hh 72 dpi 600

Don’t you just love it?!!! Created by the amazing Danamarie Hosler of  *might

 

 excuse us

Applications for Holiday Heap are now closed!  No exceptions, sorry!

 


 

 

Holiday Heap will be held on December 6, 2014.

Stay tuned for info regarding application announcements!

Click here and sign up for our newsletter to stay in the loop!

 

heap 13

 

 

We love you, Baltimore, and are still recovering from a great Pile of Craft! We’re all taking a little break, but will be planning Holiday Heap soon. Check back for more details on applying for a vendor spot, dates, and sponsorship opportunities.

We’ll also be posting pictures from Pile of Craft in case you missed it. And, our vendors will remain up on the PoC page so you can find that great item you just didn’t have time to buy at the show!

Again, a huge thank you to our local sponsors, our great vendors, and our wonderful volunteers! GO BALTIMORE!

 

 
The welcoming exterior of "The Tav" as locals call it affectionately.

The welcoming exterior of “The Tav” as locals call it affectionately.

If there has been one thing I have learned being a guest blogger this past week is I love Hamilton. For a final stop before I sign off I am dropping into Hamilton Tavern because it appears this is the local watering hole, full of good cheer, good food, good folks, and a center of all things that make a community vital.

Opened in 2008 by Tom Creegan, it‘s warm brown expansive interior and classic feel make a patron feel at home. There is a lovely bar setting with all anything you could desire to drink and many tables abound for dining. This is not intimate (well maybe it could be if you were in the mood) but more sincerely communal in the nest sense of the word.

It is a defacto town meeting place—a restaurant and bar as communal hotspot.  The food is great. All freshly made using much of the same local products, as other stores in the area are now using/selling. The small eclectic menu is full of potential and really any dish will do, this is hearty bar food. Many claim Hamilton Tavern serves up the best burger in town, I have no reason to doubt it. The slabs of fresh ground beef are large and slathered in an array of sauces and other foodie-pleasing items.  They are something to behold. So large I can’t imagine finishing one in one sitting. As a central part of the resurgent downtown Hamilton community, those that work there seem to have joined some special club. In other words, they got a great gig and look like they know it.

On the other hand this is a bar. On the front of their Facebook page, their cover photo features one Charles Bukowski, the anti-intellectual harder than hard alcoholic LA author that still rankles creative writing academia to no end but remains one of the most widely read American writers in the world. He is also the patron saint of smart drunks who choose dissipation as a lifestyle. To each his own.

Buk didn’t like bar chatter much, and truth be told he would probably find The Hamilton Tavern a little too upscale for his skid row taste, but if there he would have got hammered at the bar.  So, you know, there is probably lot of that going down in here too and Friday and Saturday nights that hopefully get a little wild in the best sense of the word. What is a Tavern for after all if not to celebrate and blow off some steam? As many who attend live in the hood they can wobble home after a great eve of tossing back a few with friends and some visitors who have heard of the place elsewhere (it is a recommended go to spot on many tourist guides).

So, I say we conclude my guest blog posting this week at the bar. Let’s raise a nice cold glass and toast all the great businesses like Hamilton Tavern, who support the cities craft events, to all the crafters, and the progressives out doing social good through their projects, businesses, and artwork. Thank you Baltimore people for letting me to get to know some of you better and for reminding others we are far more than what is depicted on a fictional TV show.

I’m I going to see if I eat this burger. After all I am turning this post in—the week is upon us and I have little else to do except enjoy the bounty I brought from this years Pile of Craft last Saturday—what could be better than this?

