Wednesday, September 14, 2011

10th Annual Pigtown Festival

Did you miss this year's festival?  Or did you have a great time and can't wait for the Pigtown Festival in 2012?  Flip to September 15, 2012 October 20, 2012 and mark your calendar so you'll be sure not to miss it!

We both already know you're going.  How could you not?  So what am I writing about?

Go to the Festival's Facebook Page and click "Select Guests to Invite".  This is a festival for Pigtown and all our closest friends, so make sure they're there to party with you!  The festival is this Saturday, September 17 2011 at 800 Washington Blvd, from 12-7pm.   Almost every group and business in the community has something going on down there.

There will also be a fundraiser for the festival because Pigtown Main Street loves putting on the event for everyone, and will do everything in its power to keep this event FREE for their friends.  So come out and be social... heck, you might even make some new friends!  Actually, I've been making a lot of new friends in the area at these sort of events.  Besides, who doesn't like a good excuse to get the party started early?  Man, there should be more parties around here!  Check out the Fundraiser's Facebook Page , RSVP and invite your friends.  The fundraiser party is this Thursday, September 15, upstairs at Calypso Cafe 771 Washington Blvd, from 7-10pm.

Monday, August 29, 2011

From Amanda Malone of Rebuilding Together Baltimore:

Rebuilding Together Baltimore has been selected by Sears to participate in the Sears Operation Rebuild for Heroes at Home Facebook Contest!

Rebuilding Together Baltimore is competing with 25 other Rebuilding Together Affiliates from across the country for grant money that will go towards the renovation of the home of Ralph C. Petty Jr., a Baltimore (Pigtown) resident and Marine Corps veteran.

You can vote EVERY DAY at for Ralph C. Petty Jr. and for Rebuilding Together Baltimore!

Rebuilding Together has done an amazing job of organizing and motivating people in our neighborhood, in AmeriCorps, and in other volunteer groups to do great things for Pigtown!  Pigtown was chosen to receive some love thanks to Paul's Place and all of their hard work for the community.  Here as some photos from Rebuilding Day this year:

So PLEASE... support Rebuilding Baltimore, support Pigtown, and support Ralph C. Petty Jr. by voting. 

Thursday, August 25, 2011

The Past Month - Pigtown in the news

We're all well aware that Pigtown makes the news.  For better or for worse, we are news-worthy.  But with a name like that and our strong diversity, how can we not be? 

Here are a few articles over the past month where we got a positive the mention:
Baltimore Magazine - Off the Wall
Article about Pigtown native, Frank Arthur.

Washington Post - Baltimore integrity trumps D.C. importance
"Baltimore is Charm City because its neighborhoods exude a grubby kind of charm. You’d never find a Pigtown, a Dickeyville or even a Hampden in Washington."
Are you glad that we ditched "Washington Village" yet?  Pretty sure we wouldn't have been mentioned.

Baltimore Sun - Concert news: Ziggy Marley, Pigtown Festival, Crooked Fingers
"The date and line-up for the 10th Pigtown Festival was announced Sunday. Erin McKeown ("Slung-Lo"), Baltimore's Soul Cannon, Karter Jaymes and Margot MacDonald will perform September 17 at the free festival, which takes place between 12 p.m. and 7 p.m. on the 700-900 blocks of Washington Boulevard.
McKeown is a folk musician in the vein of Ani DiFranco; Soul Cannon is a hip hop quartet; Jaymes is a Baltimore two-time Grammy nominee and MacDonald is a 19-year-old Washington D.C. pop vocalist.
In addition to live music, there will also be food, arts and crafts vendors and the annual Running of the Pigs event."
Wanna know more about the Pigtown Festival?  Visit and like Pigtown Main Street on Facebook.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Softball Throwdown: Ridgely's Delight vs Pigtown

The teams need players!
 Here's the quick and dirty from the Citizens of Pigtown website:
Where: Carroll Park Softball Fields
When: Saturday, August 20, 10:30 am (games begin at 11am) to 2pm-ish
What to bring: If you’re playing, bring your glove and a bat if you have one. Also, spectators and players alike, bring a dish for the potluck cookout and some meat for the grill.
Sign up: If you want to play for Pigtown, email Peter at

 Check out COP's post for more info!

