Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Grilled Cheese & Co: Let Comfort Food Come To You

 Don't let Old Man Winter keep you from enjoying great local dinning options in Federal Hill this Holiday Season. Grilled Cheese and Company is your destination for comfort food, and they're expanding their delivery area in the coming weeks in order to reach more cheese lovers!

In addition to delivery expansion, Grilled Cheese & Co will offer on-site catering for your special events and office holiday parties.

Their menu features vegetarian options, salads, homemade soups, and Maryland classics like Grilled Cheese & Co's take on crap dip: Crabby Dip Bread Bowl (must be requested by 3pm the day before pick-up).

Also this month, buy $50 in gift cards at any Grilled Cheese & Co location (Catonsville, Sykesville, Federal Hill) and you'll receive a complimentary $10 gift card for yourself!

Their "Chicken Chesapeake" grilled cheese sandwich and tomato soup are best-sellers, and for good reason--better than Mom used to make!

Look for the fourth addition to this growing local franchise, set to open in Waugh Chapel by early March 2014.

Follow Grilled Cheese and Company on Facebook for their latest promotions and event news.

Briana Lopes, Intern

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Ron Zimmerman Realtors & The Rowan Tree Help You Give Back this Holiday Season

Sponsored by your local small businesses!

The American Rescue Workers, located at the corners of South Hanover and Clement streets, kindly asks you to give back to our neighbors this holiday season by donating your gently used winter clothing.

Their homeless mission aids men in recovery, in addition to serving thousands of meals every year to Baltimore families in need. They need nonperishable food items for their pantry and men's clothing, if possible, but will accept any generous donation. Drop Off location: Ron Zimmerman Realtors, 1234 Light Street, or The Rowan Tree Tavern, 1633 South Charles Street.

 The Allen Center for Seniors is kicking off this holiday season with a raffle for a hand-crafted Ravens Afghan. Ticket prices TBA, and will be available for sale next week at Rowan Tree and Ron Zimmerman Realtors.


Moveable Feast is a national non-profit that puts food on the tables of Maryland residents fighting life-threatening illnesses, HIV/AIDS, and cancer.

 They have an ongoing 50-50 raffle that has already started, centered around the Ravens Season, and they are currently up to $700.00! Winner recieves 50% of the take, and the remainder is donated to Moveable Feast.

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Cheese Galore and More Announces Asiago Contest Winners!

Judges: Debbie Alt, Crystal Moll, Frieda Ulman
Congratulations to the winners of Cheese Galore and More's first annual Asiago Cheese Spread Contest!

                    1st Place - Kevin Lillis
                    2nd Place - Kendra Heyde
                    3rd Place - Kendra Heyde
                    4th Place - Nancy Miller

Everyone who participated made the event a huge success.

Owner Sharon Johnson says judges Debbie Alt, Crystal Moll, and Frieda Ulman had a tough time deciding because all the entries were outstanding and unique in their own way.

Events like these promote shopping locally within our community--first and fourth place winners Kevin and Nancy "sourced" their ingredients from Cross Street Market-- so we hope to see another one like it next year!

Federal Hill Ace 'Shopsgiving' Sidewalk Sale and Blood Drive

In the spirit of the holidays, give back while you shop Black Friday deals during Federal Hill Ace Hardware's Shopsgiving event!

Saturday, November 30, from 10am - 3pm, Children National Medical Center will have their bloodmobile parked outside Ace, collecting donations to help kids in need. 

Your local hardware destination will also host a sidewalk sale starting at 11am, with most items under $1! This is a great opportunity to collect stocking stuffers and small, inexpensive gifts for those holiday parties and secret Santa exchanges!

They need at least 20 donors. Please sign up for an appointment time here:

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Celebrate the Holidays Federal Hill Style!

Federal Hill will kick off this holiday season, per tradition, with the 18th Annual Festive Flavors Tour on Tuesday, December 10th, from 6 to 10 pm. Groups travel to 7 different local restaurants and bars, where they'll sample delicious food and (adult) beverages, all for only $55. Tickets can be purchased at Federal Hill Main Street, 42 East Cross Street.  

