the kids. Don't miss it!

Thursday, May 6, 2010

1111 Light St. Set to Begin Construction this Fall

The new building proposed for 1111 Light St. will improve nearly an acre of real estate in Federal Hill when it is completed in late 2011 and will offer many new business development opportunities to the neighborhood.

The design is close to completion and requires the demolition and reconstruction of current buildings because major defects were found in existing structures. A Traffic Impact Study has been completed showing that the project will create only a marginal impact on traffic in the area. Utility line relocation efforts (BGE, Verizon, and Comcast) will begin this month and will take a large number of existing overhead power lines and place them underground.

Replacing buildings at 1105-1117 Light St. and all of Weber St., the new structure will offer 6,000 square feet of retail space on Light Street and 22,000 square feet of office space on the second, third, and fourth floors. Retail space is already two-thirds leased. The rest of the new project will include 93 condominiums, a parking garage, an entertainment lounge with an indoor/outdoor fireplace, a gym, and a landscaped courtyard.

As all parts of the project come together – design, permits, and financing – construction should begin in the third quarter of 2010 and last approximately 12-15 months – with a goal of 13 months to completion.

Watch for marketing-related updates on the project’s web site, as well as a forthcoming construction update page that will be regularly maintained by the developer and the general contractor.

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Federal Hill Stars in New Art Exhibit

Five artists put their views of Federal Hill on display at the Crystal Moll Gallery (1030 S. Charles St.) with an opening reception Saturday, May 1. Crystal Moll and Bill Tamburrino (above) were joined by Will Williams, Stewart White, and Bill Wilson in the show that continues through May 23 at the gallery in Federal Hill. Don't miss this great exhibit!

Thursday, April 29, 2010

"Charm City Circulators" Get Taste of Federal Hill

Baltimore's "Charm City Circulator" free bus service is scheduled to open its new Purple Line into Federal Hill next month. Drivers on this route got a warm welcome today from Federal Hill merchants as they toured our neighborhood on one of the Circulator buses.

Several business owners boarded the Circulator at the five stops in our neighborhood to talk with the drivers, who will also serve as tour guides on the route. Businesses included: The Book Escape, Alliance Comics, Scarborough Fair Bed & Breakfast, SunTrust Bank, Jordan Faye Contemporary Gallery, School 33 Art Center, Mother's Federal Hill Grill, Amy's Boutique, Illusions Magic Bar & Lounge, Phina's for the Home, Lucinda Gallery, and Babe (a boutique). The drivers also received shopping bags filled with treats, coupons, discounts, maps, and brochures from many other local businesses.

Pictured above are Spencer Horsman (Illusions), Lisa Ponzolli (babe), and Carla Wing (Phina's).

Service for the new Federal Hill-Penn Station line was initially planned to extend south only to Montgomery St. But through the efforts of Federal Hill Main Street, the route was extended to Ostend St. so that the Circulators would travel through the entire central business district. Merchants and residents alike are looking forward to the free bus service, which has been a boon to businesses along the Orange Line (Hollins Market to Harbor East). The eco-friendly hybrid buses feature large windows, a quiet ride, and short waits (10 minutes) between buses.

"This was a great showing for Federal Hill," said Eric Masterton-Mott of Visit Baltimore, who planned the day for the Circulator operators.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

'Spring Fever' Sidewalk Sale: May 1

Federal Hill shops & boutiques are welcoming spring with a sidewalk sale this Saturday, May 1. Visit shops along the 800-1200 blocks of Light and S. Charles Streets and on E. Cross Street. Sales start at 11 am and go until 6 pm. Don't miss it!

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Another Great Spring Block Party: Thanks!

Despite the dire weather forecasts all week, today's Spring Block Party went on without a drop of rain. Many, many thanks to all the volunteers, vendors, bands, and many generous Federal Hill businesses who helped make our first street festival of the year a success!

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Rain or Shine, It's Spring Block Party Time

Federal Hill's first street festival of the year is on for this Sunday, April 25, from 11-7p.m. There will be two stages with great bands on E. Cross St. (the south side of the Market), along with food & drink and arts & crafts. Admission is $5.

Here's the music line-up:


11:30-12:15 School of Rock All-Stars
12:30-1:30 The Mooks
1:50-2:40 Nelly's Echo
3:05-4:00 Psycho Killers (Talking Heads tribute band)
4:20-5:20 Damn Right
5:40-7:00 Blue Miracle


11:40-12:40 Willie’s Light
1:00-2:00 The Lombards
2:20-3:20 The Reserves
3:40-4:30 Stone’s Throw
4:55-5:35 Rock Bottom (Kiss tribute band)
5:50-7:00 Pasadena

The festival supports Federal Hill Main Street's efforts to promote & revitalize the neighborhood's central business district.