Helfenbein Elected to Board of No Boundaries Coalition

Rob Helfenbein
Newly elected NBC board member Rob Helfenbein.

At their most recent meeting, Bolton Hill neighbor Rob Helfenbein was elected to the board of No Boundaries Coalition. Several other Bolton Hill residents, including Rob, received Volunteer Awards for their work with the organization.

Of his award, Rob said, “I am humbled to be among a group of community folks who give much more of their time than me.” As a board member, he hopes to further their work on eliminating food deserts, ensuring the enforcing the Department of Justice consent decree with the Baltimore Police Department to reduce police brutality against citizens, and increasing voter registration in advance of the 2018 and 2020 elections.

He said he especially hopes to contribute to their youth initiatives and “bring conversations about Baltimore City Schools into the mix.” And of course, he hopes to continue working to break down the boundaries between neighborhoods like Sandtown/Upton and Bolton Hill.

“I could not be more impressed with this organization,” Helfenbein said. “No Boundaries Coalition is one of the most organized and well-run community organizations I’ve ever seen and their impact is only growing in the city.”

Jayne Chartrand's meeting notes
Notes from a recent NBC meeting taken by MICA grad Jayne Chartrand.

Michael Booth and Peter Van Buren also received awards, along with residents from neighborhoods throughout the 21217 zip code served by No Boundaries Coalition, for their work for the organization.

In recent weeks, NBC sponsored a Community Forum in partnership with Coppin State’s Criminal Justice and Urban Studies Departments on Thursday, July 6 and facilitated by NBC’s co-director, Ray Kelly, to get community feedback on the DOJ consent decree.

Kelly also was one of 100 community leaders invited to participate in the 6th annual conference of the National Association of Community and Restorative Justice in Oakland, CA in June, where he shared NBC’s efforts to transform the Criminal Justice system through education, advocacy and legislation. 

NBC also was asked by the National Organization of Retired State Troopers (NORST) and the Law Enforcement Action Partnership (LEAP) to participate in a precedent-setting panel discussion on June 29 on the responsibility of black police officers to their community.

NBC also recently celebrated the graduation of two founding youth members of the Baltimore Youth Organizing Project (BYOP). One has received a full scholarship to MICA, and the other will be attending Howard University. BYOP was pivotal in pressuring the Mayor into restoring after-school and community-school funding. BYOP was first to the name the 25% cut to in the Mayors preliminary budget and helped organize over 600 youth and concerned residents from across the city to attend a City Council meeting on June 7th.

As part of their work on eliminating food deserts, No Boundaries Coalition is happy to announce the reopening of Fresh at the Avenue (1700 Pennsylvania Avenue) on July 22, with a Grand Reopening Celebration slated for Saturday, July 29.

Please support this fresh food market in West Baltimore! And please contact the No Boundaries Coalition or attend a meeting to help be part of the solution to the myriad problems facing the city. With effective organizing, says Rob Helfenbein, No Boundaries Coalition is helping to create “an amazing, positive community.“ 

Crispus Attucks Rec Center Reopens

Mayor Pugh addressing the crowd at the reopening event
Kids and rec center employees work on craft projects while Mayor Pugh addresses the crowd at the reopening event

Expanded from a post at Promise Heights.

After being shut down for 5 years, the Crispus Attucks Recreation Center officially reopened to the public on June 22, 2017. Councilman Eric T. Costello, University of Maryland School of Social Work Dean Richard P. Barth and Mayor Catherine E. Pugh spoke at the reopening event.

Ever since the center was closed by Baltimore City Recreation and Parks, local neighborhood organizations have been lobbying to have it reopened, especially after the uprising following the death of Freddie Gray in 2015.

“Today would not be possible without the spirit of collaboration among the Department of Parks and Recreation, the University of Maryland School of Social Work, Promise Heights, community associations, and the families who called this neighborhood time and time again to come together, to be together, to work together,” Pugh said.

Kids enjoying the rec center

The recreation center is located behind Eutaw-Marshburn Elementary School and will be a site for the Baltimore City Recreation & Parks summer program, Camp Baltimore. In session from June 19 to August 25, the camp provides a full range of programing all summer long, including swimming, outdoor education, arts and crafts, academic enrichment, field trips, and other fun activities for neighborhood children.