Everyone's favorite shopping event, Moonlight Madness, will be held Friday, December 13th, from 8 pm to midnight. Don't miss your chance to score last minute holiday deals and find something for everyone on your list! Locally owned shops will stay open late to offer you specials and savings on everything from vintage jewelry and unique clothing, to creative homegoods and one-of-a-kind artwork. All the while, Carolers will stroll the streets, filling the air with holiday cheer!

Retrieve a "Moonlight Madness Passport" from Federal Hill Main Street, get at least 5 stamps from participating businesses on December 13th, and you'll be entered to win a goody bag of Federal Hill items. We'll be open 'til midnight to offer complimentary gift wrapping and refreshments!
Prior to this shopping extravaganza, join members of Federal Hill Neighborhood Association and Federal Hill Main Street at our annual Tree Lighting, to be held at the Digital Harbor Foundation Tech Center Park at 7pm. Children of all ages can enjoy caroling, hot cocoa and cookies, and a special visit from you know who!

Please feel free to bring your children's hand-made ornaments or decorations for our community tree. They can be dropped off in advance, or bring them with you to the event and we'll hang them during the lighting ceremony.

Santa will be available for pictures (please bring your own camera) on Saturday, December 14th, from noon to 4 pm at the Cross Street Market. There will be crafts and activities which the entire family can enjoy together.

Please join our community in celebrating the holidays, as they are meant to be shared. We hope to see you there!

Briana Lopes, Intern

Monday, November 4, 2013

Cheese Galore and More: Enter Our Asiago Cheese Recipe Contest!

Cheese Galore and More, located inside the historic Cross Street Market, will celebrate the start of their third year with a special recipe contest using one of their best-selling cheeses--Asiago Spread aka “Federal Hill Crack.” First place winner will recieve bragging rights and a $50 gift certificate to Cheese Galore and More. First runner up will recieve a $25 gift certificate, while third place winner can choose between a $10 gift certificate or a pound of the addictive Italian cheese.

To earn your chops as a Federal Hill Foodie, just enter your dish using the infamous Asiago Spread. Already known to have been mixed into mashed potatoes, spread on the top of steaks, as well as served on all sorts of crackers and crostinis, there are endless recipe posibilities!

Pick up your entry form either from the Cheese Galore and More Stall at the Cross Street Market or email Bring your completed application form and at least three servings of your special recipe with you to the contest. The contest judging will be held on Saturday, November 16th at 3 PM at the Cheese Galore and More location in the Cross Street Market.

Monday, October 21, 2013

Historically Hip Halloween: 7 Adorable DIY Kids Costumes

"What are you going to be for Halloween?" Children (and adults) hear this question every October, but it never ceases to provoke anxiety and anticipation! Although a trivial feat, finding just the right costume seems to be important at every age. What makes a great costume? If you take a stroll down any Party City isle, you'll see current pop stars, classic cartoons and fairy tale idols, and a mask of every horror movie villain created.

Not only can these store-bought costumes run you a pretty penny, they're the same recycled ideas from last year, lacking your own individual stamp. If you're feeling crafty, thrifty, and time-crunched, and you want to have the most uniquely-dressed trick-or-treaters on the block, bust out your sewing kit (or safety pins and fabric tape) and try these simple and affordable do-it-yourself costumes that your little ones are sure to love!

Dwight, from The Office

No alterations required! All you need to do is dig through your husband's tie drawer, pick the one he never wears, and pair with black dress pants, black shoes, and solid colored dress shirt. The look is solidified by Dwight's signature glasses and slicked down hair.

Hot Air Balloon

This creative costume is super easy and inexpensive to make. You probably have a wicker basket laying around the house, along with brown paper lunch bags and white rope or string. Fill two bags with candy and tie them to the ends of two ropes. Use a third to create a knot from which your balloon will be attached with ribbon. Cut leg holes in the bottom of your basket, and fill your balloon with helium to keep it from falling down!


Keep up with the times with this easy, no-fuss costume. It's a project you can work on with the kids. Use a rectangular cardboard box, cut slits for arms, head, and legs. Paint it white, and stencil on the apple logo and touch circle with silver Sharpie marker. Use red duct tape to outline and cover the rest of the box. 