FO TABLETALK03 PERNA

the  cozy interior is perfect for a meal or just drinks!

the cozy interior is perfect for a meal or just drinks!

photos_July 2010-4
HAMILTON TAVERN
5517 Harford Road
Baltimore, MD
Hours: Open 4:30 Daily
Kitchen: ’til 10 pm Sun-Wed; Thurs, Fri & Sat ’til 11
http://hamiltontavern.com/

 
We were thrilled to have the talented Jack Livingston join us and write our Sponsor blog posts!
Jack Livingston is an artist, educator, writer, editor, and community activist. He was the founder and executive editor of RADAR a print magazine dedicated to Baltimore Arts and Culture. He has taught interactive media and art criticism at the Maryland Institute College of Art and Johns Hopkins University. His writing on arts and culture is regularly published in a number of online and print journals. He is currently the head of communications and public relations for FutureMakers an art and tech maker education organization and serves as an editor and regular contributor for BmoreArt.com, Baltimore’s premier online arts and culture magazine.
Our talented guest blogger

Our talented guest blogger

  "KissKiss" Gouache on paper 22"x30" 2014.


“KissKiss” Gouache on paper 22″x30″ 2014.

 

 

 

The restaurant is a well loved Hamilton Staple!

Up on Harford Road in Hamilton a business renaissance is in full swing. Residents interested in sustainable culture have brought the ethic to businesses they support. At the heart of this resurgence is Clementine, a spacious restaurant with a unique men, and up the street their corner market retail outlet Green Onion Market.

Both are very connected to local fruit, vegetable, and meat farmers who also are interesting in sustainability and quality and both serve food that showcases the difference this can make, not only towards the environment but also toward the quality and taste of the food served.

Clementine was founded in 2008 by Winston Blick, the chef and co-owner with Cristin Dadant in a smallish corner storefront with a bar. Soon they expanded into a much larger retail space next door and stripped the building back the glory of its original hundred-year-old wooden floor and tin ceiling. They built a glassed in meat-smoke room visible from the eating area, and preceded to do their own butchering and smoking of high-end hormone free local meats.

With a particular focus on ‘Charcuterie’  (a branch of cooking devoted to prepared meat products, such as bacon, ham, sausage, terrines, galantines, pâtés, and confit, primarily from pork. Originally intended as a way to preserve meat before the advent of refrigeration). The menu changes daily depending on what is in season, what is at the market, and what the chef is interested in cooking. The serve dinner Tuesday through Sunday and brunch Friday, Saturday and Sunday.

I dropped in at five pm on a Tuesday evening and people were already swarming in, so reservations are suggested. Clementine offers a substantial well established catering service as well. To see the changing menu you can visit their site ahead of time. A meal at Clementine is an adventure unlike any other in the city

To further the adventure and broaden the idea further, up the street a couple of blocks is Green Onion Market, a small fresh food market owned by Clementine‘s Winston Blick and business partner Rich Marsiglia. It opened May 17, 2012. As a corner grocery and deli that is an extension of Clementine it maintains its core values.

Green Onion carries fresh produce, fresh dairy, fresh meats, and assorted goodies. You can get in store sandwiches made fresh to order. They carefully buy local all the best quality goods and carry all the Charcuterie made at Clementine along with fresh sausages handmade in store. Green Onion is much like a good sampling from one of Baltimore’s famers markets but is open five days a week. It reminded me of the old small markets of my youth that predated corporate farming and supermarkets.

In the fridge the pop is all in bottles not plastic.  The vegetables, fresh from the farms, have much more color and flavor. I am greeted by the manager Dennis (there are only three employees – Dennis and co-workers Heather and Emma) who shows me around the small space pointing out all the little things that make it special particularly in regards to the product line.  It is all tantalizing.

When I admit to Dennis I have never tasted duck before he tells me I must give it a try and offers be a slice of the smoked variety they have on hand. It is amazing. I then get a taste a few other smoked items. There is simply nothing to compare this anywhere else available in the region.

The pair of complimentary stores is not only great places to eat but they follow an agenda we all often give lip service to but don’t follow through on. For this alone they deserve our support.  That aside Clementine and Green Onion Market offer some of the best food you can get in the Baltimore region bar none, and both offer an atmosphere that is inviting and warm.

