If you're not from Baltimore, you might not be familiar with the little gem of a neighborhood on the outskirts of the city called Hampden. Home to John Waters, Hampden is the neighborhood that brings you the beehived "hons" of "Hairspray," anti-gentrifying hipsters who are gentrifying the neighborhood, crotchety blue-collar Baltimoreans with unintelligible Bawlmer accents, iconic row homes, kitschy vintage shopping, and frankly, some damn good food (Staci and Jen enjoy brunch here every Thanksgiving break when Jen is in town).
Additionally, Hampden is home to the "Miracle on 34th Street." Not *that* miracle -- the other miracle. The one that actually puts Baltimore on the "places to visit at Christmas" maps worldwide. Why? Because the residents of a block on 34th street go WAY THE FUCK OUT and decorate for Christmas like nobody's business. Tourists from all over come to visit, and the city government pays for the neighborhood's electric bills. Because that's definitely a good use of Staci's parking ticket money.
Happy holidays, hon!
-Staci + Jen