Best Of Baltimore - Pages 6 and 7 - Arts and activities (2)

Best Of Baltimore
- Pages 6 and 7
Arts and activities (2)



On a blustery and bone-chilling Saturday in late winter, Station North’s Graffiti Alley was popping. A young woman in a sleeveless red lace dress, stilettos and bare legs leaned out of a doorway, shivering between shots for a prom photo. A veteran tagger demonstrated his technique to a wide-eyed boy. Artists took selfies standing before their creations. Even a pair of middle-aged tourists stopped to gawk.


A dozen years ago, the alley was a bleak, needle-strewn haven for drug addicts behind the Load of Fun arts center (now Motor House). It has been transformed into what Visit Baltimore describes as “the only legal art space in the city where street artists can create their work freely.” The tourism group has named the alley Baltimore’s most Instagrammable place — ahead of the Washington Monument.


Walking into the tucked-away, L-shaped alley is like entering a medieval cathedral. There’s the same explosion of color and similar iconography. It’s not uncommon to find an “angel” with or without wings (a portrait of a deceased graffiti artist) painted on a wall with consummate care.


Moreover, the artists police themselves. You won’t find obscenities, gang tags or racial slurs, or—rare for a Baltimore alley—trash.


Howard Street and W. 19½ Street, Station North




Driving I-95 during rush hour is a terrible price to pay for going anywhere. But the express lanes, allowing drivers to zip between the I-895 interchange and White Marsh Boulevard, let you avoid much of the clog. So why aren’t more people using them? Sure, paying a toll is brutal, but trust us — it’ll be the best 49 cents to $1.54 (with EZPass) you ever spent.