The name of the rec center honors Crispus Attucks, a dockworker of Wampanoag and African descent who is believed to be the first person killed in the American Revolution at the Boston Massacre, March 5, 1770.

Park Café and Two Boots Close

Everyone knows the restaurant business is tough. Sadly, two neighborhood establishments have shut their doors.

After six years of serving Cajun-themed pizzas with names like the Hogwallop and The Dude, Two Boots pizza café on Mt. Royal Avenue quietly closed in April.

Then on Saturday, July 8, the Park Café & Coffee Bar served its last customers. Partners David Hart and Joe Costa explained that the decision to close did not come easily for them. Neighbors may worry that their closing was due to the multiple robberies which occurred this past winter, but they explained that changes in their personal priorities, rather than external forces, were involved. Over the last three years, operating the cafe has caused them to miss many birthdays and skip vacations. Now they can spend more time with family and friends.

“The café continues to do well financially and our level of service and the food produced remain excellent, which is why we feel now is the time to leave, while we’re on top of our game,” says David. “We are proud of what we have accomplished, and thankful for the tremendous support we received from the greater Bolton Hill community over the past three years. It has been our pleasure to serve you.”

Named for the boot-shaped peninsulas of Italy and Louisiana, The Two Boots restaurant chain started in New York City’s East Village in 1987 and spread to Los Angeles and several other states. Here in Baltimore, however, it apparently couldn’t compete with the dozens of shops in the city’s robust pizza scene. Two Boots was founded by Phil Hartman, a former Baltimore resident, and ex-wife Doris Kornish, and run by Hartman’s son, Leon. An earlier location at Power Plant Live closed earlier.
 
If you’ve ever wanted to run a pizza joint or a coffee bar, here’s your chance. Both properties are looking for new owner-operators. Those interested in Park Cafe should email Joe and David at costahart@yahoo.com or call (443) 509-3934. Since David and Joe own the building as well as the business, they have the latitude to be creative in their negotiations.

If Two Boots or pizza are more your scene, Bolton Hill resident Monica Lavorgna manages retail properties for The Bozzuto Group, which owns the Fitzgerald apartment building that houses the former Two Boots, along with The Brass Tap pub and Barnes & Noble bookstore. “We are in the process of working with the Segall Group to find a new tenant for the space and hope to have new tenant, most likely a food use, to announce sometime this summer,” Lavorgna said.

Coming to Grips with our History

When you move to Bolton Hill, an unspoken question lingers in your mind for the first few months, maybe even years, that you live here.

“How does this place exist?”

This question takes different forms. How does a neighbor get to be so friendly? Do people really sit on their stoops and talk to each other? Do moms and dads really go out of their way to watch kids, pick up dinner, play in the park, organize activities? And as a new resident with two young children I am happy to say the answer to all of those questions is “Yes!” Bolton Hill really is a special place. A unique community that exists sometimes as a village in and of itself, where neighbors really will let you borrow a quart of milk (or more likely a six-pack of beer).

But there is another side of this question that sits a bit lower, and is a bit more uncomfortable. “How does this place exist?”—when neighborhoods on every side have been ravaged by drugs, crime, white (and black) flight and the dereliction of the city? How have these homes stayed so well preserved? How do people feel safe on the streets? How is it that the shops are devoid of bullet-proof glass, that the parks safe and green and well kept?

A challenging reality for all of us who live here is that the answer to that question is rooted in a history of racism, Lost Cause pro-Confederate movements, pro-segregation movements, neighborhood covenants, urban renewal and even today, the New Jim Crow that Michelle Alexander writes so eloquently about.

As a priest and as Pastor at Memorial Episcopal Church, I am keenly aware of this reality because for many years, members of our parish propagated this way of thinking and acted to keep the neighborhood “white.” I am also keenly aware of the importance of telling the truth about our history in order to chart a new course for the future of Bolton Hill, and perhaps for greater inner-West Baltimore.