Friday, July 29, 2011

Art & Fitness Celebration in Carroll Park

This Saturday.  6-8pm.  Be there.  

Please visit the Friends of Carroll Park blog post for all the info!

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Upcoming Events at 788 - July 2011

This Thursday, July 7th (tonight) check out Gallery 788's latest opening!  A new inventory of artists' work is displayed every month. The first Thursday of every month, Pigtown's Gallery 788 celebrates the reveal of that month's works by inviting artists, residents, and visitors!  Go by 788 Washington Blvd ... make some new friends, check out the art and hang awhile!

Image by Gallery 788

Then there is an Artists' Flee Market held outside of the gallery this Saturday.  The flea market has become a regular monthly occasion.  I've noticed that neighboring residents have caught on, and have started putting stuff out on their front steps as well.   I think it's a great idea if you have some goods you'd like to sell.  It brings people out to the main street, and socializing.  I love meeting more people in the neighborhood, so these events warm my heart.  

Image by Gallery 788
Then, on Tuesday, the events continue with open mic night!  So if you can't make either of the above events in the coming week, there's a third opportunity!  Open mic night is at Pigtown's Gallery 788 every second Tuesday.

Image by Gallery 788

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Neighborhood Pit Bull Day July 10, 2011 10am-2pm

Flier and Event by Best Friends Animal Society.

Please share this event with friends and neighbors!  Click here to download the flier for distribution.

If you call their toll free number, it provides more information.  A few smart things that they mentioned are:
- Children are to be supervised by an adult at all times
- Dogs should attend the event on a non-retractable leash, handled by an adult
- If your dog is nervous around other pets and people, please contact the organization through the toll-free number for separate assistance
- Registration is required, and takes place during the event hours, on site
- Free and/or low cost veterinary assistance will be available
- Food, treats, and toys will be given at the event
- Crates will be available for doggie breaks
- Please pick up after your dog.  Bags will be available at the event.

Pit bulls are known for being the most tolerant breed, and therefore considered America's Nanny Dog, and in fact the national breed of the United States!  They can be difficult to adopt because many home owners insurance companies forbid them.  State Farm and Travelers are two that I know do not.  While I'm talking the breed up, I should mention that dogs will not be for sale at the event. But it is a great opportunity for owners to get affordable products and services for their dogs, and be stewards for positive pit bull ownership.  Pass it on!

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

The Great Baltimore Check-In

If you haven't heard about this, give the website look-see! 

Urbanite is hosting an event utilizing four-square, a location-based social networking website.  And Housewerks is in it! Ahem... with no check-ins... get on that people!  Ok, so it launched yesterday, we'll forgive you.

What do you need?  A smart phone.  A four-square account.  Tenacity. 

Me?  I fail at requirement number one and two, so I'm relying on you other people who are more tech-savvy than myself.  But you know what?  If you're like me, and you can't participate in a way that wins you prizes, don't fret.  The Check-In is still an awesome way to get ideas.

Want to see the secret some places around Baltimore that you probably haven't been to?   Check out the Who Knew? category.

Going on a date?  Check out the Go Picnic or Foodie category.  Boom!  Done.  Really, every category is date worthy if you need ideas that will impress.  Guaranteed.  Ok, maybe not guaranteed.  But ditch them if they're not impressed.  See? Great weed-out tool.  You can thank Urbanite for saving you from a destined-to-fail relationship.

And please tell your friends!  Lets make Housewerks the top Check-In!!  Check out the Housewerks website for hours of operation.


Civil War History with the 1st Maryland Volunteer Infantry

An organization of Union living historians dedicated to the preservation of history and honoring the men who served during the Civil War

The First Maryland Infantry, U.S. was founded on the grounds of Carroll Park .  June 18, 2011 marked the 150th anniversary of the presentation of unit's flag. Colonel John Kenly assumed command of the regiment and received a flag from the patriotic ladies of West Baltimore . This one-day encampment will present demonstrations of Civil War camp life, circa 1861.

