Christmas lights on the 700 block of 34th Street in Hampden have brightened our holidays since the 1980s. Each house has its own theme and passion for the season.
For 73 years, Darlene Hughes has lived on 34th Street in Hampden. She and her family always loved putting up tons of Christmas lights year after year. She later married Bob Hosier and they transformed this street in the 1980s to what we now know of as “Miracle on 34th Street.”
You can park on the streets surrounding the block, just be sure to check the signs. As always, the earlier the better, and wear your masks 🙂 There is a convenient shop called Treehouse Cafe and Juice Bar just caddy-corner to the street that has hot drinks. I recommend you get this after you explore, so you can be masked up for the experience. You could also order a meal to-go from the restaurants on The Avenue, just 2 blocks north.
On Sunday, we were wanting some “Funchies, Brunchies, and Lunchies” and we got just that at The Food Market along The Avenue in Hampden. They set up cones in the street to allow for greater safety of the patrons with their outdoor sidewalk seating.
I had the Fall Mimosa, which tasted just like a glorious Autumn day, and the savory turkey sausage tacos. All of the meals and drinks we got were e.v.e.r.y.t.h.i.n.g. We can’t wait to go back to try out other menu items.
After you finish up here, go next-door to the Double Dutch Boutique (winky face at my previous jump rope career), which is a 2-story shop with a good clearance section. Then, take a walk down Falls Road to the north to The Greenhouse for a beautifully crafted new plant decor, and relaxing views to the west.
Union Collective is an old Sears warehouse in Hampden currently filled with Baltimore-based businesses including Union Craft Brewing and The Wine Collective. We enjoyed these this two weekends ago.
Union Craft Brewing takes over most of the warehouse, and has a large outdoor area which makes it easy to socially distance. They have many beer options and good bar food with brick oven pizza on their online menu. I love their tagline, “Beer unites,” which means “Good beer brings good people together for good times and good works.” Union was founded in 2011 and opened its doors at Union Collective in 2016.
Unfortunately one of our favorite ice cream places, The Charmery, is not currently open at the Union Collective location. However, we found a marvelous new addition to the old warehouse: The Wine Collective. This new urban winery has an “obsession for quality” with their service, menu, wine expertise, and food preparation.
At Wine Collective, they believe that saying “cheers” brings back the “human pact of love against all odds.” Their outstanding attention to detail was impressive. Would definitely recommend! There is more than enough room to socially distance inside this warehouse, but they also have outside seating underneath a tent. As always, exploring during off-meal times is best.
Ellicott City is recently known for the devastating floods in 2016 and 2018. Earlier this year, Gordon Ramsey fixed up a few places in the town in his mini-series “24 Hours to Hell and Back.” The Phoenix used to be a bar at the bottom of the hill. Due to the floods, it could not make it on its own. So, Gordon Ramsey decided to mesh The Phoenix with Ellicott Mills Brewing Company, which was at the top of the hill, to be Phoenix Upper Main. We ate here and loved it! The food was much better than the two old places, combined! We got the deviled eggs, burger, peach burrata salad, and the peanut butter bomb. Their spiked lemonades were really delicious too. While we waited for our meal, we explored Lawyer’s Row, which can be accessed from the stairs behind the restaurant. The town also had live music Saturday night along Tonge Row. All of the stores close at 5pm (even though it says otherwise online!), so we didn’t get to explore the cute shops.
During the week, my friends and I work and workout so we can have playtime on the weekends! This weekend, my parents joined me on my adventures. We first explored walking around the Baltimore Museum of Industry, which has a lot to “sink” in.
Then we got carryout at Limoncello Restaurant since they had no room to take any walk-ins. We thoroughly enjoyed our Italian meal on the roof deck. The Italian meats and cheeses platter is to die for. To walk it all off, we took in the sights around Federal Hill and Locust Point.