This past January, Memorial Church began exploring the history of racism within our parish. At the time, I had no idea how far the tentacles would reach. But as we uncovered more and more stories we realized that the story of racism at Memorial is also the story of racism in Bolton Hill and to some extent, the greater Mt. Royal District—which originally extended from Dolphin to Druid Hill Park and from Mt. Royal to Pennsylvania Avenue. 

The continued shaving-off of pieces of that neighborhood until we got “Bolton Hill”—a name only adopted in twentieth century—was part of an effort to keep the so-called “neighborhood” white.

A few of you may be asking, “Why are we talking about race? In a community newsletter?”

Perhaps it’s because that’s where these conversations should start—not with big, national-level ideals floated among strangers, but among people who live next door to each other, see each other in the parks and on the sidewalks and at the grocery store. 

The only way our national dialogue around race will get any better is if we can tell the truth about our past and have honest conversations about our future with the people who live closest to us. And those conversations should begin here, because even though we have a historic pattern of segregation and racism in this part of Baltimore, our neighborhood is also one of the most diverse in the city.

Our neighborhood is 57% white, 32% black and close to 7% Asian. We have teachers, police officers, professors, professionals, doctors, lawyers, artists, students, musicians. Gay and straight. Religious and less so. Within our bounds we have three fixed-income senior housing buildings, a small number of fixed-income apartments, and a variety of homes ranging in value from $200,000 to close to a million dollars. We have student apartments and luxury apartments. Starter homes and the palatial mansions of Park Avenue.

This spring, during Lent, Memorial Episcopal led neighborhood residents on a Confronting Racism—Stations of the Cross Walk. It proved to be a cathartic moment for church members and neighbors who participated. Not because we suddenly “prayed racism away,” but because we were able to put words to the unspeakable actions of the past that inform who we are today, and in so doing, begin to unravel a new way of moving forward. 

But we still work to do. Five-year-old black children get profiled playing in the park. MICA students are followed or stopped by police for walking home. If I am talking with a member of the Samaritan Community, neighbors will frequently check in as they walk by, asking if I am “ok.” More than a few African American neighbors express feeling like they don’t fully belong here.

So our work continues and the conversation continues, within the parish and within the neighborhood.

I hope you will consider joining in this work.

Boltonstock 2017 a Big Success

 

Photos by Alisha Wolf, Kendra Parlock and Peter Van Buren.

On a gorgeous June evening, children playing, smoking grills, rocking musicians and contented neighbors filled Arnold Sumpter Park at Boltonstock 2017

Organizers Chas Phillips and Jessica Wyatt did a fantastic job of pulling all the pieces together. They were assisted by an army of volunteers and neighborhood organizations, with special honors going to grillmaster Rob Helfenbein, Chris Whisted & Little Havana for supplying LOTS of beer, Jeff Dugan for all the sports equipment, Andrew Parlock (with major guidance from Chris) working the generator, Mare Consugar on concessions, Memorial Episcopal on baked goods, the Baltimore Community ToolBank for the constructable playground, chairs and tents, and Linda Rittelman on trash can duty. 

Here’s a drone’s eye view of the fun by Chas Phillips.

 

A great group of neighborhood organizations manned the community tables, including the Chesapeake Climate Action Network, Corpus Christi Church, Enoch Pratt Library, Food & Water Watch, Loving Arms, MRIA, Royal Theater and Community Heritage Corporation, St. Francis Neighborhood Center, Whitelock Community Farm, and Residence Row startup companies Moma Pops and Natural Energy.

Ideas are already circulating to make 2018’s festival even better.

Prepare for Fall Tree Planting

Three dead and dying trees on Mt. Royal at North Ave. (wall of Bolton North) are on the list for replacement despite having been planted only recently.

Ever wonder why Bolton Hill’s streets have more trees than most neighborhoods in Baltimore? It takes a lot of work—much of it done on a volunteer basis. To maintain our neighborhood’s current tree canopy, roughly 50 trees need to be planted each year.

George Lavdas has been planting and caring for trees in Bolton Hill for the past 25 years. Of late, he’s been joined by David Nyweide and other Bolton Hill residents.

These good folks are currently compiling a neighborhood tree census—something they do twice yearly— to identify locations with dead or dying trees, stumps that need to be ground out, and empty tree wells primed for planting.

