ARTSCAPE – on Baltimore Being More

(Because how does one not take a picture with a Ferris Wheel when they have flash lenses on? It simply is not done.)

Street festivals oh how we love thee?! Let me count the ways…sunshine, humans, color, music, food and FREE! It’s been a little over 2 months since I moved into my place in Baltimore and besides the few quips of living alone for the first time, I can say I have thoroughly enjoyed my time in this city “flaws” [depending on the openness of your mind] and all.

This weekend was the annual arts festival called Artscape that I’ve always wanted to attend so I did. It’s a 3 day (Friday – Sunday) undertaking complete with several blocks and streets closed off. I got in from NY at about noon, cafe’d it, went home and chilled (*weekend cleaning and housekeeping duties) for a while hoping to come back when it was cooler. Hours later there was no such thing and a friend and I ventured out in the BLAZING heat.

A view of one end of the street where the main stage was.

A vintage tattoo’d Mercedes Benz on display along with several other cars

Eddie Cabbage – the on demand poet extraordinaire I 1st met when I went up to Asheville, NC 2 years back and wrote about HERE

General artsy bizarreness as expected…(those are not real guitars)

Repurposed police stand done by Loring Cornish – everything he does is AMAZING. I can’t even begin to describe the works he had there and at his gallery in Fell’s Point!

Just another fantastic wall on a fantastic street in Baltimore. Nothing to see here 🙂

Femi the Drifish and the Out of Water Experience

We walked the length of the festival until I got so hungry we went up to The Brewer’s Art where we had great food and mediocre service. I got my energy back and we went and explored an off-shooting street of the festival. There was sooooo much to see! We ooh-ed and aaah-ed at a lot of things and those experiences always manage to stretch my imagination a little wider and be amazed at the things human being are capable off. Like how did someone even think of something as creative and crazy as an armchair made entirely of strips of tire and then ACTUALLY go and make it?! A loveseat made entirely of car side mirrors?! Yes – they just DID it. A band that lives out of their minivan and drives around these United States on tour is what FREEDOM looks like. Then there was Femi the Drifish and the Out of Water Experience  whose lead singer is definitely a Nigerian and had a contagious energy I’d never seen before. He channeled so many greats including and especially Fela Kuti in his own rock band way i think he’s going places!
All in all, even with the heat that had me wondering if a worm was crawling down my back and my thighs as sweat ran down them, it was a beautiful day! I could venture to say I’m a street festival connoisseur and this one beat the several I’ve been to. I loved how it showed, reminded and confirmed those who were there from elsewhere and within Baltimore that this is indeed one of America’s greatest cities. I wouldn’t even say that it’s great in spite of the riots, but the riots happened because it IS a great city. It is so much more and capable of justice and freedom for all. Such a rich history and a bright future are what, every day, make me love this city. Having great company didn’t hurt either.


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