Schedule for Saturday July 9, 2011

(times are approximate)

                                          10:00 am                Guard mount

                                          11:00 am                Equipment & uniforms of the war

                                          12:00 pm                Musket firing demonstration

                                          1:00 pm                  Mail call

                                          2:00 pm                  Mustering in ceremony flag presentation

                                          3:15 pm                  Company drill

Field music by the Fort McHenry Fife and Drum Corps Guard in Civil War attire, will be heard throughout the day as well as typical camp life activities when other activities are not scheduled. Please feel free to come into camp, look around and ask questions. 

Book Signing by Civil War historian, Dan Toomey, throughout the day.

                       Family Day Activity at the Mount Clare Stable

From 11 2pm at the Mount Clare Stable a costumed interpreter will demonstrate using a Civil War Trunk filled with period reproductions relating to a soldiers life and a citizens life to engage both children and adults about the affect of this conflict.  Children may also take part in a Flag making craft and present their colors to the infantry at Camp Carroll at the 2 oclock ceremony in front of the mansion.

All activities are free and open to the public.  Free Parking.

Friday, June 24, 2011

Grief counseling

On June 14, 2011 two girls crossing MLK at Pratt were the victims of a hit and run.  You can read the Sun's article at this link.  My stomach turned, knotting up, and my mind went to pure anger when I read that.  Contrary to what the police think in the article, MLK is such a dangerous stretch that everyone has a story.  A 311 request was put in last month to bring attention to the issueBut this is the story we all hoped would never come true.  I can't imagine what the family and friends have been going through.  I know it's cliche to say that, but there are no better words.  I hate to think that their death is what it takes to see change.  But I also hope that it's the last straw, and someone else is spared.  If you have been struggling with their loss, please attend this counseling session.

People’s Community Health Center is holding a one time support group to address issues of grief related to the teenagers Courtney Angeles and Emerald Smith who were killed by a hit and run driver last week on Martin Luther King Blvd.

The group will be held next Tuesday 6/28/11 at Open Gates Clinic 1111 Washington Blvd From 5:30pm-7:00pm.
All are welcome
If you have any questions please call 410-467-6040 ext. 2700

Monday, June 13, 2011

Carroll Skatepark - Upcoming Events

All events are posted to the Pigtown Happens Calendar.  Add it to your calendar client to stay up to date!

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Carroll Park Events and others: Saturday June 4, 2011

Rebuilding Day Recap
Check out the great job that was done on Carroll Park's skatepark on Rebuilding Day!   I was super impressed!  The Skatepark of Baltimore teamed up with volunteers from Rebuilding Together Baltimore, the Department of Recreation and Parks, Americorps, Cricket Wireless, and to paint Carroll Park on April 30th 2011.
Photo courtesy of Skatepark of Baltimore

Next, I wanted to share the exciting news:
FoCP received two grants from the Parks & People Foundation.  The Community Greening Grant was awarded to Ms. Edith Nelson for planting and beautification of the Tot Lot located at Carroll and Archer Streets.  The award was for $546.00.  Planting day was Saturday, May 14th.

The Partnership for Parks Grant was awarded to FoCP for Art and Fitness in Carroll Park.
This monies ($1,798) will help paint a mural on the west side of the PAL Center located near the Skate Park in Carroll Park, a Free Concert in the park on Saturday, July 30th with other games and t-shirt decorating starting at 6:00 pm. and the making of a new sign for the Fitness Trail in Carroll Park.  Recreation and Parks has waived the permit fee and is supplying portable restrooms free of charge.  Thanks Department of Recreation and Parks!
(Thank you Gloria for that news!)

The following are all events going on this Saturday, June 4th 2011
National Trails Day
Baltimore’s First Citywide
National Trails Day

Attend one or more of 20 free family friendly events on any Baltimore trail in parks, along streams, the harbor and reservoirs. Bike, run, walk, learn how to row, or improve a trail: Discover birds, nature and history, explore a stream, or find a treasure:
  • Ashburton Reservoir/ Hanlon Park
  • Carroll Park
  • Cylburn Arboretum
  • Druid Hill Park, Reservoir and Jones Falls Trail
  • Gwynns Falls/Leakin Park and Gwynns Falls Trail
  • Inner Harbor and Mt. Vernon
  • Herring Run Park
  • Middle Branch Park
  • Montebello Reservoir
  • Patterson Park
  • Solo Gibbs Park
  • Stony Run Trail
  • Wyman Park Dell
For detailed information and contacts: See our websites after May 29th:
A partnership project with Baltimore City Recreation and Parks, the Baltimore Trail Collaborative (BTC) and the American Hiking Society
With thanks to PNC Bank and the Baltimore Office of Promotion and the Arts and REI