David and George report the trees or stumps to be removed to the City so that the sites are ready in time for tree planting in spring and fall. Working with Caleb DeMario of the Midtown Community Benefits District, George and David order trees from the City and arrange planting dates with the Midtown greening crew.

The following 32 sites have been identified for preparation for new tree plantings this fall because they have empty tree wells, stumps that need to be removed, dead saplings, or dead or dying trees:

  • Maple Leaf Park, island between parking strips off Bolton and Robert
  • 2004 Eutaw (on either side of the address awning)
  • 2002 Eutaw
  • 2000 Eutaw at corner with Presstman and on Presstman
  • 1308 Eutaw
  • 1301 Eutaw, in median strip
  • 1300 Eutaw, by bus stop on south side of Lanvale
  • 1627 Park, in median strip
  • 1703 Park, in median strip
  • 1111 Park (at the end of Dolphin)
  • 1805 Bolton
  • 1824 Bolton
  • 1415 John
  • 206 Laurens
  • Mt. Royal, next to wall surrounding Bolton North parking lot (2 trees)
  • 301 McMechen
  • 300 block of McMechen in the median strips across from Save-A-Lot (3 stumps)
  • 300 block of McMechen, south side of the street
  • 122 W. Lafayette
  • 123 W. Lafayette
  • 100 block of W. Lafayette, along Corpus Christi Church
  • 123 W. Lanvale
  • 229 W. Lanvale
  • 120 W. Lanvale
  • 134 W. Lanvale
  • 103 W. Lanvale (near intersection with W. Mt. Royal, along granite wall)

Is there an empty tree well or dead tree or tree trunk in front of your house? Contribute to the census by sending an email to both David Nyweide (dnyweide@yahoo.com) and George Lavdas (lavdasgeorge01@gmail.com).

Volunteers are needed to help plant new and prune existing trees. The fall planting date will be announced in the Bulletin calendar—keep an eye out for it!

If you’re interested in becoming more involved with keeping the neighborhood canopy thick and healthy by planting and pruning trees, please contact George or David. George can also help answer any questions about what City Forestry can (or cannot do) and can put you in contact with private tree professionals, who (for a fee) can work with you to do the fertilizing and maintenance pruning of trees around your home.

Help Build Ana’s Garden

By Kendra Parlock

Longtime neighbor Marcia Ribeiro is hoping to build a garden in Bolton Hill. Ana’s Garden will be a tribute to Marcia’s mother, Ana, and a memorial for her love for Bolton Hill. Ana passed away from pancreatic cancer last fall.

Rendering of Ana's Garden
Landscape architect’s rendering of Ana’s Garden.

Ana decided to spend her retirement in Bolton Hill with Marcia and her husband Paul Silvestri after having worked as a nurse for 25 years. Many neighbors knew Ana from her walks in the dog park at the end of Mosher. She loved spending time there getting to know the people that passed through and the dogs that ran in the park.

Plan for Ana's Garden

Ana’s Garden will be a quiet, reflective space located at the dog park that will enable people to come together as a community during a time when many feel the need to come together more. The project and design was approved by Linden Park Building Management and the MRIA Architectural Review Committee. The space will feature seven trees of different varieties, nine boulders and four custom benches made of cypress, steel and concrete that will be inviting and architecturally interesting.

Bench designs
Bench designs for Ana’s Garden.

Fundraising began in March to cover all expenses as well as future maintenance and upkeep. So far Bolton Hill neighbors and friends of Ana have contributed approximately $7500 of the $22,000 that is needed.  Marcia is managing the project and has enlisted the help of a landscape designer, artist and fabricator in an organic process of creation and development. The first plantings are scheduled to be installed in October.

Please support the project by donating to Ana’s Garden on GoFundMe.com or dropping off a donation at 1422 Bolton St. You can honor the memory of a loved one in the garden with an engraved plaque that will be affixed to one of the nine boulders (available for a $300 donation). Plaques may be installed on on one of the two small benches for a $1200 donation or on one of the two large benches for a $2400 donation.