 

 

Delicious Desserts baked in house!

Delicious Desserts baked in house!

Local eggs

Local eggs.

 

 

 

Yum

Yum

 

Fresh local produce always inspires the menu.

Fresh local produce always inspires the menu.

The Green Onion has amazing lunches and all the ingredients you need to make dinner!

The Green Onion has amazing lunches and all the ingredients you need to make dinner!

 

Clementine

5402 Harford Road

Baltimore, MD, 21214

(410) 444 – 1497

http://www.clementinebaltimore.com

The Green Onion Market
5500 Harford Road
Baltimore, MD, 21214
http://www.greenonionmarket.net

 

Jack Livingston is an artist, educator, writer, editor, and community activist. He is currently the head of communications and public relations for FutureMakers an art and tech maker education organization and serves as an editor and regular contributor for BmoreArt.com, Baltimore’s premier online arts and culture magazine.

 

 

 

       

 

 

 

 

The shop is filled with delightful goodies carefully handpicked!

The shop is filled with delightful goodies carefully handpicked!

Visiting the open-air retail space in Green Spring Station, Lutherville, Md. is always interesting. The eclectic niche shops are full of unusual items unavailable elsewhere.  Today I am here to visit Becket Hitch, a new store that carries a collection of stylish, vintage & handcrafted home goods and gifts.

Right away I notice its new brightly lit storefront and the beautifully designed, playful window display of paper fish hand cut from maps, all hanging down with a long fishing scoop net below. Inside the window a stylish, custom made bright yellow couch sits facing out, behind it a fetching display of a variety of products recede in all areas to the back of the store, creating a an inviting warm environment

When I went in for a look I was immediately greeted by Gary, the store manager. He is from Kentucky, and his southern manner is immediately apparent and welcoming. His tour of the store was fun as he obviously had in depth knowledge of each item, explaining how all merchandise had been carefully chosen for the store.  The space is medium sized and every part is used for maximum potential. The product line varies, from special high end maple syrup, furniture, hand lotions, books, and paintings, to my favorite thing- the beautifully crafted oars that Becket Hitch use as a part of their personal wall logo display. I doubt people buy these to paddle canoes, but as craft artifacts they are stunning and well worth the cost as such.

Founded in 2010  Becket Hitch began first as a pop-up makers’ market as a collaboration between Kholi Flick and  Katie McDonough of Petal and Print. Ms McDonough now has a floral pop up shop with fresh flowers every Friday at the store with pieces available for special order throughout the week.

Recently Ms. Flick  expanded into this retail space, finally realizing a dream of owning and running a business. Ms. Flick has had this entrepreneurial dream since she was 17, after a summer working at a home furnishings and gift store in Telluride, Colorado. Originally from St. Louis, Missouri, Kohli moved to Baltimore in 2000 to attend the Maryland Institute College of Art. After graduation, Kohli worked as a merchandiser for both national and local retailers. Her next move was to open her own space. This past May 17th the Greenspring location officially opened to the public.

The company name is based on the becket hitch, which is any hitch that is made on an eye loop, i.e. on a becket. The becket hitch fixes a rope to a closed eye or hook. In this instance, a becket means the eye or hook of a pulley block, an eye in the end of a rope, or a rope handle on a sailor’s sea chest. It is an apt metaphor that exemplifies the store’s mission statement of strong intentional connectivity.

The customer will find many things of interest in the very eclectic goods on display. Everything has a sunny optimism— the palette is bright. The display sense is inspired, sometime humorous, and most often delightful. It is clear Ms. Flick has gone over every inch of the store and handled everything with her personal touch. Merchandise display is an art form. Such work shows an individual style of the display artist’s hand. Here Ms. Flick is masterful.

