The Avenue, W 36th St
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Hampden: Where Pink Flamingos Meet Hipsters
Hampden is known for beehive hairdos, cat-eye glasses, kitchsy decor like the pink flamingo, and ladies who call everyone "hon." Now, though, Hampden is Baltimore's hipster neighborhood with an array of thrift stores, antique shops, boutiques, and restaurants. It's worth taking at least a half day to browse the many shops, grab a great meal, and maybe buy some Baltimore souvenirs. On First Fridays (of the month) many shops serve wine, stay open a little later, and offer special deals. John Waters' Baltimore, from the musical Hairspray, manifests itself in Hampden, specifically on 36th Street, which is simply called "The Avenue." The proprietress of Cafe Hon (featured on Kitchen Nightmares) has worked to maintain the John Waters-inspired vibe as a tourist attraction, which can really be seen during Honfest where beehives and kitsch take over in early June. Some favorites in the area include: Trohv for Baltimore souvenirs; Ma Petit Shoe for shoes and chocolate (can't go wrong there); Wine Source for an impressive array of beers and wines; Daniela Pasta and Pastry (for pastries); Spro for coffee; and the Golden West, Grano (Grano Emporio and Grano Pasta Bar), Corner BYOB, or the Food Market for dinner.
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