Tag Archives: Highlandtown

Home Improvement as Self-Improvement at The Loading Dock in Baltimore

One of the things the Chop loves best about Baltimore is that its a city of open secrets. Anyone tuned into the right gossip channels (of the offline variety) doesn’t have to do too much digging to get to the dirt. The Chop was clued in to a particularly incredible open secret some years ago, which we stored in the back of our mind and only this weekend went to check out for ourselves.

What's for dinner? Stoves and other working appliances sell cheaply at TLD.

Yesterday we also added The Loading Dock to the list of reasons we love Baltimore more than any other city in the world. Much like Bookthing and the Baltimore Free Store, The Loading Dock takes a common sense idea and moulds it into something seemingly radical, but entirely practical which is a model for community development throughout the entire nation. How simply radical are they? Check out their mission statement:

Our Mission is twofold. We strive to increase the supply of decent, affordable housing for lower to moderate-income families by facilitating the reuse of materials that would otherwise be thrown away. At the same time we are saving precious environmental resources by taking reusable material out of the waste stream.

Insert rug-munching joke here: excess carpet rolls to fit most rowhouse rooms.

Okay, so even that may not sound terribly radical, but once we had a chance to walk the warehouse and see the stock, we were awed. TLD is literally packed with tons of building materials which would otherwise be completely wasted, and the prices for everything in the place are astonishingly low. Whether you’re in a pinch and need to suddenly replace a broken toilet, need to tile or carpet a basement floor, fix a broken windowpane or accomplish anything else around the house, you can get it done with serviceable materials at a fraction of the price of new, and save the earth at the same time.

Your window on the world: all manner of windows for installation or craft projects.

A $10 annual membership will allow you (and one additional cardholder) access to both the entire stock of materials, as well as a regular calendar of DIY workshops like the upcoming Greening Your Home and Drywall Repair clinics, among others.

A throne for every castle: all manner of plumbing fixtures from antique to modern.

Still doesn’t sound radical? Compare it to the new big-box corporate monster hardware store that’s trying to move onto 25th Street and the difference is pretty clear. If green, sustainable home improvement matters to you, we strongly urge you to oppose the plans for big-box development in Remington by getting involved with the efforts of Bmore Local at their site or join with over 700 of your neighbors on their Facebook Group. You can also follow development news on the project at the Baltidome Blog, who have been on top of the story since the beginning.

The Doors of perception are open: Doors for hanging or to be used as coffee tables, headboards, room dividers, workbenches, etc.

So the Chop is spending our Sunday watching the O’s on TV and putting in work on a little project we dreamed up, which is going to look like we spent over $300 dollars on, but thanks to The Loading Dock, was actually less than $30.

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The Loading Dock is located at 2 N. Kresson Street (map). They’re open Monday through Saturday, and more information can be found on their website, loadingdock.org.

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Going All Pro @ CA, Bar Bacon Comedy @ Golden West Tonight

We think we got it now. It’s all starting to make sense. It’s the weekend now, right? Like that time when everybody knocks off work and goes to do fun stuff? That’s howcome you haven’t been around so much, huh? You were waiting for the weekend.

Well it’s here, and there’s no shortage of fun stuff going on this weekend. We don’t know what you’re thinking of (hell, we never do, do we?) but we’ll definitely clue you in on what we’re up to.

First up we’re heading over to the Creative Alliance to catch the premiere of Going All Pro, the latest documentary from Baltimore’s own Charles Cohen. Going All Pro is an up close and personal look at Oriole Park’s Clancy the beer man. If that leaves you scratching your head, then shame on you, Baltimore. It means you haven’t been out to the Yard often enough.

When you go out to your neighborhood bar, you get to know the bartender a little, don’t you? You expect to see him there after a while and he becomes a friendly and familiar face and it wouldn’t be the same without him, right? Well, take it from the Chop, who watches more Oriole baseball than is healthy, and most of it from a sneaked-into box seat in section 12… these guys are just the same. Fancy Clancy is as much a fixture downtown as the Bromo-Seltzer tower.

