Tag Archives: Halloween

Baltimore’s Spookiest Spot: Green Mount Cemetery

For those among you who are wont to give credence to ghosts and spirits, there’s no need whatsoever to look toward haunted houses or haunted hayrides or any other seasonal attractions where high schoolers and jaycees put on masks and yell ‘boo.’

Those who wish to seek out ghosts need not look very far in a city like Baltimore, where the past haunts each street with every nightfall. We like to think that our streets are new with their crushed glass surfacing and our homes are new with their double-paned windows and granite counters, but they are not. Virtually every brick and stone was worn well before we arrived, and most all of them will remain unmoved by the time the last of us is gone.

Green Mount Cemetery is one of Baltimore most scenic, historic, and underrated attractions.

In a sense, it’s not our city at all. It’s theirs. They built it, and they continue to dwell here.

They are some our our city’s most prominent figures; men with names like Pratt, Latrobe, Preston, Hopkins, Walters, and Garrett. and here is Green Mount Cemetery, more than 65,000 graves situated over 68 acres, right here in our own back yard.

Unfortunately, because Halloween falls on a Sunday this year, the cemetery is not open to visitors today, although they do keep their gates open every other day of the week both for formal tours and individual wandering. For All Hallows’ Eve, we’d greatly encourage you to spend a few minutes and take your time surfing around their website and discovering the history and scenery of Green Mount for yourself.

The Chop is totally remiss, and almost ashamed to admit that we have never set foot inside Green Mount Cemetery. We’ve been whistling past the graveyard for years, and although always fascinated by it, we’ve never taken a walk around inside. We’re going to change that at some point this week.

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Green Mount Cemetery is at 1501 Greenmount Ave. Hours: Monday-Saturday, 8am-4pm. (410) 539-0641.

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Gutter Magazine’s Dead Celebrities Ball, CA Lantern Parade Tonight

What? You think you’re done with Halloween? You went out raging last night and now you think you’re just going to stay at home and watch Simpsons’ Halloween special reruns and eat pumpkin flavored junk food? Well, Halloween’s not done with you, Baltimore.

You’d better get started on washing off all the beer and lipstick stains you got on that costume last night, because you’re going to need it again tonight. As luck would have it, all of the reasonable, moderate and sane folks are heading down to DC to be reasonable and moderate together, which means that by default, the rest of us left in Baltimore are unreasonable, immoderate, and insane. Should make for a hell of a Devil’s Night.

Gutter Mag's Dead Celebrities Ball is at Metro Gallery tonight.

As if we didn’t have enough to do last night, we’re starting off tonight with a trip to Patterson Park for the Creative Alliance‘s Great Halloween Lantern Parade and Festival. From what we’ve heard, last year’s parade was really quite a spectacle, done well down to the last detail. Word was that it was on of the very rare events that’s billed as ‘fun for the whole family’ that actually is fun for the whole family.

Afterward we’re heading back up to Station North, where we’ll be around and about the rest of the night. We’re definitely going to make the Metro Gallery our home base though. Our friends at Gutter Magazine are back there tonight with their second annual Dead Celebrities Ball. They’ve booked in four of Charm City’s best post-rock bands including old favorites Sick Sick Birds as well as Squaaks and the Jennifers. Plus we’ll finally get a chance to check out the relatively new(ish) Sal Bando, who we haven’t had a chance to see live yet.

With a grown up set like that, we can pretty much guarantee that the Misfits covers and Halloween cheesiness will be kept to a minimum, which is a great relief at this point. Best part? It’s only five bucks at the door, sucka.

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Lantern festivities begin at 3pm. Parade Starts at 7:30 pm. Corner of Eastern and Linwood in Patterson Park.

Metro Gallery is at 1801 N. Charles St. in Station North. Doors at 8:45.

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Two Halloweens for the Price of One!

So, Halloween is pretty much here. Like today. Like right now. You may think that Halloween falls on Sunday, and that that’s totally lame, but for all intents and purposes, it’s really a blessing in disguise for fans of the holiday. A blessing from the Devil maybe. A super secret double bizarro blessing. Or something like that. For the kiddies, trick-or-treating may indeed be Sunday evening, but for the rest of us, we get a two day holiday for drinking and carrying on. Plus a Sunday to sleep it all off again. Talk about a win/win situation…

We spent some time in and around Station North last Halloween, and if you’re in the mood for going out, we’d definitely recommend doing likewise this year. The college kids can have the East Side and the South Side. Take ’em. We’re done with ’em. We’re perfectly happy right here in North Baltimore. Station North has been doing Halloween right for a few good years now, and if previous experience is anything to go by (and it is), there will be just enough costumed revelers to make every place in the neighborhood fun and interesting, but never so many in one place that the party is overwhelming or overcrowded.

 

Of course you can be two places at once. You've got superpowers.

So, by now you’ve got your costume, and you know what to look out for, but where are you going to go, eh?