California Sushi Roll

Baltimore is a foodie town, and sushi is a cult favorite among many people young and old in neighborhoods like Federal Hill. Celebrate your love of Asian cuisine with this simple costume you can make from felt cut outs, a black onesie and leggings, and black headband. The chopsticks and ginger/wasabi headband pull together this precious outfit!

Frida Kahlo, Artist

For the toddler who appreciates folk art. This clever costume can be recreated with synthetic roses, a colorful shawl, Mexican-style embroidered dress and a brown eyebrow pencil to create the allusion of the painter's famous unibrow. 

Alice in Wonderland

Put a unique spin on a classic heroine costume. Purchase grey and white horizontal stripped tights and matching hair bow and Alice's signature turquoise blue dress. Remember the boxes Build-A-Bear comes in? That shape is perfect for decorating the white rabbit's house! 


Poe would be so proud. Show your town spirit and reinvent this iconic mascot. Martha Stewart shows you how, step-by-step, here.

With a little inspiration, we hope to see you and your family all decked-out in Halloween attire in the Federal Hill Business District on Halloween Day (from 4pm to 7pm) for the annual Federal Hill Businesses Association's Trick-or-Treat event. Each business (between the 800 and 1300 blocks of Light and Charles Streets) with orange and black balloons in front of their doors will have free candy for the kids!

Briana Lopes, Intern

Friday, October 11, 2013

2nd Annual SoBo Halloween Bash: An All Ages Affair!

The Second Annual SoBo Halloween Bash will take over Riverside Park on Sunday, October 27, from 1pm to 6pm. What emerged from collaborative ideas of FedHillKids volunteers expanding their bash venue, and community advocate Cathy Strodel’s vision of an inclusive event in the park with “…young and old people, families and single people,” has now evolved into a Halloween tradition for children and adults of all ages. 

Planning Committee leader  Misty Keens writes in the October-November issue of SoBo Voice, “This year the planning committee has aspired to make it bigger and better than ever! We have a grand plan in the works…food from local vendors and food trucks, lawn games and tournaments for the adults, live music, costume contests for the young and old, 50/50 raffle and grown-up beverages!” Beer and wine will be sold from 4pm to 6pm, and during that time Misty says the event will be “a bit more adult focused.” 

The Halloween Bash has been and will continue to be FREE due to the generous donations of sponsors in our community, such as Protean Records, Harris Teeter, and Porter’s Pub, to name a few! If you’d like to volunteer your time, contact Misty Keens at

Briana Lopes, Intern

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

SoBo Cafe to host Reception benefiting Aspire SHARPkids Mentoring Program

SoBo Cafe is one of many small businesses in Federal Hill who is continuously giving back to its community.  They have teamed up with "SHARPkids," an after school program benefiting students of neighboring Sharp-Leadenhall, to promote their initiative and raise funds for this amazing cause. A dessert and wine reception will be held on Monday, September 30 from 7 to 9:30pm, and tickets are only $25.

On September 19, Federal Hill's Award-winning restaurant participated in Moveable Feast's 20th Annual "Dinning Out For Life," a city-wide fundraising event which takes proceeds from volunteering restaurants--between 20 and 100 percent!--and provides nutritious meals for Marylanders battling life-threatening illnesses such as HIV/AIDS. SoBo Cafe donated 20% of their Dinner guests' checks to help feed their hungry neighbors.

Just weeks before that, the contemporary comfort food restaurant hosted a "Back to School" Happy Hour benefiting The House of Ruth, Inc., which works to end violence against women and their children through outreach, education, and support.

Briana Lopes, Intern

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Street Beat Band Schedule

Street Beat Festival 2013 is almost here! So you can better plan your day, and get to see the bands you love, we've put together a detailed list of performances. Where else is Baltimore can you experience over a dozen live music acts absolutely FREE!