Please contact Marcia at (443)717-2200 or marciova1962@gmail.com with questions and for more information. 

The Commuter Chronicles: Digital Bibliophile

Commuter ChroniclesBy Claudia DeCarlo

Recently on the train, I saw someone reading a large, heavy, hardcover book. It looked to be a collection of stories, although I couldn’t make out the author’s name or title. 
 
But this wasn’t just any hardcover book. This one had a familiar-looking sticker at the base of the spine, with a series of letters and numbers denoting what will surely one day be as defunct as cursive writing: the Dewey decimal system. 
 
My fellow commuter was holding a real relic—an actual library book.   
 
I consider myself an avid reader, and seeing that book made me smile. I reminisced about my younger days, the prehistoric, pre-iPad days, when books were friends you spent the afternoon with at the public library or shared a latté with at a local Barnes and Noble café. 
 
I looked down at my iPhone6. I was reading, too. Actually, I was listening to an audio book on Audible. Does that count as reading? When was the last time I read an actual book, let alone from a library?   
 
I looked at my own digital library. Since I started commuting, I’ve amassed 24 titles in my Audible library. Some on my mobile device, some in the cloud. None in my actual hands.   
 
I observed the commuters seated around me. About half were reading real books, the other half e-books. (As for audio books, I could not accurately observe how many). No differences in gender, race, or age marked the groups of readers. The commuter with the large library book looked to be in her twenties, defying the stereotype that younger people prefer tech over paper. 
  
Does the fact that I read—er . . . um . . . listen to—my books digitally make me any less of a bibliophile? I must admit, seeing that book in that young woman’s hands made me long for the days when I folded down the corner of a page to mark my place and collected bookmarks, when I picked a book to read because I was enchanted by the imagery on its cover. 
 
Then I take inventory of what is currently in my oversized and overstuffed commuting bag. In order of importance: laptop, iPhone, coffee mug, hand sanitizer, headphones (Bluetooth and regular), water bottle, laptop charger, extra battery charger, makeup, hairbrush, umbrella, keys, extra jacket, and a half-eaten bagel from this morning. 
 
I really don’t want to add the complete works of Stephen King to that list. 
 
So, fellow commuting bibliophiles, let’s take a poll. Which do you prefer on your daily trek between home and work? 

a) regular book 
b) e-books 
c) audio books 

And if you’re a book-lover of the digital sort, is there a part of you, ever so slight, that feels a bit guilty for trading in your old paper-book friends for newer, digital models, all in the name of an easier commute? 

News In Brief

Bolton Square Turns 50Bolton Square Turns 50

Save the date: residents of Bolton Square—the townhouse development that faces West Lafayette Avenue and Mason and Jordon Streets—are planning a 50th anniversary celebration this fall for the afternoon of Saturday, October 7

Companies and organizations interested in sponsoring, and being promoted, at the autumn event should contact the president of the Bolton Square Homeowners Association, Monty Howard, at 410-243-2902, or montyhoward@earthlink.net

Self-Defense Classes

Midtown Baltimore, in conjunction with MRIA, MICA and other organizations, is offering self-defense classes designed to give you tips, tools and tricks that will help you feel safer and more confident. The classes are free for anyone who lives, works or goes to school in Midtown Baltimore. However, registration is required.

The first class was held on July 15, and sold out quickly. The next class will be August 12, 11 am-12:30 pm at Prince Grand Hall Lodge, 1307 Eutaw Place. Two more classes are scheduled at other locations for September 12 and October 18. Check the Bulletin Calendar for more information.

Get more details from their flier, and register online

Bolton Hill Nursery Awards Festival on the Hill Grants

Bolton Hill Nursery proudly announced the list of non-profits serving Bolton Hill and surrounding communities that were awarded grants from the profits of Festival on the Hill 2016.

With grants ranging from $600–$800, winners included Midtown Academy, Soaring Eagles Learning Camp, Brown Memorial Tutoring Program, Memorial Episcopal Church, John St. Park Association, Rutter Mill Park Association, Corpus Christi Church, and Mt. Royal Elementary/Middle School.

