Madison Park North Redevelopment

The Madison Park North Apartments property, located on the north side of North Avenue just west of Park Ave., has been a locus for crime and violence for decades. After years of negotiations involving Baltimore Housing and neighborhood groups, including MRIA, the property is now under contract. The buyer has indicated an intention to solicit input from the community, so we should expect community meetings to be announced soon. Either the seller or buyer must demolish the buildings that are currently standing before rebuilding can occur; the cost of demolition is currently being assessed.

At October’s MRIA meeting, the issue of covenants was raised. If any exist on the property, new uses may be limited. Many at the meeting expressed interest in mixed-use development for the property. The land is part of the Bolton Hill planning district, so Bolton Hill must be part of the process.

At the meeting, Jacob Green introduced himself as a representative of the Friends of Reservoir Hill, a resident coalition that has been meeting for roughly six months to try to give voice to neighborhood residents and organizations on the fate of the Madison Park North property. John Kyle, Michael Marcus, and David Nyweide currently attend meetings on behalf of MRIA, but the meetings are open to the public and more residents of Bolton Hill are invited to attend and be involved.

The meetings are the last Mondays of the month at 7 pm at the St. Francis Neighborhood Center, 2405 Linden Ave. (corner of Linden and Whitelock in Reservoir Hill). Meetings have been posted to the Bolton Hill calendar. Let’s help turn this problem into a benefit to the neighborhood, and do what we can to continue the transformation of North Avenue.

B&P Tunnel Project Update

At October’s MRIA meeting, Councilman Costello shared the recent decision that the option for the B&P Tunnel Project to tunnel under Bolton Hill has been eliminated. The current tunnel under Bolton Hill is antiquated and can’t handle the volume of Northeast corridor trains and so will have to be overhauled. Since it’s a major project, many more years of study and contingencies lie ahead before it gets underway.

Festival Gratitude

By Louie Wilder

We were favored with a beautiful, sunny fall day for this year’s Festival on the Hill. That, plus all the great neighborhood support and attendance, made for one of the best Festivals ever.

The Bolton Hill Nursery gives many, many thanks to all the wonderful volunteers from the community who made it so successful. The Nursery will again be distributing the funds raised by the Festival to non-profits that benefit the Bolton Hill community via grants of up to $1,000. Grant applications will be available January 1.

BMoreFit Bit

By Jon Kaplan

As the days get shorter and colder, we can almost feel those winter blues comin’ on. Shake ’em off with exercise. Moving and getting the heart rate up literally makes you feel happy on endorphins. So, make fitness a regular part of your fall.

For starters, try one of the workouts at HASFit.com. They’re free, easy to follow, and made for all levels, including first timers. Give it a try.

Jon Kaplan is the founder of BmoreFit.org and Fitness & Wellness Director at Meadow Mill Athletic Club.

Memorial Players Fall Drama: The Last Days of Judas Iscariot

2015-11 lastdaysWhen: Fridays & Saturdays, November 13 & 14 and 20 & 21 at 7:30 pm, with matinees on Sundays, November 15 & 22 at 3:30 pm, Memorial Episcopal Church, 1407 Bolton St. Free, although free-will donations are gratefully accepted.

Mark your calendar to attend one of the performances of Memorial Players’ production of The Last Days of Judas Iscariot. Written by Pultizer Prize–winning playwright Stephen Adly Guirgis, directed by Rina Steinhauer, and produced by Monty Howard and Kristine Smets, this is a must-see event. Funny, provocative, and profound, the play is a modern, urban examination of biblical and ontological themes: the nature of guilt, redemption, forgiveness, compassion, and the role of free will. This is not a religious play, nor does it disrespect religion—but it does turn a comedic and questioning eye on Christian doctrine, with appearances by Mother Teresa, Freud, and the Prince of Darkness himself. Support the production at pre-show gala receptions, 5:30 pm on Fridays and Saturdays at neighborhood homes. For a donation of $40, reception attendees enjoy fine food and wine before the show and receive a priority reserved seat to the performance. To order reception tickets, please visit the Memorial Players website at www.memorialplayers.org/reservations or call Paul Seaton at 410-615-4532.

Cocktails at the Conservatory

Thursday, November 12, 6:30–8:30 pm, Howard P. Rawlings Conservatory, Druid Hill Park. $25 in advance, $35 at the door, and includes three drink tickets. Purchase tickets online at www.rawlingsconservatory.org.

Mix, mingle and enjoy botanically inspired cocktails by Rye Fells Point, including their signature Palm House Punch. Rye has created several new drinks especially for this event, incorporating plants and flowers from the Conservatory’s collection of rare plants from around the world. Mixologists from Rye will discuss how to incorporate botanicals into your cocktails at home, and Conservatory volunteers will be on hand to highlight the many fascinating plants in bloom. Presented by the Baltimore Conservatory Association, proceeds will help support and preserve the Rawlings Conservatory, Baltimore’s architectural and horticultural gem.