Becket Hitch and owner Kohli Flick bring a fresh new angle and energy to the local retail scene. Head on out to visit the store. There is something for everyone and you will have a great time. Watch the website blog or get the newsletter to keep up on the many new upcoming developments, including partnership workshops to be held at the new store.

 

Amazing Bath products.

Amazing Bath products.

Cookbooks galore.

Cookbooks galore.

Everything from furniture to hostess gifts!

Everything from furniture to hostess gifts!

Becket Hitch
Green Spring Station
Lutherville, Maryland
2360 W. Joppa Rd No. 110
Lutherville, MD 21093

 http://www.petalandprint.com

Jack Livingston is an artist, educator, writer, editor, and community activist. He is currently the head of communications and public relations for FutureMakers an art and tech maker education organization and serves as an editor and regular contributor for BmoreArt.com, Baltimore’s premier online arts and culture magazine.

 
IMG_0334

Community members pick up fresh veggies and Fruit at the Oliver Farm Stand

I have little patience for those who think Baltimore is somehow what they watched on The Wire. I am equally tired of those who complain and wring their hands about the troubles the city faces. Instead I choose to think positive and support those who seek solutions to the problems, those who instead of complaining take action to do something about specific problems.

For every bad story that slams across the front  page daily of The Baltimore Sun a new positive story emerges elsewhere.  And if you follow these stories as I do you realize in Baltimore altruism abounds. Many people and organizations are coming up with inspiring new solutions to local issues every week. Not that this will completely address the many systemic socio economic problems we face but these solutions can have a radical difference.

One core issue is the simple need of good food for all. We know that in economically depressed areas of the inner city people have very little access to decent healthy food.  Only small corner store and chain junk food stores sit in the vast ‘food deserts’.  Many people do not have access to transportation elsewhere or the money to buy decent food elsewhere. There are many food pantries through charity that do great work but they are relying on canned goods. Without access to affordable healthy food many problems erupt from health issues to the way the brain functions. It is estimated one in six Americans are currently going hungry. Let that statistic sink in—one in six. Just helping people get affordable healthy food would make a major systemic change.

Enter Gather Baltimore—a volunteer-based program, created by Arthur Gray Morgan. Gather Baltimore does exactly that—they collect unsold vegetables, fruit and bread from the Baltimore Farmers’ Market & Bazaar in downtown Baltimore, farms, and other sources for redistribution to local meal programs, faith communities, and directly to others in need.

The baked goods, fruit and seasonal produce collected would otherwise be thrown away as it will not stay fresh until the next market. Gather Baltimore ensures that this food does not become waste but instead is made available to financially challenged families in communities where fresh healthy food is not readily accessible.

The bearded formidably built Morgan exudes a fast moving personality of no-nonsense DIY positivism—he is clearly passionate and driven about his organization’s innovative project. He told me how the program grew out of a preceding neighborhood garden’s program called Hamilton Crop Circle where he and others including is his wife Annie used to address such issues as: uniting communities throughout Baltimore through gardening, roof top gardening, feeding the hungry, and educational growth by developing micro farms at area schools. One weekend a while back when selling the garden’s fresh goods at local farmers markets, Morgan realized they had food leftover that would not make it to the next market as just went to waste.  He then noted other venders had produce they too would have to toss at the end of the day. He asked to take it for redistribution and received a resounding yes. Next he brought in tubs to haul it away after each market in a truck. In return the farmers get a tax-deductible receipt and no longer had to haul the unsold product home where it will rot. It was a win-win situation from the start. Then farmers informed him, “This is nothing! Come out to my farm and see what goes to waste there.” Morgan and crew did just that and were startled by the realities, and with permission they started to glean the farms of literally tons of leftover fruit and vegetables for redistribution as well. The once small,  simple idea turned into a large-scale redistribution service overnight and with little to no red tape in its way hit the ground running. Here we are five years later and Gather Baltimore is a well-established, ongoing well-oiled machine and is growing fast.