National Trails Day Events in Carroll Park
1-3 PM  
Friends of Maryland Olmsted Parks and Landscapes take a guided walk and explore the history of Carroll Park with an emphasis on the effect the Olmsted Brothers landscape designers had on the park. The Tour will be led by member, Myra Brosius, who, through her expert work as a former City planner and developer of the Carroll Park Master Plan, is intimately familiar with the history of Carroll Park.

The Carroll Mansion, this National Register Historic Landmark, was built in the 1770's as a summer home and plantation. It is the oldest building in the City. Loving care has been given by the Colonial Dames of America to restore it's inside to the looks of its early days.
Here is an excerpt from the Museum's web site about the estate's more recent history as it relates to the Olmsted influence::.." In 1890 the Carroll heirs sold the house and 20 acres to the City of Baltimore Park Commission for use as a public park. The Park Commission pursued more acreage expanding the park to 36 acres. In 1903, the firm of Olmsted Brothers Landscape Architects was hired to make improvements to Baltimore's park lands. Work began in Carroll Park in 1904 and today many of the Olmsted features are still in existence."
Carroll Park is maintained by the Department of Recreation and Parks.

Reservation required, contributions suggested.
Contact,410 945 0586.
rain or shine


Attend a Civil War lecture in the stable sponsored by Mount Claire Museum House from 12
 Visit the mansion before or after the walk.
Reservation and fees required see website:

call for availability /registration 410.837.3262
Tour the mansion  (about 1 hour) before or after the walk. Open until 4 PM,  discounted  admission fee available for tour attendees or on their web site:

Events with Friends of Carroll Park

8 AM-12 Noon
Carroll Park Tot Lot Walk-a-Thon, at 1500 Washington Blvd., Gwynns FallsTrail.


Community Picnic at noon at 700 Archer Street Tot Lot.
Contact: Edith Nelson, 410 752-6342, contributions suggested
Raindate:  Saturday  June11 same place and time.

Other Attractions
Visit the nearby B&O Rail Road Museum

Gallery 21g (782 Washington Blvd)
Closing Reception featuring work by Stefan Ways, Dan Everett, and Rob Schachter.
Check facebook event for details

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

"Artfisch: The Work of Erica Hinson Denny" Opening at Gallery 788

This Thursday, Gallery 788 will once again be the hottest spot in Pigtown  with the opening of their June show, "Artfisch: The Art of Erica Hinson Denny." Of course, 788 has been mentioned here previously.
Courtesy of Gallery 788

Unlike most shows there, this month will be dedicated entirely to the works of a single artist, Erica Hinson Denny, aka "Artfisch" who passed away last November. Erica was an extremely popular and influential nightlife photographer in DC and Maryland who was published extensively throughout the region. If you've been to 788 before, you've likely seen her work, which captures the energy and motion of those up-all-night hours when you feel most alive.

788 has made its reputation as an egalitarian co-op offering a mix of styles (and admittedly, a wide range of talent levels) at affordable prices for any start-up collector. Whats great about this gallery is the welcoming nature and lack of pretension. Its a great gathering place for the community and shows off an unexpected (at least to outsiders) side of Pigtown. In fact, the presence of 788 and its partner gallery, 21G, were one of the things that attracted me to move here. So if you're looking for something to do and a friendly crowd, head to Washington Blvd tomorrow and celebrate the work of one of Baltimore's unique artistic voices.

 Every first Thursday in Pigtown, Gallery 788 opens their doors with a new set of art on the walls, and a party to celebrate it all.  Be sure to join us!