Going All Pro premieres at CA tonight. 7 pm.

Director Charles Cohen is something of a Baltimore fixture in his own right. You might already be familiar with the Baltimore Community Issues Examiner from his contributions to Citypaper, including one from 2004 about Fancy Clancy and other publications or from any of his other films, including The Last Season, an excellent doc about the closing of Memorial Stadium. The Chop can remember seeing that one premiere, and there was no shortage of grown men crying, to be sure.

A q&a with Clancy and Cohen will follow the film, and lucky for us it’s only 41 minutes in length, which means we can make a 9 o’clock date at nearby Salt. That will leave us just enough time to get back uptown for Bar Bacon.

Bar Bacon hits the Golden West tonight. 11 pm.

It’s Volume III, Book II tonight… whatever that means. We suspect it has something to do with comedy duo Velvet Glovular, Seaton Smith, Sean Jokes, Dorian Grey, and Mike Moran. “A Comedy Tour of Paradise Island” means you can trade in that PBR for a seabreeze. We won’t tell.

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Bi-Weekly Political Roundup: PPM Blue Hill Edition

Whew!

After last night Baltimore, the Chop sure as hell needs a drink! Fortunately, we’re in luck, because there’s not one but two great groups of folks we’re out to drink with tonight.

First we’ll be heading out to Blue Hill Tavern for Planned Parenthood of Maryland’s ongoing series called the Drinks and Discussion Happy Hour. If you’ve never been to a PPM event before, rest assured, the vibe is very laid back and the structure is quite loose and free-form, but at the same time they’re always held in some of Baltimore’s finest establishments, and the style and fashion will have your head spinning. If you want to come out, dress to impress. The event runs from 6 to 8 pm and admission is free, but of course the more you drink the better it is for women’s health.

PPM's Young Professionals Drinks and Discussion Happy Hour is at Blue Hill Tavern tonight. 6pm.

We’d show up anywhere they wanted to hold it, but we have to say that we’re really excited to get down to Blue Hill, which opened shortly before we left for Europe, and which we haven’t had a chance to visit yet, even though the buzz is good.

Its also convenient, since this being the second Wednesday of the month, its also time for the bi-monthly meeting of Baltimore Drinking Liberally, which is just a few blocks up Conkling Street at the Laughing Pint. Drinking liberally is also informal, and as we mentioned before, new members are always encouraged to come out.

Baltimore Drinking Liberallymeets tonight at the Laughing Pint. 7 pm. All are welcome.

Political theater has seldom been more absurd than it is this week. Eric Massa is crazy as fuck. Did he have cancer, or was he checking interns for prostate cancer? Maybe he cancerfied Glen Beck on that show yesterday.

Sarah Palin proves that she really is a dummy by taking notes on her hand on national TV. She also apparently likes Socialism, since she gets her healthcare in Canada.

Roy Ashburn is a big fag. Look dude, we know its hard to come out of the closet and all, but its even harder to come out while you’re losing your state house seat and facing drunk driving charges and having everyone you know suddenly hate you. But you know what? After your career, you deserve to take it up the ass.

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Restaurant Food!

For reasons we won’t detail here, the Chop sampled less of Europe’s better restaurants than we would have liked. In point of fact, most of the cuisine we did sample this winter was found to be severely wanting.

"The Nicest Little Bar in Baltimore" 3531 Gough Street

So it occurs to us that since we’ve been back, we haven’t sat down to eat a proper restaurant meal. As good a cook as the Chop may be, there’s nothing to compare to sitting down with good company and picking out something you couldn’t or wouldn’t cook at home. Salads, appetizers, soup, dessert… contrary to the saying, if you want it done right, have someone else do it.

So after Daniel Shea’s lecture tonight, we’re going to sit ourselves down for the full course treatment; very possibly at one of our favorites, the Laughing Pint, one of Baltimore’s most overlooked taverns, and also one of the best vegetarian menus available anywhere in town.

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