It turns out we as a country produce such an abundance of unsold food it could assist in eradicating hunger and poor diets in the must impoverished locations across the country for a very minimal cost. Gather Baltimore is at the forefront of this idea and now collects tons of produce weekly and gets it to people in need as fast as possible. The experiment is now a reality.

Because these hardworking farmers have to overplant to ensure they have enough in case of weather problems, it is estimated nearly half of all crops grown in the US go to waste. At the same time the government estimates one in six Americans go hungry. This is a huge disconnect, and one Morgan seized upon. It is a simple idea he offers up laughing but notes its simplicity is what makes it so possible.

Gather Baltimore has set up stands in various neighborhoods in need as drop off points and are recruiting local citizens in their own neighborhoods to aid in the distribution, so as to empower the community as part of the process. An IKEA sized bag of fresh food now will cost a mere six bucks, and if a person can’t afford that then something will be worked out. No one will be turned away.

Just how amazing and inspiring is that? It is this kind of altruism, of real world, actual answers to problems that makes us hopeful. I and many others like me believe in this type of work because this is grass roots, created and maintained by local people who have full understanding of the issues involved and the consequences of each action. The participants are doing it for all the right reasons and will ensure it is sustainable. But to continue they need help-they need more volunteers, grant writers—anyone willing to participate however they can.

 

This is where the rest of us come in. And yes I mean you dear reader. So you don’t time to volunteer, you do have some support to offer in the form of monetary contributions.  Morgan received a well-deserved OSI fellowship in 2012 for 16 months. He now has to find other funding, which in reality is fairly minimal given the service, but still formidable given the size of the operation and its continued growth. To keep going and growing, and rather than it being all grant based the group has decided to turn to crowd sourcing support campaigns which they have found to work.  A recent campaign went up and<hotlink: https://baltimore.givecorps.com/projects/1040-gather-baltimore-don-t-let-gather-baltimore-lose-its-cool > on GIVECORPS.comwas successful in record time and another will be going up very soon. I urge you to give it your full support; I am pledging here publically, in print, I will make a donation. You can too. Pass it on and get the word out.

Follow Gather Baltimore, Morgan, and his amazing crew of volunteers on Facebook for up to the minute updates and pass the word. <hotlink here: https://www.facebook.com/GatherBaltimore

Gather Baltimore
5500 Harford Road
Baltimore, Maryland 21214
www.gatherbaltimore.org

 

IMG_0434

Gather Volunteers glean thousands of pounds of excess produce from local farms each year.

IMG_0037

Produce sorted and ready for distribution to those who need it most.

IMG_0463

Thousands of pounds of Squash!

Gather will be participating in a panel discussion next week as part of the Good Food Gatherings-

Join us for a Food & Faith Town Hall Gathering sponsored by Johns Hopkins Center for a Livable Future Food & Faith Project, Interfaith Power & Light, and The Marc Steiner Show – Intelligent Talk Radio. Radio journalist Marc Steiner will moderate the discussion. The panel includes: Arthur Morgan of Gather Baltimore; Christian Metzger, Executive Director of the Franciscan Center; Willie Flowers, Executive Director of Park Heights Community Health Alliance; and YOU! Please join us and share your thoughts, experiences, and creative ideas!

https://www.facebook.com/events/670500136338293/

 

Jack Livingston is an artist, educator, writer, editor, and community activist. He is currently the head of communications and public relations for FutureMakers an art and tech maker education organization and serves as an editor and regular contributor for BmoreArt.com, Baltimore’s premier online arts and culture magazine.

 

IMG_5586

Standing on 36th Street in front of the expansive large glass paned storefront of Trohv Home and Gift is a delight, people walking past stop in admiration. The window display is akin to a contemporary art installation built around quality eclectic merchandise. The beauty and care of the window display carries over into the over all style and mission of the store and as such draws customers in.

