tradition, humility, and honesty = baltimore.

I kicked off my mini-weekend in Baltimore with a legendary practice: wine and cheese night!

The event started a while back when my friend and love Mira Patel hosted me for a summer in Baltimore. I was working at a restaurant and saving money to go abroad, she was catching up on credits and running cross country. We shared a bedroom in a crowded dirty house with a roof conviently accessed by crawling through her bedroom window. One night, we had no idea what to do for dinner and somehow decided that the best bet was a bottle of wine and block of cheese. Enjoyed on some terribly unsturdy plastic lawn chairs teetering on dilapidated shingles, overlooking a struggling and glorious city.

This amazing invention turned into a tradition that has continued for 5 years.

Even though Mira is living across the coast, Alanna and I toasted to her. Wine and cheese night also includes guidelines such as: 1) wine bottle must be under $10, 2) cheese must be cut in odd shapes, 3) additions of fruit, chocolate, and hummus welcome, 4) girls only.

Alanna is living in the suburbs of Baltimore in an apartment known as The Beige Palace. When she moved in, her roommate had furnished and painted everything beige. She decided that this would not work and painted a wall neon orange. Which sort of made us orange in this photo. She’s a colorful person and that is one reason I love her.

This morning I stretched the old legs for a bit. The weather was so nice…Alanna has these gorgeous roads right by her place… so I said, okay. Of course I got lost and ran up a massive hill in the wrong direction. I love that moment when you realize you have made a complete wrong turn and the only thing left to do is turn around and go back. It’s a humbling experience.

More discouragement:

I didn’t let the loss and rude signage get me down, though. It was a run-derful jog followed by a egg-cellent brunch at Ms. Shirley’s. Yes, I just wrote that.

Brunch topics included: Will Smith, clinical psychology, raspberries, P90X, bike riding, softball, Florida, and kids these days.

In true Hopkins fashion, Alanna and I recognized about 4 other students/alumni at the restaurant, and awkwardly avoided them.

Then stuff got weirder at the American Visionary Art Museum. I’m not a huge museums person but this one always seems worthwhile! They have a ton of crazy art that makes you appreciate all the people who dare to think differently in this world.

This is made of painted paper plates.

Giant poodle on wheels.

If I was a 9 year old girl, I’d want this room. Or actually if I was a 24 year old girl I would want this room. Thus I want this room.

After AVAM, I went to an event at my old church which was nice and quite heartwarming.

Then, back out for my last round in the city. Baltimore is a bit gritty but charming in its own way. I love this town!!!

Alanna and I were pondering where to share our last meal when we remembered a little Thai place that we’d been to before. “What was the name of that Thai restaurant?!!” We couldn’t remember.

But then we did remember. Thai Restaurant.

Why waste time making up a name, when you can just be yourself? That’s Thai Restaurant. And that’s pretty much Baltimore. The greatest city in America.

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