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Southwest Cares

From the Union Square May 2011 Newsletter (PDF)
On Matters of Life and Health - SOUTHWEST CARES

A Johns Hopkins / Baltimore City Health Department report revealed that in 2008, southwest Baltimore area residents had the lowest life expectancy in the city, with the highest or among the highest rates of heart disease and cancer. These outcomes are unacceptable. Southwest Cares is a relatively new organization and believes these outcomes will only change if there is a broad based effort to educate the community about the sources, extent, and impact of the challenges we face; develop a community driven process; create long-lasting, local partnerships that improve trust and coordination among residents, businesses, and government agencies and; establish strategic goals that can be developed, monitored and changed as evidence is gathered.

Southwest Cares is an evolving citizens group motivated to improve healthy outcomes for residents in southwest Baltimore. We have representation and support from the Baltimore City Health Department, neighborhood associations, a medical institution, professionals in the healthcare field and area residents. We are striving for a systematic approach to address health and environmental issues in five areas. 1) trash and pests; 2) vacant lots; 3) community green spaces; 4) healthy housing; 5) access to fresh fruits and vegetables. There has been much groundwork developed through many well-attended community-planning meetings over a two-year period.

We would like to have a representative from Union Square Association participate in our efforts. We meet monthly at Transfiguration Catholic meeting hall in Pigtown, on the second Tuesday of each month at 6:30 pm. There is an open invitation for more citizen and organizational input and direction. A Union Square resident at the table with other association representatives would connect our Association with the important work being undertaken by Southwest Cares. Micha Dannenberg is the group’s interim chair and he can be reached at 443-423-4321. He’d be happy to answer any additional questions you have.

These meetings have been added to the Pigtown Happens Calendar!  Though, it conflicts with Citizens of Pigtown meetings.
Also, note that this Saturday's Artist Flee Market has also been added (taking place in front of Gallery 788 (at 788 Washington Blvd). 

Monday, May 23, 2011

Neighborhood Love: Pigtown

Check out Meg's article over at the Baltimore Sun.

Friday, May 20, 2011

Are we Pigtown or Washington Village? You decide.

New Neighborhood Maps are coming out with the updated census data, and for the first time, rather than being labeled "Washington Village", the Planning Dept  has been considering "Washington Village/Pigtown".   There has been much debate over the name, and we have a chance to set the record straight.  Lets see what the battle looks like.

Washington Village
  • More "user friendly" for marketing purposes
    • Brings more prospective buyers/renters/business
    • Yuppies like it (I might be a yuppie... I haven't seen the definable income brackets)
  • Most maps are currently marked this way
  • Some group names include Washington Village... ie Washington Village Development Association, Bon Secours of Washington Village
  • We don't have to get rid of the pig mascot because the history hasn't changed
  • If tell someone you live in Washington Village, they look at you funny, follow that up with Pigtown... and they go "OH!!!! Pigtown! I know where that is."
  • Easily confused with Mount Washington, or Washington Hill, or any other neighborhood with the word Washington in it
    • Could be a problem when getting directions
    • Not unique

  • It's a historic name (though I've heard some debate that historically the east side of our boundary was not considered a part of the original Pigtown)
  • We are the only neighborhood named "Pigtown" in the whole country... Brooklyn used to have one, but they ditched the name (funny, they also have a Carroll Park)
  • It's unique, and people find identity in that 
  • There are no slogans that say "Pigtown doesn't exist"... There are for the latter
  • Some group names include Pigtown... ie Citizens Of Pigtown, Pigtown Main Street, Pigtown Festival, Pigtown Pharmacy, and this website
  • People find the name derogatory or off-putting
    • Perhaps more visitor education required about the name?
  • Huge turn-off for Realtors
    • The counter-argument is that there are places like NYC's Meat Packing District that do just fine
The biggest argument seems to be that "Washington Village" brings more revenue because, well, it just sounds better.  The argued compromise is to not forget that we're "Historic Pigtown".  It isn't utilized as often as it could be, but  Pigtown Main Street has been working on rebranding the neighborhood under this name.  But it wouldn't show up on the neighborhood map that way, just as Fed Hill doesn't show up as "Historic Federal Hill" on any maps.

Now go to the Citizens of Pigtown website and vote!

And spread the word to your neighbors!

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Crossing MLK Boulevard

The Baltimore Sun recently did an article about Fells Point's walkability problem.  