Hamburg St. Stage

Nelly's Echo 5:30 - 7
Pasadena 4 - 5
Grilled Lincolns 2:30 - 3:30
Bond and Gently 1 - 2
I'm Just Saying 11:45 - 12:45

Cross St. Stage

Old Man Brown 5:30 - 7
Uncle Jack 4 - 5
Jenny Leigh Band 2:30 - 3:30
Olyver James Band 1:30 - 2:15
Getamunstit 12:30 - 1:15
Karmic Debt 11:30 - 12:15

West St. Stage

All Mighty Senators 5:30 - 7
ELM 4 - 5
Freedom Enterprises 2:30 - 3:30
Cara Kelly & the Tell Tale 1 - 2
Speakers of The House 11:45 - 12:45

Also, don't forget to stop by and support your local vendors!

The Rowhouse Grille
Hot Corner Lee's   
SoBo Cafe

Fat Larry's


Tuesday, August 20, 2013

2013 Street Beat Festival Announced

Federal Hill Main Street's biggest annual block party, Street Beat Festival, quickly approaches! The free outdoor extravaganza will take place Sunday, September 8, from 11am to 7pm.

Not only will there be dozens of food and art vendors to indulge every palate and aesthetic, we're providing the stage for live music from local artists  you know and love!

This family-friendly event has something for everyone, including the popular children's corner--Kid's Kross Street!

For more information about the festival or any FHMS events, give us a call at 410-727-4500, visit our website, or stop by our office at 42 E. Cross Street.

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Funk Salon: Welcome to Federal Hill!

Federal Hill Welcomes its newest business to the neighborhood--Funk! More than a salon, this beauty haven oozes unique style all its own.

 As you're draped in sultry R&B upon walking through the door, the friendly staff offer you a miniature bottle of water (embossed in their graffitti logo), and you're treated to the pleasure of plush leather sofas and high-fashion mags while you wait to be pampered.

Sophisticated, yet edgy, spa-like but with a barbershop ease-of-conversation vibe, Funk definitely caters to the modern woman who doesn't want to compromise the rare experience of having her hair professionally styled.

Funk (900 Light Street) opened its new doors June 1st, marking their five year anniversary since inception at their previous Charles Village location. Co-owner and principle stylist LaNyce Oldham says she's excited to be in Federal Hill, and the change has been well-received by both area residents and her loyal clientele.

"We love the neighborhood, it's so welcoming," says LaNyce. "We really want to be a part of the community."

As of now, the salon has two stylists who can cater to your hair needs; including color and perm/relaxer treatments and maintenance, hair extensions, and general styling. "It's urban themed. We like to play with color, and we do a lot of extensions," says LaNyce, whose glowing, healthy highlights she says she did herself. "We're looking for stylists who want to be in a fun environment, are really good with color (or are willing to learn), and applying treatments," she continues.

LaNyce says they also plan to expand their brick and mortar with the addition of a "blow-dry bar," which she anticipates will be complete by beginning of Fall 2013.

Briana Lopes, Intern

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Interview with New FHMS Executive Director: Andrea Sommer

Federal Hill Main Street has a new executive director with a familiar face! Andrea Sommer -- long-time career volunteer and small business owner -- talks about her passion for community outreach and development, how her background in event planning makes her the right woman for the job, and what she has planned for the future of the organization. 

You’ve volunteered with FHMS in the past. Talk a little about those experiences and how they’ve lead you here.

I began with Federal Hill Main Street soon after it started. Leslie Simmons, who founded Little One’s Lane, first recruited me to help out with the children’s area of the festivals. I worked on that for a few years, then spent some time on the Promotions Committee. I purchased a business in the neighborhood in 2008 and continued to stay involved as a business owner, participating in various events, contributing to the newsletter, and encouraging other families in the neighborhood to be involved. When I closed my business in 2011 and started SoBoKids, many of the family volunteer projects we did were in conjunction with FHMS.

How will your education and professional background help you succeed as executive director?