Owners Carmon Brock and Ben Homola established Trohv Home and Gift in 2006 in a large storefront on the Avenue in the Hampden neighborhood of Baltimore, Maryland specializing in high quality unique yet affordable home goods, gifts, furniture, vintage, books, and gift cards. Ms. Brock states, “ wedecided to open the shop because we respect and value small business and we wanted to create a community where local and regional art could be accessed in a practical, lifestyle way.” The definition of Trohv is  “a collection of artful objects discovered or found.” Their website proclaims: “Our mix of urban grit and southern sensibility playfully blends multiple aesthetics to create an artful sense of home and personal style.”

Word traveled fast about the new store and they were soon a success, no small feat given the economy at the time.  Enough so that in 2007 they expanded into their basement, doubling the already large retail space. Their carefully selected product line and exquisite display style make Trohv a special shopping destination. The products are blended together in sections much like a very creative arty pre-mall era department store.

Store manager Dawn Hudson generously gave me a personal tour explaining how each section in the store is carefully planned out. There are areas dedicated to men’s products, children’s books and clothes, kitchen and cooking, a section dedicated to tantalizing blank writing books, and an ample stock of the popular  “I Heart Rats” t-shirts created by a local artist known as the “rat czar”. The card rack is full of the latest new products on the market. Hudson held up a gleaming, sleek designed, retro-modern copper cup from a carefully laid out table and proclaimed smiling, “This is a current favorite with customers!” It was indeed lovely and eye-catching.

I was delighted to see a large display of the classic brightly colored Stanley thermoses and assorted connected products, as these were ubiquitous in my youth, and brought back my own yearning for a time when form and function merged with high quality US manufacturing. I also coveted a large antique orange picnic table with seating that folded in and out. It was being used for display of other goods but like all such items is also for sale. In each section there are books on related topics. The children’s book area is of particular interest, as it carries unusual and quality titles not found elsewhere, and as they sit near the adorable carefully chosen baby clothes I took note what fine gifts they would make. Other sections abound.

Trohv makes a strong effort to carry regionally crafted products and art. The local neo-craft community, including a number of members of the Charm City Craft Mafia, is well represented. A variety of candles are dispersed everywhere, as are other smaller items, some new, some salvaged and very cool. I notice a set of classic cobalt glass bottles that were exclusively manufactured in Baltimore years ago, along with many other one of a kind antique finds carefully paid out in the mix. Much of the product line is decidedly retro-designed signaling superior value. Every turn is full of surprises. The price range is from low to high end, so there is something for everyone.

 

The Trohv staff is cheery and helpful, clearly taking pride in their work. You too can get a tour, but what is most pleasurable is to explore at your own leisure.

Periodically the staff decides on a new overall theme for the store—the front windows are redone and inside they playfully riff off the theme throughout. Currently the theme is ‘hive’ and it is enjoyable to see what they do with it. The store’s well-known and respected display finesse is worth the trip alone. Bree Rock is the visual director but the entire staff plays a role working as a team, keeping moral high.

Trohv has been so successful that in April of 2011, after much careful planning, the owners opened a second location in an 8000 square foot space on the DC side of the Takoma Park Historic District. This expansion shows how Trohv’s trademark marketing style and product line offers an important alternative form of retail store that counters the current trend of cheap mass production and consumption of generic and disposable goods found in box stores.IMG_4161

 

 

IMG_4374

 

IMG_5498

 

 

IMG_5421

 

IMG_5368

 

IMG_5547

 

Trohv Home and Gift Baltimore
921 W. 36th Street
Baltimore, MD 21211
410-366-3456
http://trohvshop.com/   hotlinkTrohv Home and Gift DC
232 Carroll Street NW

Washington, DC 20012

Jack Livingston is an artist, educator, writer, editor, and community activist. He is currently the head of communications and public relations for FutureMakers an art and tech maker education organization and serves as an editor and regular contributor for BmoreArt.com, Baltimore’s premier online arts and culture magazine.