After church this morning, we decided to take a little drive in the country, but first wound up in the Hampden (pronounced "Hamden") neighborhood of Baltimore. This area is nothing if not bohemian. Time for brunch at Cafe Hon:
"Hon" is a frequently-heard term of affection in Baltimore, so that's the source of the name. The atmosphere is quirky and the food is amazing. Elvis is always seen here.As delicious as the food is, the portions are huge, which means leftovers to take home!
Hampden has numerous specialty shops. We had to stop in the fun Double Dutch Boutique.The extreme Atomic Books:A range of antiques and vintage shops. Take Paradiso: Antique to Modern is its subtitle. More modern than antique, this is the place to go if you like mid-20th century modern. This shop has an organized appearance and prices are reasonable.Or across the street, Hampden Junque:I'm not sure what that cut-out man is--a real one is inside the window fixing something!
A real standout for home furnishings is Red Tree. Their style is a bit anthropologie with some loft and library mixed in.They use a lot of junker's treasures for display. The industrial art little mannequins are great, but pricey ($100 plus).Exposed brick walls are throughout the first floor.
The walkout basement has more furniture and household items.
Some antiques were for sale. This great little shaving cabinet was described as victorian and labeled $225.
I had conflicting feelings about this use of books.While struck by the creativity, it went against my upbringing about how we are supposed to treat books! I wonder if this work is called "Read Tree"-- a twist on the store's name?
Next, we headed to In Watermelon Sugar where we saw more junker's adaptive reuse:
Wonderful original tin ceiling panels still in place!We bought a few little personal items in this shop. We wrapped up our trip to Hampden in about 2.5 hours, including brunch. Everything is so close together and very walkable.
With our driver still looking for a country drive, we temporarily made do with a ride on Roland Avenue and some twists and turns to the Mt. Washington neighborhood. The former Smith and Hawken store is now Gore Dean, which also has a location in Georgetown, Washington, DC. This is a beautiful high-end store loaded with European antiques. The costs of buying trips and access to special quality items are reflected in the prices.
I adored this described 19th century box with 20th century memory decoration:
That's three zeros on that price tag....
More eye candy:
Cute vintage children's watering cans with surprising prices; the green one in the foreground can be yours for $175:Although these are getting harder to come by, I still see American examples around--I'm not sure where these particular watering cans are from.
Gore Dean also shows antique garden furniture in the store's stone courtyard:I am not in the right purchasing bracket to shop here, but what a source of inspiration!
BTW, I sought and received permission from each store where I took interior pictures. Most stores do like free publicity!
At last we took our drive in the country before heading home. We admired this old stone barn and its tidy shutters in Butler, Baltimore County:We thoroughly enjoyed our quick visit in the Baltimore area. Thanks for coming along!
Do you know what you might be missing?
5 hours ago