"Citizen fights Fells Point pedestrian changes"

This got me to thinking about our own neighborhood connections.  MLK is a huge barrior between our neighborhood and downtown.  The city even recognizes it in their planning guide.  To be honest, I feel even worse for Ridgleys Delight, our quaint neighbor who is sandwiched between the blazing traffic of MLK and Greene Street.
Image Credit: Blog Baltimore City's Past Present & Future

Taking the advice of a comment from the Sun's aforementioned piece on Fells, I decided to put in a 311 request.  It wasn't as straight forward as I hoped, so I opted for the "Traffic Signal Repair" service.  

Location: Washington Blvd & MLK Blvd
Street names of the intersection:  Washington Blvd & Martin Luther King Blvd
What type of signal problem: Signal is out
Additional Comments:  "Pedestrian signal is "functioning", but leaves a pedestrian to be attacked by oncoming traffic that turns left onto MLK.  Please enable traffic signal to hold red light in all directions when walk button is pushed."
Comments and attachments: "The signal does not meet the city's complete street goals.  Walkability is one of the largest factors in quality of life rating, and greatly enhances the viability of places that have it.  MLK blvd is a highway that divides the west side from downtown and keeps both from succeeding at attracting further development, more homeowners, or any other type of upwardly profitable neighborhood that the city could be proud of." (no attachments: note to self, must take pictures of family trying to cross on walk sign while cars whiz by their sad little faces)
 Do you agree?  Hit up 311.  Disagree?  Fight it out in the comments section.

Also see Baltimore Brew's article "Changing the West Side Story" for more info on the badly divided west side.

Bike to work day - Carroll Park Convoys

Wow... according to the registered groups with bike to work day, every convoy but one starts or ends at Carroll Park!

Clearly there is some need for bike racks and more bike lanes in the area if the traffic is there!

If you, or someone you know, would like to have a bike rack on their street (not for personal 24-hour use), contact Nate Evans, Bicycle & Pedestrian Planner.  nate dot evans at baltimore city dot gov

Are you participating in Bike to Work Day?  Then register!

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Fresh Food & Baltimarket

It's no secret that Pigtown is in a food dessert desert.  This term means that there is no immediate access to affordable, healthy foods within a reasonable travel distance.  In fact, The Afro covered this issue in their article "Washington Village/Pigtown Struggles to Provide Healthy Food Options" back in December of 2010.

Southwest Cares has been working with local corner stores, asking that they provide fresh fruits & vegetables.  You, the consumer, have the most say.  Let your corner store know what you want them to carry.  That's why they're there.   

There are a couple stores that offer fresh food, and even deli meat:
  • Marty's Deli,  798 W Cross (Intersection of W Hamburg & W Cross) 410-685-1145
  • American Food Market, 1276 Washington Boulevard (Intersection of Wash Blvd & S Carey) 410-685-8289

View Food Markets in a larger map - I don't think these maps show up well in reader/e-mail, so visit PigtownHappens for a better view.

I noticed that Baltimore Food Co-op is opening up in Spring 2011 at 2800 Sisson St.  Hopefully, one day we will have our own full service grocer, or co-op!  I've been to the quaint store, Glut, a food co-op in Mt Rainier, MD just outside of DC that people from all over flock to.  If you go, it's clear to see why.  I also met a couple people who are starting one in Brunswick, MD.  They said they got grant money to go to conferences, and obtain information about starting a co-op.  Co-ops are businesses owned by lots of people in the community, sort of like owning shares.  In return, the share owners receive member-only discounts.  Want to start one in Pigtown?  Check the Food Co-op Initiative for info!

Don't forget the local farmers markets.  There is one on the west side at 400 N. Smallwood Street, by the MARC station.  That is open Saturdays 8am-noon.  Another over the bridge, down Hanover in the Harbor Hospital parking lot which falls on the last Thursday of the month from noon-4.  Lastly, there is the big farmers marker and bazaar under 83, corner of Holliday and Saratoga.  That's every Sunday from 7-noon. 

In the meantime, there's a great free delivery service that the city is offering called Baltimarket!  They know that not everyone can make it a grocery store to access healthy foods, and want to fill that gap.  If you ask me, a single parent should be able to raise her children healthfully (mentally and physically) and still make ends meet.  Sometimes that means not having the financial burden of a car.