After graduating from the College of William and Mary, I moved to New Orleans and worked for their Convention and Visitors Bureau, which brought conventions and major happenings, such as the Super Bowl, to the city. I began my career as an event planner after relocating to Charlotte, NC, where I worked for a hotel chain on both social and corporate events. When we moved to Baltimore, while I was expecting my first child, my focus shifted to "career volunteer." I worked with Federal Hill Main Street, my alumni association and Federal Hill Preparatory school on a variety of fundraising projects and activities. Life took a big turn when I purchased Ladybugs & Fireflies, a children's gift and toy store on South Charles Street. I loved being involved in the neighborhood as a business owner as well as parent. Both of my children attended Federal Hill Prep at the time, so my life was pretty much contained in South Baltimore. When the business closed, I started SoBoKids, which planned service projects families could do together around the neighborhood. I also contributed a family column to Main Street's newsletter, and volunteered for various community activities.

My event planning experience will help me with Main Streets biggest fundraisers: Fest of All, Festive Flavors, and the House Tour. More importantly, as a former small business owner, I am very aware of the challenges local brick and mortar stores face on a daily basis. I also am very invested in this neighborhood, and want to see it succeed not just as Main Street Director, but as a resident and a parent of kids who love living here.

What are you passionate about?

I’m very passionate about families being a part of Baltimore City, and I am proud to be raising my children here. I truly believe that neighborhoods are what make this city unique, and are what are keeps families here. We have such an amazing city as our backyard, and are part of such a wonderful community. My kids cannot walk down the street without saying hello to a person they know. They love walking into stores and restaurants where someone recognizes them. They truly have a sense of being part of community, not just one that is created by a sport they play or an activity they participate in, but a larger one that is made up of many different people who all contribute, in their own way, to making this place a wonderful neighborhood.

Why is this organization important? And how will you ensure that FHMS continues to play a vital role within the community?

Federal Hill Main Street is important because it encourages the growth of our business district while maintaining its history. The character and charm of Federal Hill was here long before we were, and FHMS is working to ensure that they will remain. The organization also considers the business district to be part of a larger community, and works with that community to achieve its goals. These are the things that drew me to the organization.

I am lucky enough to come into an organization that has been very successful over the past few years, and I hope to continue that success. The festivals and events have become an anticipated part of many people's calendars. They are great community-building events, as well as an opportunity to showcase our neighborhood to potential business owners and patrons. We will also continue to address the needs of the current business community, as well as encourage its growth. On a day-to-day basis, we will address the opportunities and challenges that face small businesses today. As a parent, I believe that creating strong neighborhoods, centered around a dynamic business district, is vital to keeping families in our city. We must encourage what makes Baltimore great -- its patchwork of unique, vibrant neighborhoods.

Briana Lopes, Intern

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Midnite Confections Goes Mobile with New Cupcake Truck!

Our local, award-winning cupcakery, Midnite Confections, has recently expanded their brick and mortar store by putting their delectable desserts on the road.

"Food trucks are so popular right now," says co-owner and life-long baker Sandra McNeil.

 "We thought that by having a truck, that would give us some visibility into other neighborhoods and areas that we aren't familiar with. That might give us an idea as to whether we want to expand with another storefront or just put a couple of trucks on the road. Or, it may just give us some opportunity as far as what other business is out there for us," says Sandra.

The bakery, founded in October 2010 by mother-son duo Sandra and Aaron McNeil, specializes in hand crafting indulgent, moist, gourmet cupcakes from fresh and unique ingredients such as organic fruit, real vanilla bean, and rich liquors. Confections will offer their seven "Signature" flavors ($3 each, available year-round)--Black Velvet, Playboy, Midnite, Full Moon, Eclipse, Sublime-inal, and Birthday Cake--from their new truck, which you'll find parked in various Baltimore and DC neighborhoods starting July 13th.

The bakery also plans to make their truck available for private affairs such as weddings, parties, and corporate events, where clients can arrange to have it parked outside of the venue to cater to guests. Look for Midnite Confections' cupcake truck to appear at one of Baltimore's upcoming traveling food truck festivals, The Gathering.

Briana Lopes, Intern

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Ace Hardware of Federal Hill Joins 'Made in MD' Program

Beginning August 1st, Federal Hill Ace Hardware (1214 Light Street) will participate in the ‘Think Local First Initiative’ and ‘Made in MD’ programs, which collaborate with local entrepreneurs to showcase and sell their handmade products at brick and mortar stores.

