While home for the holidays in Baltimore, I ventured to 34th Street in the Hampden neighborhood for some Christmas light-seeing. I was tired of manicured trees and ‘polite’ decorations, so 34th Street was refreshing with its animated reindeer, bright lights and army of inflatable Santas.
This single block has gone Christmas-crazy for 61 years, starting with one house on the corner and spreading down the street. It has since attracted media attention, local tourists, and a slew of vendors.
Despite news coverage at the beginning of the season, this block remains one of Baltimore’s best-hidden treasures. Tucked away in an unassuming part of town and unseen from main roads, the majority of this block’s popularity is spread through word-of-mouth from one Baltimorean to the next, and is very much a local creation. Somehow the iconic and familiar faces of the holidays transform into something distinctly “Baltimore” as residents showcase their personal artwork, display Christmas memorabilia from travels abroad, or add a few pink flamingos to the holiday mix. After strolling for a little bit, I felt a reinvigorated sense of holiday spirit, a little pride for Baltimore, and extreme gratitude for my relatively cheap electric bill.
Be sure to let us know of the holiday traditions in your own town!
~Bethany for My Wonderful World
Image courtesy of Flickr.com