Bless them for providing us with two locations.  George Washington Elementary:
And the Enoch Pratt Library:

Eric Jackson, the Community Health Organizer, showed up to the last Friends of Carroll Park meeting (every first Tuesday at 7pm, 1307 Washington Blvd).  He's graciously taking all sorts of ideas to promote this program and make it better.  He wants to hear from the community about why you haven't considered the program, and how it can be better run to suit your needs.  This is the only program of it's kind in the country!  Be a part of something awesome, that can help other areas in the future!

Promotion codes are coming out, so you can order from the privacy of your own computer.  Now that the elementary school location is available after 5, I'll have to check it out!  Working normal business hours made it impossible to participate at the library.  Payment is accepted in cash, EBT, debit, and credit.  With your first order, you will receive a free insulated bag, and $10 credit toward healthy foods.  You will get an addition $10 credit toward healthy food purchases with every 4th order.  In addition to those deals, people over 60 62 years of age will get a 10% 5% discount.  Sounds like there's no excuse NOT to try it out.  I believe Eric will even be talking about Baltimarket at the COP meeting (May 10th 7pm at 904 Washington Blvd).

So finally, what can we all do to make this wonderful program even better?  Consider helping your less physically able neighbors by offering to pick up or carry their groceries for them.  It's a good thing to do, and your community will be better for it.

People's Community Health Center Open Gates - Pigtown's Primary Care Facility

I recently spoke with the new Regional Operations Director for Peoples Community Health Centers, SW Baltimore.  Vincent Sizemore is a patient, caring person.  He's a Baltimore native, which certainly shows by looking at his proud Ravens tattoo.  He is diligently trying to work with the community to improve relations and accessibility to all.  His office is here in Pigtown, so this will be his "home away from home" as he'll be around most days of the week. 

People's Open Gates, Image by GBA Architects
"People’s Community Health Centers’ Open Gates location has been a vital part of the Pigtown community for many years. Located at 1111 Washington Boulevard, the Open Gates Center is a full-service health care facility that sees an average of 200 patients each week. From kids’ checkups to women’s health to helping you get rid of the sniffles, Open Gates has you covered. We provide solid, dependable primary care as well as mental health and substance abuse services. In addition, we recently began construction on a state-of-the-art dental suite that will bring the latest in dental technology to the Pigtown community."
"For 40 years, People’s has believed that everyone’s entitled to quality medical care. At locations around Baltimore City and Anne Arundel County, People’s has provided solid, dependable care to all who seek it.Our team of experienced medical professionals are among the best in the business. They are available to see patients as follows:Jocelyn Hines, M.D., Family Practice
Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday 9-4:30; Thursday 9-12:30Dana Lee, M.D., OB/GYN
Monday and Friday 9-4:30Bridgett Weiss, Nurse Practitioner, Family Practice
Monday-Friday 9-4:30Gina Rowe, Nurse Practitioner, Family Practice
Monday and Tuesday 9-4:30To schedule an appointment at Open Gates, call 410-467-6040.
People’s and Pigtown: partners in neighborhood health."