Marc Friedman and Gina Schaefer, co-owners of A Few Cool Hardware Stores (nine privately owned, non-franchised Ace Hardware locations throughout Washington DC and Maryland), first partnered with Think Local first DC in spring 2013 in order to meet the customer demand for locally sourced products. Due to their success, they’ve decided to expand the program to their Maryland stores.

“The Made in DC program was so well received that we wanted to expand it to our Maryland stores,” says owner of Federal Hill Ace Hardware, Gina Schaefer. “We love the idea of sourcing products locally, and we know our customers do too. It is our responsibility as a local business to take action to provide those opportunities for the vendors and promote economic growth in their communities.”

Interested vendors who wish to display their merchandise in Federal Hill Ace Hardware can fill out an application on their website You must be a Maryland resident to qualify. Supplemental materials are required. Submit your completed application to by 5pm on Friday, July 5th.

Briana Lopes, Intern

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Federal Hill Tech Center Launches Summer Camp

City Council President Young (center) and 
Digital Harbor Foundation Co-Executive Director 
Andrew Coy (right) watch as a student uses a 3D printer
 at the new Digital Harbor Tech Center. 
Photo courtesy of Council President Young's office.
Federal Hill’s Digital Harbor Tech Center will launch its first ever Summer Maker Camp, in partnership with the non-profit The Maker Education Initiative and with support from its founding sponsors Pixar Animation Studios, Intel, O’Reilly Media, and Cognizant (an information technology firm).

This unique program, comprised of four 2-week long sessions, will focus on engaging children ages 7 - 17 with technological innovation through hands-on exploration and mentorship. The mission is “to create more opportunities for young people to make, and, by making, build confidence, foster creativity, and spark interest in science, technology, engineering, math, the arts and learning as a whole,” according to their website.

Director of Curriculum Stephanie Grimes says the students that have already been through the school-year program (formerly Rech2Tech) have helped build what will be the new summer camp, literally helping mentors paint and renovate the facility, which is now equipped with a sound studio where students will learn about audio production. “We’re learning a lot from them. Hopefully they’re learning a lot from us,” she says.

The first summer session, “Circuit Adventures,” runs June 17-28 and teaches students how to create lamps, flying propellers, moving motors and musical projects through hands-on activities. “Digital Design & Fabrication” (July 8-19) will explore 3D design composition through use of legos and vinyl with the advanced technology of 3D printers.

During “Game Development,” July 22 - August 2, tech couches will teach kids how to develop their own digital game. “Aerial Pursuits,” the last camp session ending on August 16, will guide students through the exploration of flight as they learn about rocketry, paper planes and remote controlled aircrafts.

“We’re hoping to be able to carry these themes into the fall,” says Stephanie, “sort of that hands-on, immersive exploration.”

Each two-week Summer Maker Camp session has 20 spots, and although there is a fee, scholarship aid is available for those students who qualify.

“We’re agile enough that we can pivot with them, and we work hard to get the funding, tools, and resources they need,” says Stephanie. “For example, one of the kids broke their headphones, and they were like, ‘I can’t afford new headphones, I need to fix these,’ and we’re like, ‘here’s a soldering iron, fix them.’”

Briana Lopes, Intern

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

The Armoire: Welcome to Federal Hill!

The Armoire of Federal Hill, a cache of gently used women's and men's designer bargains, has moved from its previous home at 735 S. Hanover Street to 905 Light Street. Owner Rob Biancuzzo, who opened the consignment shop last October after working in the medical field for years, says he’s excited about his new space. “I think we did better in our first week than we did in a whole month at our previous location,” says Rob, “it just feels right.”

Unlike your standard thrift or second-hand store, The Armoire is a consignment shop. Consignors bring in the items they wish to sell. Armoire and said seller agree upon a price, and the shop houses, displays, and ultimately sells the items on behalf of the consignor. In essence, anyone who has desirable, seasonal, trending clothes, shoes or accessories in good condition can profit from their retired wardrobe with very little effort!

