Location: The Avenue in Hampden, Baltimore, MD
Rating: Honorable Mention
Description: Something strange has happened in Baltimore over the last decade and I’m still trying to figure out what it was… I remember a time when the only reason you went to the Ave was to pawn your fillings, or rent porn videos sorted in alphabetical order by director. Those were the good ol’ days.
Now the Ave is full of wine bars, organic pet shops, yoga studios and one-off coffee shops. It’s like a bug light for skinny pants-ed hipsters with disks in their ears, who would scoff at the idea of buying coffee in a store which sells donuts, unless they were doing so in an ironic fashion.
Seeing this submission brings me back to the good ol days, where you could get blasted in Frazier’s of of $20 in cheap beer, stumble through the street until you found a cheesy lawn ornament to puke on, and sleep it off in comfort on a stranger’s steps knowing that there was a good chance the occupant would be sleeping on the same steps that night. The Ave may have changed, but I’m glad there are still people like this guy out there to show these kids what Hamden used to be all about.