Their website includes other great info about their non-profit and the services they provide.   I also had a few questions, that hopefully help others:
  • Is it open to all income levels?  ie - can someone who makes $100,000/year and has insurance go?
    • PCHC is open to all income levels and insured patients. The only insurance we do not take is Kaiser and Jai.
  • Does Open Gates act as an urgency care center for smaller issues that may not require going to the Emergency room?
    • PCHC has urgent walk ins on a daily basis. You can get an appointment or come in and we will fit you in for medically urgent issues.
  • Can you go to Open Gates if you're delivering a baby?
    • PCHC has an OB/GYN on staff that see’s pregnant ladies and delivers at Maryland General Hospital. We do not deliver at the clinic.
  • Does Open Gates dispense any prescriptions? 
    • PCHC has an off site pharmacy the delivers twice a day to our centers. This pharmacy is for our patients. We are not a retail pharmacy.
  • Is there any limit to the kind of prescriptions Open Gates can write?  I guess one of the things I was thinking for prescriptions was birth control.
    • Medical providers can write almost any type of prescription, however our pharmacy has a limited formulary. We would be happy to provide you with this if needed. As far as birth control, our providers write and our pharmacy fill on a daily basis. So yes we do provide birth control.
  • It looks like you also sell health insurance according to your website.  Are there any brief details on that?  Is that sliding scale based?
    • We do not sell health insurance. We do have a sliding fee that is based on the patients income. We also assist patients with applying for PAC and Medical Assistance. Our goal is to get patients insured if they are eligible.
  • Also do you have free condoms?  
    • We do have condoms as well as doing free HIV testing, and free pregnancy test.
  • A friend of mine gets a prescription for hyperactivity.  Is that the sort of mental health service that Open Gates could provide, or write a prescription for?
    • Open Gates has a mental health counselor. Our Psychiatrist works out of our Brooklyn Park and Hero (Maryland Ave.) offices.
They are a primary care facility, which means they do annual physicals, pap smears, mammograms for women over 40, and other services that don't require a referral to a specialist.  A basic visit is about $20-25.  For sliding scale consideration, you will be required to bring proof of income and government ID.  Tax documents may be required for further verification depending on your circumstances (ie - unemployed).  

Give 'em a visit!  Vincent will be at the COP meeting (May 10th 7pm at 904 Washington Blvd), so feel free to stop in and ask him any questions you have.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Quick Recap on local news

The construction going on at sidewalk intersections is to create handicap ramps at all corners.  This will bring our area up to code, and provide better accessibility to all Pigtown residents and visitors.  Glad to hear it, since most wheel chairs I see in town are cruising down the street.  That's not very safe!

Business News:
Perfecto, the coffee shop at 784 Washington Blvd, has gone out of business.  I'm not sure what the issue was exactly, but there seemed to be only one employee, and after he resigned it looks like the owner threw in the towel.
Steel Drum Cafe, the bar/restaurant at 771 Washington Blvd, does not have an "out of business" sign, but their doors were closed this weekend when they would normally be open.  I heard they had been that way for a few days at least. 

Political News:
Adam Van Bavel and Bill Marker are a couple of local boys running for a city council seat.  Please be sure to check them out and consider who you would like representing you!  Remember, if you're not making these decisions, someone else is making them for you.  This goes for being more involved in your community as well.
It looks like the new council district zones will take effect after the new election.  Until then, Pigtown remains in 3 different districts. 
Here they are helping out at Pigtown's Rebuilding Day:
Bill Marker

Adam Van Bavel

Rebuilding Day went very well.  Thanks to Amanda Malone of Rebuilding Together Baltimore for helping with that!  You can check out a few pictures from that event as well as the Housewerks Tag Sale, and Gallery 788 Flea Market on Pigtown Main Street's Facebook photo album and Pigtown Fan's Facebook photo album.  Lots of things were going on this weekend!

Events News:
  • Tuesday May 3rd at 7pm there will be a Friends of Carroll Park meeting at Wayman's AME Church, 1307 Washington Blvd.
  • Thursday May 5th 6-10pm there will be a gallery opening at Gallery 788 (and I'm guessing 21g as well, which is just two doors down), 788 Washington Blvd.  They tend to be quite the event, so check it out!!
  • Tuesday May 10th at 7pm there will be a Citizens of Pigtown (COP) community meeting at the bath house, 904 Washington Blvd.  Enter through the side door.
  • Saturday May 14th, and Saturday May 28th there will be a neighborhood cleanup with Washington Village Development Association (WVDA).  Meet at 9:30am at the interesection of W Cross & Washington Blvd.
  • Thursday May 19th there will be a Southern District Community Meeting at the Southern District Police Station on 10 Cherry Hill Rd.  There is free food.  Just go.  It's delicious.  And informative.
All of these events are on the PigtownHappens calendar.  Check the calendar for your nearby Citizens on Patrol walk, where the natives stroll around with an officer. 

May is National Bike Month!  Feel free to participate in Baltimore's Bike Challenge!  There are events throughout the whole month.  Bike To Work Day is May 20th, and there will be a Carroll Park station set up with refreshments for those pedaling commuters at the corner of Monroe & Washington Blvd.  Check the map for other stops on your way to work:

View 2011 Bike To Work Day Stations in a larger map