Considering that The Armoire sells your items for you and both parties profit from said agreement, the shop is selective in what it chooses. “You really have to have an eye for the names out there,” says owner Rob, whose discerning eye for fashion has taken in designer pieces from Chanel, Coach, and Gucci. Although the racks have scattered among them high-end pieces, inventory is comprised of mostly affordable, everyday labels like Ralph Lauren and Banana Republic.

For the eclectic fashionista who knows exactly what she’s looking for or the fervent bargain shopper who loves a great deal, stop by The Armoire; you’re sure to fall in love with a piece that’s just your style!

Briana Lopes, Intern

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

New Yoga Options at a Familiar Place in Federal Hill

As of June 1st, Apothecary Wellness now offers several types of yoga classes in addition to their other spa services. These "small group, mind-body" classes will include a maximum of six students, guided by carefully selected instructors who will help bring the beginner and novice "back into balance."

"Beginner Yoga" will introduce new students to the fundamental principals of yoga, such as breathing and alignment, taught less vigorously through the use of preparatory and modified poses and the use of props. Instructors will focus on core balance, standing poses, and "yogic breathing," all of which strengthen the muscles and serve as a foundation for level advancement to "Continuing Yoga."

"Restorative Yoga," a gentle healing form of Hatha yoga, will also be offered for students of any level and exposure. The purpose of this class is to address stress-related illness through the use of five to six gentle poses, practiced with props, which create an environment that promotes total relaxation and mind-body connection.

The "Pre-Natal Yoga" class, designed in tandem with a woman as her body changes throughout her pregnancy, is also available to students of all levels.

To register for an Apothecary Wellness yoga class, you can visit their website, call, or drop by their center to  reserve your spot. Space is extremely limited, as these are "small group" classes. Pre-registered students pay $30.00, and if space allows, walk-ins will be charged $35.00. Each class is an hour and fifteen minutes in length.

Apothecary Wellness Yoga Schedule

Beginner: Mondays @ 10:30am, Wednesdays @ 4pm, and Select Fridays @ 6pm
Continuing: Mondays @ 12pm, Wednesdays @ 2:30pm, and Select Fridays @ 6pm
Restorative: Fridays @ 7:30pm
Pre-Natal: Wednesdays @ 6:30pm

Briana Lopes, Intern

Friday, May 31, 2013

Federal Hill: A “Walker’s Paradise”

Hailed as “the most walkable neighborhood in Baltimore” by last year, Federal Hill now has the fantastic walkability score of 98!

A “Walker’s Paradise,” the website says, where daily errands in Federal Hill don’t require a car, and that’s a great thing! A high walkability scores means:

  • People in walkable neighborhoods weigh 6-10 lbs less.
  • Walkable places make you happier and healthier.
  • Short commutes reduce stress and increase community involvement.

Not only is Federal Hill walkable, it has an “excellent” transit score of 74. So it’s easy to get to and easy to get around!

The walk score is measured by an algorithm, which gives points based on how close amenities are to a given location. The website allows visitors to put in a neighborhood or a specific address and computes the walk score for that location. In addition, is also beta testing a “street smart” walk score, in which the Federal Hill Business District receives a score of 100!

So next time you’re in need of a bar or restaurant, live entertainment, coffee, gifts and clothing, realtors, tax professionals, and spas, think of Federal Hill, and your destination will only be a few blocks away!

Elizabeth Nelson, Intern

Thursday, May 30, 2013

Calling All Book Lovers: Book Escape Contest!

Weekends at The Book Escape just got more interesting! Starting May 11, The Book Escape began a new weekend contest: $20 hidden in a book somewhere in the store!

The first announcement was made on the Facebook page, with a clue: “There is a hunter among us.” Local firefighter Ron Howard knew that Stephen Hunter, a nationally respected author and critic, lived in Federal Hill, so he popped across the street and found the prize in a copy of Master Sniper.

The Book Escape hopes to continue the contest every weekend, and will continue to announce the clues and winners on their Facebook and Twitter. The usual prize will be $20, but some weekends, it might be higher!

“We will try to pick out books and provide clues that might help expand one's knowledge, or at least provide some interesting trivia, on reading and literature,” said Andrew Stonebarger, owner of The Book Escape.   

