Saturday, August 25, 2007

AUGUST IN WESTFIELD

As hot and humid as it is today, there is something about an early evening thunderstorm in August that draws me outside. There is something about the light in August, something special about the constant chirping sounds of the crickets and the meandering sound of the fading summer locusts. It is such a blanket of peace - an orgy of sound in nature stereo. All of this from our small, screened in back porch looking out on the gracefulness of our grown up trees. This truly is a beautiful evening in the Village of Westfield off The Harford Road, Hon. :)

Monday, August 20, 2007

Street renovations north and south: Why not Westfield?

Although it's been a headache during construction, the new Harford Road sidewalks and median strips from Argonne to Echodale will be quite a facelift for that area. And if you've traveled north on Harford Road, you know that Parkville is also getting the same treatment. There's a story about that plan in the North East Reporter, which states this will be a 2 year project.

All this makes me wonder why we got the short end of the stick here. Did we miss an opportunity somewhere to get a facelift? Was this something WNIA should have been more involved in? The number one neighborhood concern in our blog poll was empty storefronts, and until we upgrade our neighborhood, we're going to have a tough time appealing to new businesses.

Please comment.

Thursday, August 16, 2007

If it's dinnertime in Westfield, where can I go?

When it's been a long day and you don't feel like making dinner, where do you like to go? I've become a big fan of Koco's cheeseburgers, and on payday we'll sometimes splurge for the crabcake (which is as big as a softball!).

But we have a lot taverns tucked away along Harford Road, and I wonder if I could get a good cheeseburger even closer to home? After a long commute home, it would be great to walk somewhere for dinner.

We have pizza joints, Thai and Mexican food, and barbecue. What's your favorite? Please leave a comment to share with your neighbors!

Monday, August 13, 2007

Campaign 2008: The 3rd District

The Baltimore City Paper recently ran an interesting piece on the upcoming City Council elections, specifically focusing on the 3rd District and Councilman Curran:

Curran isn't just a three-term councilman who now serves as council vice president. He won the seat vacated by his brother, Martin E. “Mike” Curran, who was appointed after their father, J. Joseph Curran Sr., died in 1977. Curran men have been serving the 3rd District — the northeasternmost district in the city, bordered by York Road, Harford Road, and Sinclair Lane — since 1958.
Yikes! If you're like me, a relative newcomer to Hamilton, the Curran dynasty in our district might be news to you, too. There are actually other candidates running for this seat. And I think even if Curran is heavily favored to be reelected, it's important that he not take our votes for granted.

So take a serious look at the other candidate for the Democratic primary, Michael Hamilton, “a former banker and independent businessman who now teaches special education on a contract with the Baltimore City Public School System. For six years, he served as the president of the Baltimore City Council of Parent-Teacher Associations.”

And also look at Green Party candidate (and Lauraville resident) Bill Barry, who will be running against the winner of the Sept. 11 Democratic primary winner.

I have not heard of any Republican candidates. If you know of one, let us know so we can give them equal press here.

Saturday, August 11, 2007

Update: Gallery financing falls through

We've just received word that the gentleman who was going to purchase "Hell Bent for Leather" and put in an art galley and tattoo parlor has not been able to secure financing. That's unfortunate, because it seemed like he had the support of most the community. I know I was hoping that might be a good draw for other creative businesses to take a look at Hamilton.

What do you think?

Friday, August 10, 2007

Great resource for home renovations

A lot of folks in our neighborhood are renovating their homes, knowing that where we live is a real estate bargain. I mean, where else in this area can you find a single family home with a nice sized yard — that you can afford?

But it can get expensive, so you should know about a fantastic local resource for building materials of all kinds. The Loading Dock is a Baltimore nonprofit whose mission is to: increase the supply and use of affordable building materials for housing and community improvement by redirecting landfill-bound, reusable materials into productive use.

For an annual fee of only $10 you'll have access to their warehouse. A sample of what they have in their warehouse includes:

Banisters, Bathtubs, Bi-fold doors, Carpet, Caulk, Ceramic Tile, Cinder blocks, Counter tops, Doors, Door sweeps, Electric lights, Floor covering, Gas stoves, Hardware, Insulation, Kitchen cabinets, Lumber, Marble, Paint, Plumbing fixtures, Roof shingles, Shelving, Sinks, Stairs, Toilets, Vinyl flooring, Wallpaper, Windows.

Have your measurements, bring a measuring tape, and a way to haul away your materials. You'll be amazed at what's available at a fraction of the cost of the big box home improvement stores.

2 North Kresson Street
Baltimore, MD 21224
(410) 588-3625

Wednesday, August 8, 2007

What the cable companies don't want you to know

It's a little-known fact, but FCC rules require cable companies everywhere to offer a “limited basic” package that includes all the local channels, government access, and educational channels. Here in Baltimore, that includes about 20 channels. It costs only $9.65 per month!

You won't see it advertised anywhere, but I just called Comcast at (410) 649-9000 and asked for the “Limited Basic” package. Of course, they tried to offer me more packages, more channels, but I just said nope, just want it for the reception. And they signed me right up.

So, if you're like me (don't really watch much television, but do like having the ability to when I want to), call Comcast and request “Limited Basic” service.

It's Comcastic ...

Art Gallery coming to our neighborhood?

The discussion at last night's neighborhood association meeting was all about a potential art gallery and tattoo parlor coming to the space at 6425 Harford Road. That address been occupied for many years by Hell Bent for Leather. The owners are selling this property, and have a potential buyer with the gallery/tattoo parlor idea.

Personally, I think it's a great idea. It could bring a funky artistic element to our neighborhood, that is, let's face it, not here now. And if this gallery succeeds, it could entice other artists to move in. Struggling artists are finding it hard to afford the now trendy Hampden and Patterson Park. Could Hamilton be the new Hampden?!

What do you think?