Festival On the Hill 2017 takes place Saturday, October 14, which will be here sooner than you think. Bolton Hill Nursery is seeking volunteers, sponsors, vendors, and of course, everyone to attend. Contact them at boltonhillnursery@yahoo.com.

Grocery Bag Volunteer Needed

Corpus Christi Church seeks a volunteer to help with their food program. The position involves a twice-per-month inventory and stocking of their food pantry’s shelves with canned goods. Please contact Beth at 410-615-7771 or beth.steinrock@archbalt.org if you are interested in helping out.

Job Opportunity: Communication Consultant

Corpus Christi is looking for an outgoing person to help welcome folks into their amazing community. By organizing social events, managing their social media, and building a team of parishioner volunteers, the consultant would creatively share the heart and soul of their parish. This part-time position has a one-year contract. 

For more information, please download the job description. To apply, send a letter of interest and your resumé to Father Marty at mdemek@archbalt.org.

Be a Citizen in the Know: the Criminal Justice System and Community Impact

Both violent and property crime have been on the decrease over the past six months. Nevertheless, because we often see an uptick in crime as the temperature rises, the MRIA Safety Committee wants to remind readers of the role the entire community can play in the criminal justice process.

Below are major crime data (assault/robbery, aggravated assault, and burglary) for the last six months (mid-November – mid-May) for the 132 Central District post, encompassing all of Bolton Hill, parts of Reservoir Hill and some areas west of Eutaw St.

BH crime stats 11/16-5/17

What can the community do to mitigate the impact of crime? Most importantly, do what you can to avoid becoming a victim. The Safety Committee has collaborated with Midtown to offer four self-defense classes, which will be held at locations throughout Mt Vernon and Bolton Hill. Anyone can enroll for these classes at http://midtownbaltimore.org/sds/.

In the instance when a crime does occur, it’s important for the community to be engaged in the process at every stage. They can elect judges and submit community impact statements; but they can also play an important role as attentive and active observers. To have the greatest impact, citizens must stay informed about a very complicated process.

Victims, of course, are at the center of any case, because it is up to them whether or not to press charges. The victim also makes certain that the charges and police reports are accurate and complete.

It is essential that victims remain engaged in the judicial process, even though doing so can be emotional and at times traumatic. Without the victim present, charges can be dismissed. As Baltimore Police Department Commissioner Kevin Davis reported at the May MRIA meeting, more than 50% of cases involving guns are dismissed because the victim does not show up for the trial.

Perhaps the most important thing the community can do when an arrest is made and a court date set is to encourage, support and empower the victim. Victims of crimes, as well as their representatives and witnesses, have rights that include:

  • The ability to receive crisis intervention help;
  • Notification of dates and times of court proceedings;
  • The ability to seek protection from harm or threats of harm arising out of the prosecution of the case;
  • Information about financial compensation, criminal injuries compensation, and social services available to victims and their representatives;
  • Assistance in seeking employer cooperation to minimize loss of pay or other benefits resulting from their participation in the criminal justice process;
  • Ability to address the court or submit a victim impact statement to the court.

During the preliminary hearings and the trial itself, the victim will be consulted but community impact is not considered. However, they can be called upon to offer community impact statements once a defendant has been convicted, during the sentencing process.

It is important for community members to remain engaged throughout the course of a trial in order to be able to most effectively argue the community impact during sentencing. Commissioner Davis pointed out that in gun-related arrests that resulted in a conviction and the imposition of a sentence, the sentence was suspended in 60% of the cases in Baltimore City.

Community members should also keep in mind that judges are elected officials, which gives citizens the opportunity and responsibility to assess their performance in managing the judicial process through the power of the vote.

SATF and NBC Updates: Parties, Cleanups, and Reopening of Fresh at the Avenue

Stoop Party for the Schools

Although May’s Stoop Party with a Purpose organized by MRIA’s Social Action Task Force (SATF) was cancelled due to weather, donations continued to be collected for three neighborhood schools. A total of $732 was donated by many generous neighbors and will be distributed to our neighborhood schools, Eutaw-Marshburn Elementary, Mt. Royal Elementary/Middle, and Midtown Academy.

