Monday, July 27, 2009

10 Days Of Pleasure

The title of this post refers to 10 days of non-stop activity for me. I’ve been on the move. It all started last weekend with Artscape.

Artscape was great this year! The first things people usually think of when I say Artscape are heat and crowds. Many refer to it as Heatscape or Artbake (LOL). The only thing hot this year was the art and the diverse group of performers.

This year’s festival was chockfull of awesome entertainment, with the headliners being Dionne Warwick and Robin Thicke. I didn’t make it to these performances, but the feedback I heard from friends was positive. I was on the opposite side of the festival enjoying great food at Tapas Teatro (They always treat me wonderfully, and I keep going back for more) and performances on stage by an eclectic group of jazz performers. I also got to see some amazing buskers too.

Artscape is a three-day event, so I went back for more fun on Saturday. I went to the Charles Theater to see short films sponsored by the Maryland Film Festival. Much of what I saw was interesting and without a doubt worthy of a conversation between friends. I’m glad I had my friends in tow. Other events I attended included classical music/opera performed at the Corpus Christi Church in Bolton Hill and exhibits at the Maryland Institute College of Art.

The best part of Artscape for me was watching the people. The crowd was so diverse. Each personality type was riddled with little nuisances that made me curious about their lives. I guess there is a little voyeurism in all of us.

Kudos to the many individuals who made this event come off wonderfully. There were a few small problems, but I’m not going to mention them because they didn’t impact my good time. To my friends Brian and Tina, thank you for tagging along and making this Artscape as special as you did last year. I’m glad our fun was not solely based on the adult beverages we had later in the evening (LOL), a few blocks from Artscape. I could have done without the drag show, but that didn’t put a damper on our night because we were three fun people doing what we do best… Talk, laugh and laugh more.

I was tired from my two days at the festival last weekend, but that didn’t stop me from enjoying a few walks around the city and hikes on the local nature trails during the new week.

On Wednesday I took a walk to Clifton Mansion, Johns Hopkins’ former country estate, part of a public park since acquired by the City in 1895. It was sad to see the building and parts of the grounds in such disrepair. I can’t believe the City and the Johns Hopkins institutions allowed this to happen. I recently read an article that describes the state of the mansion. There is much sadness to convey, but I digress and will allow the following article to speak for me, Space: Disorder in the House.

Later in the week I was invited on a private tour on the campus of the Johns Hopkins Medical Institutions (JHMI). The history of Hopkins is enormous. I already knew much of the Hopkins history because I am a former employee (twice). I saw some beautiful paintings by Sargent. I listened to stories of some of the more infamous doctors (Blalock, Halsted, Osler and Welch) and their claims to fame, as well as their escapades and a few juicy pieces of gossip from their past. What made this tour special was the host, who also was the guide for the tour and is also a friend. Andy, thank you for a lovely afternoon. Check out the Alan Mason Chesney Medical Archives of JHMI to learn more about Hopkins history.

After the tour, I walked to Fells Point with a friend, and we had a wonderful nosh at Kooper’s Tavern. Afterwards, we made our way to one of our favorite wine bars, V-NO (Vino). Shortly after, we went to the DuClaw Brewing Company and watched golf on ESPN.

My week ended with a beautiful meal at Cinghiale. This is one of my favorite restaurants in Baltimore. The look of the restaurant… impeccable, atmosphere… stylish without being pretentious, the food… oh so pleasing to the eye, and my tummy enjoyed it too, and the service… excellent. The best part of the evening was enjoying this wonderful adventure with my friend Michael. I talk more about my experience in the following article, "Oh God... It's One Of Them."

After 10 days I was tired, but I still wanted more. That is the best way to be left… Always wanting more. However, it is always wise to take a break, relax and refresh before the next adventure begins. You don’t always have to wait for the adventure, make it happen for yourself.

Some of my best adventures have been alone, but when friends like Brian, Michael or Tina come knocking on my door (or call or text) looking for a partner in crime, I am more often than not ready to go. I never have to think twice. With this trio you get it all (intelligence, wit, kindness, laughter and lots of love). There is never a dull moment, even when we don’t agree (which is not too often – LOL). Dearest friends, thank you for 10 days of pleasure. Are you ready for another round? Dear Reader, life is short, so live. - paerki

My Related Articles: Artscape 2009 (Video), Oh God... It's One Of Them, Friends At Artscape 2009 and Art At Artscape.

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