There’s plenty going on around town tonight, but there are two events we feel are especially worthy of your attention. First up at the Ottobar the Charm City Roller Girls are going to be holding their 6th annual Bruisers’ Ball. This year’s theme is a Supervillain Soiree, and the costume contests will showcase that with various prizes in several different categories. There’s going to be plenty of other fun stuff too, like Halloween themed drinks and a photobooth, and of course, plenty of rollergirls all about the place. They’re even going to tape Dirty Marty to a wall, which just in itself should be worth the price of admission. And of course there’s a solid slate of bands including the Degenerettes, Hollowboy, and the Stalking Horses, as well as the Moustache dance party upstairs.

And if you can’t get your fill of heroes and villains in just one place, you can always head down to the Windup Space for a separate party with a similar theme. It’s Atomic Books’ second annual celebration of heroism and villainy, and this time around it’s going to feature. DJ Miracle Ear, debut videos from Atomic TV, and the new Rock Band 3 for your enjoyment, complete with Keytar.

Plus, the costume contest pays $400 in cold, hard cash. We’re calling it right now: if you’re lucky enough to snag a jackpot like that, the only right thing to do is to buy the house a round of drinks.

Happy Halloween.

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The Bruisers’ Ball at Ottobar (2549 N. Howard, Charles Village) begins at 9pm with the show bands playing at 10:00. $10, 18+.

Atomic’s Heroes and Villains Costume Ball at the Windup Space (12 W. North Ave in Station North) runs concurrently.

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The Five Worst Halloween Costumes of 2010

Year in and year out, we’re always surprised that people don’t just take the easy way out and dress for Halloween in a giant Summer’s Eve box, because there’s no shortage of douchebags running around Fells Point, Federal Hill, etc.

When Batman came out, you all had to be Batman. When Batman came out again, you all had to be the Joker. And frankly, few people can tell the difference between this vampire and that vampire and whatever zombie-come-lately the nerds have a nerd boner for this year.

This was played out 3 years ago. Don't keep making the same mistake.

But Some costumes cross the line from bad to worse; and then there are these. If you wear one of the following costumes out in public this year, you pretty much deserve to be socially shunned and never get laid again. You also deserve the dozens of photo tags that are bound to pop up in social media years from now, like when you’re looking for a job or being googled by your girlfriend’s parents. Have fun living these down.

5. Ben Roethlisberger The Chop is no fan of Ben Roethlisberger, that’s for sure. But you know what? Donning a black and yellow number 7 is in especially bad taste the way it’s done in Baltimore. It wasn’t funny when you showed up in a Steelers’ uniform with a bloody mangled knee, and it’s not going to be funny when you show up this year as Roethlisberger with a mug shot, or worse, with a giant erection. Don’t do it.

4. Mad Men The good folks over at Something Awful hit the nail on the head when they said “Even if you’re a handsome, suave dude it won’t work, because you don’t live in 1962. Your context sucks. Don Draper does not request extra corn salsa for his Chipotle burrito.” The rules don’t change because it’s Halloween. Just because you pawed through Salvation Army for an ugly, ill-fitting polyester suit doesn’t mean you look like Draper. It means you look like a moron.

3. The Jersey Shore There’s a reason the show is only 22 minutes long. Running around all night doing guido schtick in a bad Jersey accent is going to get old very quickly. There’s no subtle irony to the Jersey Shore costume, it’s just a douchebag dressing up like another douchebag. Besides, do you think you can do a better job of making fun of Jersey than South Park? You can’t.

2. Terrorist This one is now in perpetually poor taste. Whatever you do, do not don Arab dress, and wear a beard and bomb vest. It’s not going to impress anyone, and it’s going to piss a lot of people off. You may well even end up in a fight or in central booking, and you probably deserve it.

1. Chilean Miners Put away the hard hat, take off the sunglasses, and don’t you dare wave around a Chilean flag. Don’t ever forget that those workers were victims, and were being exploited by mine owners. This is one of the very rare instances where the whole world watches and cares about something important (i.e. not the Olympics or World Cup) at the same time, and your lame ass Halloween costume is only going to cheapen that.

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Top Five Cheap, Quick and Easy Halloween Costumes for Adults

We’re going to let you in on a little secret of etiquette, Baltimore. When an invitation says something is optional, that thing is damn well mandatory. A good host or hostess will be reluctant to push their guests around, even on paper. There are firm conventions in place though, and if you’re planning to attend a party or event that is ‘black tie optional’ and ‘gifts optional’, you had better show up in a tux with a nicely wrapped gift. You’ll look like a boorish clod if you don’t.

The same is true of ‘costume optional’ Halloween parties, whether they are a private affair or being held at a bar or some sort of festival. Halloween is now less than 2 weeks away, and if you’re still lacking a costume or are dropped a last minute invitation to a ‘costume optional’ party, you’ve got your work cut out for you.

Nothing says Halloween like raging alcoholic clowns.

Fortunately, the Chop is here to help. We’re happy to give you five solid costume ideas which can be assembled with a minimum of effort and expense, and which can easily be shed when the party ends, or if your plans include something that does not require a costume.

5. Priest The priest outfit is really nothing but black on black with a little white cardboard collar. You probably own most of it already. It can be good fun to do the priest schtick too: blessing people, taking confessions from ‘naughty schoolgirl’ costumers, and breaking out your crucifix or holy water to ward off anyone who may be dressed as a devil. Plus, people like the irony of seeing a priest get totally faced on hard liquor.

