I Heart First Fridays

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Highlandtown is what I now consider the most homey part of Baltimore.  It’s the one neighborhood that is experiencing a renaissance, but still feels like a neighborhood with a community, local businesses, local flavor, and now an inspired art scene.

FirstFridays

The Highlandtown First Friday Art Walk, which began in June, and is going through the rest of the year has eagerly become an event myself and many others look forward too.

My first time experiencing this was back in July, and it just felt like old times.  And what I exactly mean by old times?  While so much around us has begun to look cookie cutter and all too pedestrian, this neighborhood is keeping it beautiful.  With art galleries, shoppes, local businesses, local foodie spots, and so much more popping up in the most charming of fashions, Highlandtown is doing it right.  And keep on doing it please.  It’s the most welcoming of feelings.

I don’t even know how to exactly describe it, other than it’s of the most authentic and really Baltimore feeling places you want to visit.   With friendly faces, familiar faces and new ones, beautiful art, beautiful people, plenty of food and drink, and live musicians inside and out, you’ve got a winning combination all around.

I’ve missed the past couple of month due to life happening, but I’ve made it a goal to make it through to the rest of the year, and with the holidays looming.

My good friends from Peak Peformance have taken advantage of this fantastic monthly event, with a happy hour with great food, vino, live music, and now a resident artist.

MowgliArtPeak

I missed it last month but Mowgli Art has made an impression that’s going to be hard to forget.  I’m a member of Peak, so I’m fortunate to admire this art on a regular basis.  ANd this month was no exception.  It’s just getting bigger.  The crowd was consistent and it was busy.

And my friend Melissa, who also works at Peak, got a chance to sell some of her great jewelry.

PeakJewelry

After all this, is there a wine involved?  But of course.  Plenty of food and drink was provided but I discovered a charming little bottle that fits in with the fall season, if not art itself.

The 2016 Camina Tempranillo is a simple wine with little if any thrills.  And for now that’s just the way I wanted it.  I was immediately drawn to the label with its beautiful depiction of leaves, animals, and charming as all heck symbols.  The color and images just yell fall don’t they?

CaminaWineInfo

It’s a wine heavy on berry aromas of cherry, blackberry, and other fruits.  The notes mention hints of almond and hazelnut.  It’s an easy to drink wine that you don’t have to think much about it.  It’s a good wine but it’s not going to blow anyone away.  And with a price averaging under $10, there’s no need for too many complaints.  But I wouldn’t spend that much more on it.

A big thanks to Peak Performance for this amazing spread of meats, cheeses, and vegetables, provided by Ceriello Fine Foods (locations can be found here), which I’ve written about in the past, and is deserving of all the praise and lauding in the world.

FirstFridayMap

The vibe at art events just tends to feel different and more welcoming.   I don’t know much about art but I know it makes people feel good.  It evokes different emotions and brings about a different type of conversation that you may not ordinarily get a typical bar.  This is better than the bar, and sets the bar on a different way to enjoy a Friday night or night out in general.

This blog is going to be as picture heavy as it gets.  It may be the most photos I’ve ever inserted in a blog, so I hope you enjoy that.

I want to thank Beth-Ann Wilson from Night Owl Gallery (pictures above) and Felicia from Highlandtown Gallery-Magnolia Designs (pictures below) for being so inviting, and making this a fun night out, that really makes Baltimore, Charm City.

There were some folks playing live music on the walk to and from various stops, which made us stop and appreciate what we were witnessing.

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Back in July, there was a live jazz band performing and the Highlandtown Art Gallery.  You’ll never know what to expect at this thing.  The unpredictability while still becoming familiar with the galleries makes this a truly harmonious and heartwarming event.

Buddha

November 3rd, will be here before you know it, and will be the next installment of the Art Walk.   If the stars alight, this might be revisited again for the blog.

Here are my past Highlandtown related posts.

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In the meantime, I hope you enjoy the photos, and hope you’re either experiencing or will be experiencing some awesome art yourself.

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Peace Be With You.

Ideen

 

Anything But

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In nearly all instances, it’s better to focus on the positives.   I’ll try to do so here. However, it saddens me that a wine such a powerful name, could be so disappointing.

I love throwing around powerful words, such as inspiration and emotion.  It feels good just writing about it. So when I stumble upon a wine entitled, Inspired, I take notice.  And I was making, what I thought at time time, was an impassioned and life altering purchase.  This should have been my destiny.  I could not be more wrong.

I was all set to write a, dare I say, inspired post.   I was all jazzed up to bring forth some positive energy, that would make you look in the mirror and say, I am awesome and I am here to inspire!   No.  Not this post.  This wine did not live up to these unrealistic expectations.   See how I built this up all for nothing?

I was sending friends pictures of this bottle and they all knew, this was a wine hand crafted for me, and it was going to be delicious.  A wine for the ages.  Absolutely not.

Now it’s not terrible.  It’s just not very good.  I had a hard time finishing my glass.   I’ve had much worse wines but this was a touch below mediocre.  I am a fan of Meritage wines and red blends, but this was a bogey.    Perhaps their combination of Merlot, Zinfandel, and Petit Verdot doesn’t mesh well.   And because I hyped it up so much in my head, it’s plausible that it tastes worse than it really is.   This is all a matter of taste and in my mind, but it makes me sad it didn’t live up to my (unrealistic?) expectations.

I had tunnel vision. I saw the label.  I saw the word ‘Inspired’, and was sold.   If a wine has a cool label, like this one does, I will be extra curious.  But just like a book, don’t judge a wine by it’s label.   Some of my favorite bottles have the most basic labels.  But a pretty one is hard to resist.  And the nerd in me really wanted to like this wine.

Looking through the incomplete website, you see spine chilling images, of folks doing  and quotes that get cut off across the homepage.   Just another line in a comedy of errors.

Believe me, I really wanted to like this wine.  I wanted to crown it as an achievement in my tasting experience, but that won’t be happening.

As always, just because I wasn’t happy with it, doesn’t mean that you’ll yield the same results.   We all have different palates.  Our preferences evolve as we evolve. Maybe a few years ago, Inspired, would have done just that.  The raw emotion will have to wait another day, or the next uplifting moment could be just a post away.

Stay inspired.

Best,

Ideen