Along with a check for $244, each school received 5 reams of copier paper. Ms. Elliot at Eutaw-Marshburn summed up the sentiment for all the schools saying, “The SATF is the best!”

This dumpster was empty before the start of the June 3rd Cleanup

My Block My Hood Cleanups

As always, No Boundary Coalition‘s (NBC) 10th annual Boundary Block Party on June 3 was a huge success. Before the party started, NBC’s safety committee kicked off the summer’s My Block My Hood program by partnering with the Nehemiah Homeowners to clean up the 1300 block of N. Stockton St. at Presstman St.

Members of the SATF joined the work crew, and together they rapidly filled a large dumpster with debris, satisfying everyone with the results.

More My Block My Hood cleanups are planned for Saturday, July 22 at Parrish & Riggs Sts., Saturday, August 5 at Druid Hill Ave., and Tuesday, August 8 at Legends Park, located at Laurens and Fremont. All volunteers are welcome. Tools, work gloves, and refreshments are provided.

The SATF plans to join the August 5 cleanup as a group, while the August 8 event will be a focus for Memorial Episcopal Church, as the site is close to a store run by some of their members.

Please consider joining in this effort. Many hands make light work.

Fresh staff and volunteers

Grand Reopening for Fresh at the Avenue

For the past few months, Fresh at The Avenue in the Pennsylvania Ave. marketplace has been closed for renovations, which include new display tables and much more.

NBC announced that the stall will have a soft reopening on Saturday, July 22 with the grand reopening celebration set for Saturday, July 29. The celebration will spill outdoors into the parking lot surrounding the market, with a jazz band, food vendors and more.

The store is open every Saturday from 9:30 am to 4:30 pm, and volunteers are always needed. If interested, contact Rebecca Nagle at freshatnoboundaries@gmail.com.

Black Walnut, Jenkins Alley

Black walnut, Jenkins Alley
Looking up into the black walnut at Jenkins Alley.

Now here’s a memorable tree living among us: the towering black walnut of Jenkins Alley, which shades the rear side of the almost equally towering Brown Memorial Church. It has BGE wires strung across it like guitar strings.

In its lifetime it’s sung many a song, like the ballad of Judge Tom Ward wrestling a burglar to the ground under its boughs.Its trunk measures a whopping 161 inches around, which may be a record here in Bolton Hill.

Juglans nigra is desirable both for its tasty nut and for its easily worked, deep brown wood. Its leaves are deciduous, alternate and “compound”—that is, each stem has many, rather than single, leaves, which alternate from left to right as you go down the stem rather than being arranged opposite each other in pairs. These leaves yellow and fall as the weather turns cold.The Eastern black walnut is monoecious, meaning that in spring it displays both male and female flowers, taking the form of inconspicuous green catkins. They arrive on separate spikes, typically the females first. However, the tree does not self-pollinate, relying instead on wind and the presence of other walnut trees for propagation.

Even for the mightiest among us, it takes a village.

Meet ArtsCentric

Chicago The MusicalThe Bulletin proudly welcomes our newest sponsor, theater company ArtsCentric. Founded in April 2003 by twelve young Morgan State University graduates, the company has become a great provider of both enlightenment and entertainment for audiences across the city.

They perform at Motor House, the cool art incubator space at 120 W. North Avenue, an easy walk from Bolton Hill.

Upcoming shows include the musical Chicago (July 21–August 6), and Memphis (August 18–September 10), with four performances weekly, Fridays at 7:30 pm, Saturdays at 2 pm and 7:30 pm, and Sundays at 5 pm.

Last year’s revival of the musical Dreamgirls garnered rave reviews, including in the Baltimore Sun.

The company’s talented group of artists, musicians, educators, composers and playwrights bring quality artistic works and creative services to the entire community. They mount a wide array of productions, including traditional, contemporary and original musicals, plays, and concert works. In partnership with schools, churches, and community-based businesses, they provide entertainment and educational shows that enhance many programs and events.

As a color-conscious organization, they are committed to strengthening the community through the power of theater as they re-examine traditional roles in the arts, advance original stories of specific cultures, and foster educational advancement.​

Purchase tickets online and find out more on their website, ArtsCentric.net, and follow them on Facebook.