4. Fisherman Think fishsticks. This guy has the right idea, and he’s really selling it with the beard. If you forgo the beard, you can accessorize with a little green netting or manila rope. Yellow foul weather gear is available cheaply at places like Lowe’s and Home Depot, and of course, you can wear normal clothes underneath.

3. A Mexican Is this racist? Yeah. Probably. A little. But if you dressed in lederhosen or a kilt, no one would say boo, so why not. Besides, you can claim the moral high ground by claiming to be the (Colombian) coffee man Juan Valdez, or just by yelling “Do I look illegal?!?!?” directly into the face of anyone who questions you. A sombrero, a poncho, and a fake mustache and you’re pretty much good to go.

2. The Sheet It’s old hat on TV and in the movies, but you actually see very few people rocking the sheet-ghost costume. It’s the easiest thing in the world and good for a laugh every time. A sheet will also double as a toga with very little modification, so it’s basically 2 costumes in one. Why not?

1. Clown Okay, so a clown may not really be that easy. Makeup is kind of a commitment. Wig, shoes, gags; a lot goes into being a proper clown. We believe that the return is worth it though. Don’t underestimate the scariness of a clown outfit. More people than you think are totally freaked out by clowns. Besides, clowns are never so funny and awesome as when they’re out of context. Drinking heavily, making lewd remarks, and threatening violence are what takes the ordinary clown costume above and beyond all others. If we see you out on Halloween and you’re a clown, we’re totally going to buy you a drink.

Stay tuned for tomorrow’s post, in which we’ll be discussing the dumbest costume trend ideas of 2010. Don’t say you weren’t warned.

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Someone’s In For A Scary Halloween.

You never can tell where the night will lead in Baltimore City. It can begin in one neighborhood with the best of intentions, and end someplace entirely different, and even unfamiliar. The Chop might well start out at some ritzy affair at the Engineers Club, and end the night swilling tequila and losing at pool to a Honduran in Upper Fells. Or we might not.

Last night was one such night.

The chop was enjoying our Bar Bacon when we received a text from one of our suburb-dwelling friends, who along with another friend had somehow found their way to the Taphouse in Canton. It was an odd choice, both for the Chop and the friends in question, but we felt it best to go down and have a pint, since the Chop has some upcoming travel plans which will be discussed in a future post. We won’t be around for a good little while.

The Taphouse is sort of odd. Its nothing more than a traditional East Baltimore corner bar, which has its roots in the old UK public houses. The strange part though is that almost every single patron in there was under thirty, but behaving like a much more mature crowd. It struck us how much the neighborhood has changed. It also made us a little grateful that places like Looney’s exist, because they filter out all of the sharts from the rest of the bars.

Although that’s not entirely true. As we came to know, our friends had come to the Taphouse and met up with two others… one of them was a super-chic chick rocking a little black dress with black leggings and natural grain cowboy boots and actually pulling it off. The other was the biggest shart in the place; a shitfaced hood-rat with Glen Burnie written all over him. An odd couple to say the least.

Sometimes its not all bad though. As we know from being personal friends with one town’s official town drunk, the following logic can often prevail in the drunken mind on a Friday night:

‘Fuck it. If I’m gonna have a sixty dollar tab, I might as well have a hundred and sixty dollar tab.’

This is definitely a warning sign that AA is somewhere in the future. Its also a sign that you’re going to get bought drinks if you can stand being in proximity to this shart.

And stand it we did for several rounds. Eventually though, the Chop’s mind wandered back to our brand new and luxuriously comfortable armchair-and-ottoman combination and the frozen pizza in our freezer, and we made our excuses. It was at this point that Cowboy Boots (who had contributed little to the general conversation before this point) came squarely up to the Chop and started chatting us up about fashion.

Now, its to be understood that the Chop dresses better than you. Last night we stepped out in an ultra-casual off-white sport jacket over a light gray argyle sweater.

Our outfit broke many fashion rules at the same time, and to be quite honest, with it being Halloween, we wondered if we might not be taken for wearing a Don Johnson costume.

donjohnson

You can see why this is to be avoided at all costs. Anyway, it was nice to get a favorable opinion from someone as stylish as Cowboy Boots, and from there the conversation flowed quite naturally into ” Oh yeah, we should totally go out. Here’s my number.”

Now, the Chop does not approve of drunken driving. However, every Baltimorean worth his Old Bay knows that its well nigh impossible to get a DUI inside the city limits. You can even bend a fender and the cops can’t hardly be bothered to come to the scene. This shart from the Taphouse though… he managed to tear his entire bumper off on a guard rail, and as the chop found out via text message, was subsequently made to blow and hauled into Central Booking.

z24-01722

View of Baltimore City jail from where I-83 is today.

Of course, if you go to Jail on Friday night, there’s no way in hell you’re coming out before Monday morning, and possibly even Tuesday. Our man is about to see if he can survive a weekend locked in the house of horrors with murderers, rapists, and the city’s living dead.

Happy Halloween, Shart.

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