Baltimore Museum of Art
There’s an old expression, “Hit them where they live.” And though there are figurative layers to those words, they can certainly be employed quite literally. Of course, that is exactly what Donald Trump did when he disgracefully referred to Baltimore recently as “a disgusting, rat and rodent infested mess” – which was also meant as a take down of the city’s Congressional Representative Elijah Cummings, who had dared to levy a criticism of our 45th President.
Trump’s allies quickly cited Bernie Sanders’ equally unflattering remarks, as if somehow it was the same thing. It’s not. Sanders is not the President of the United States of America – and with that title should come the basic understanding that you don’t attack your own people. But, as we’ve come to learn, class and grace are in short supply these days at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue.
For our part, we never need another reason to visit “Charm City.” We fell in love with those charms quite some time ago. And while so much soulless gentrification is agitating to flatten the personalities of cities from New York to Nashville, Barcelona to Berlin, Baltimore’s inimitable eccentricities remain mostly undiminished.
With a keen sense of solidarity, we popped down for a visit recently to reconnect with everything we love about the city. After all, while the shameless improprieties will apparently continue at the highest levels of power in this country, we’d rather focus on the positive whenever and wherever we can.
To that end, here are six wonderful and rather ideological reasons you need to visit Baltimore…now.
An offshoot of the glorious Walters Art Museum, Hackermann House just debuted Time and Place, an exhibition of photography that looks at the once again very much of-the-moment issues of class and labor. Antonio McAfee’s new series references W.E.B. DuBois’ landmark 1900 Exhibit of American Negroes; while Jay Gould’s photographs of contemporary Baltimore residents recontextualize them in a historical style, specifically the 19th Century.
The American Visionary Art Museum
Debuting this past February, Esther and the Dream of One Loving Human Family illustrates the poignant Holocaust survival story of Polish artist Esther Krinitz (1927 – 2001). More than 30+ hand-embroidered works trace humanity’s tragic history of the persecution of innocents, while envisioning the Utopia of a world at peace. If only.
Black Femme Supremacy Film Festival
Debuting in 2018, the BFS Film Fest returns for its second year of showcasing aspiring, original filmmakers. Over the three days of Labor Day weekend, there will be more than 50 screenings, including documentaries, music videos, web series’ and the like. As if it need be said, it is very much worth skipping the beach for.
The Baltimore Museum of Art
Through January 2020, Every Day: Selections from the Collection is specifically focused on the work of black artists from the museum’s considerable permanent collection. Some 50 pieces, including photography, painting, sculpture, video and printmaking (some on loan from the Giuffrida Collection), illuminate a vibrant, challenging postwar artistic legacy.
Maryland Science Center
Since science finds itself bizarrely under attack again – facts, obviously, can be terribly inconvenient for some – take some time to be a wonder-filled kid again and visit MSC’s new Science Aglow exhibit. Put your crafting skills to use making a work of light, using mirrors, lenses and prisms. View light in the way that non-human creatures do, further solidifying the kinship of all living things. Brush up on physics!
As more and more historic American neighborhoods fall victim to callous over-development, Fells Point remains remarkably, beautifully intact. Established in 1763, it’s an architectural delight, full of quirky little eateries, authentic pubs, and iconoclastic cultural happenings. Highly recommended: secure an outdoor table at the Pitango Bakery + Cafe or the V-NO wine bar and just watch the ships come in to Baltimore’s Inner Harbor.