So head on down to The Book Escape on Saturdays for a chance to learn about literature and maybe find some literary treasure of your own!

Elizabeth Nelson, Intern

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Vanessa's Vintage Treasures: Same Great Merchandise, New Location

Vanessa has an array of dazzling costume
jewelry, like these mid-century earrings
Upon passing through the lilac-colored, yet unassuming door of Vanessa’s Vintage Treasures, I am greeted with nostalgia for decades long past that, like many young thrifters, I have never even experienced. Cream-colored lace drapes old mahogany wood dressers displaying 1950’s costume jewelry and sterling silver clip-on earrings. Stacks of royal blue china teacups and saucers decorate the shelves like glass flowers. Colorful fabric swatches printed with 19th century scenes hang freely, inviting the adventurous old-spirit to repurpose them with a contemporary flare. Whatever your niche, whatever your price point, Vanessa’s quaint, yet artfully crafted showroom of “old stuff” has a gem awaiting your discovery.

Federal Hill’s cherished antique shop, Vanessa’s Vintage Treasures, after 22 thriving years of business, has relocated to a new space at 1028 S. Charles Street. Though slightly smaller than her previous storefront at 1132 S. Charles, shop proprietor Vanessa White says she’s acclimated to the new space and happily anticipates her re-opening in late May. “I hope all my old customers and new ones will come,” says Vanessa.

As with her first store, Vanessa’s inventory consists of mostly vintage fabrics, such as lace, costume and silver jewelry, and glassware. “I still consider this a linen store, but the jewelry is really my forte. I think it is because I am extremely picky.” Walking through her space now, which is overflowing with eye-catching objects, it’s apparent that one is among a professional collector. “At any given time, you  never know what’s going to be a best seller,” says Vanessa, “I’ve had weeks where I’ve only sold pottery; collectibles go up and down in popularity.” Vanessa has a small network of “pickers” who buy items on her behalf, mostly from estate sales. Although she may have a large collection of, say, 1920’s broaches one day, they may just as soon fly off her shelves the next. “I have very loyal clientele,” she says proudly. “They know what they like.”

A self-identified “old school” Baltimorean, born and raised right here in Federal Hill, Vanessa doesn't use computer technology   company or personal e-mail, social media, a store website   to bolster her business. Instead, she humbly relies on the loyalty of her customers, who have continued to drive her business through word-of-mouth alone. “I plan to go digital in the near future,” says Vanessa. For now, vintage seekers will just have to dig the old-fashioned way.

Briana Lopes, Intern

Friday, May 24, 2013

New Business Gives Real Estate Buyers an “Edge”

A new business with a unique take on real estate has moved into Federal Hill. Buyer’s Edge is an “exclusive buyer’s broker” meaning they represent the home buyer instead of listing properties for sale and representing the home buyers as most other real estate agencies do.

Though Buyer’s Edge is based in Bethesda, Vice President John Sullivan, who has owned a row house in Federal Hill since 2004, says that having an office in Federal Hill (at 1033 S. Charles Street) suits their current needs.

 “You’re right in the middle of everything,” Sullivan said.  “It’s a fabulous opportunity to serve an underserved area.”

Sullivan, a member of the National Association of Exclusive Buyer Agents and a licensed agent for over twenty years, says that Buyer’s Edge recognizes the importance of having a physical presence. With a walkability score of 97, the ability to walk to 140 restaurants in 40 minutes, and an active business district the Federal Hill area is a great place for that presence.

“Federal Hill is the place to be in Baltimore for living, working, entertaining, and recreating,” Sullivan said.

Sullivan is a former President of the National Association of Exclusive Buyer’s Agents and one of fewer than 100 agents nationwide that has been recognized by both the National Association of Exclusive Buyer Agents and the National Association of Realtors for having training and experience in Buyer Agency. He also continues to work on modifying the Maryland State Agency Disclosure Statement.

“These commitments allow me to develop a unique relationship of trust and care, which assures buyers the best possible home buying experience,” Sullivan said.

We welcome John and the whole Buyer’s Edge team to Federal Hill!

Elizabeth Nelson, Intern