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Tuesday, July 27, 2010

See ya real soon.

It's with a heavy heart that I leave Baltimore this weekend. Although I'm excited about Cleveland, I'm going to miss my daily greetings from Howard of Howard's Deli, who makes a good Reuben and calls Herbie "Killer." The guys smoking outside the kitchen door of Kyro have their own brand of charm, too.

My City Cafe friends are strangely comforting with their black outfits and congenial waves; no one else remembers the couple with the table of talking stuffed turtles like we do. The Dog Park regulars have been nothing short of angelic, offering incessant patience for Herbie's (often loud piercing) neurosis.

But it's leaving the other people that really gets me. The past three years have been full of change, and change equals growth. The people who've stayed by my side have left me very grateful. Between being snowed in together, being on stage together, trying the real world together, and living only blocks apart, we've had a damn good time. I am sad to leave those who are so dear to me, but I wouldn't change a thing. I'm thankful for every single moment we've had, and contrary to what you may think, that's not excluding the glowsticks.

Monday, July 26, 2010

A Bucket List

Leaving Baltimore is like leaving that boyfriend you know you can't marry. He's good to you, he's fun, and a little part of you wants to stay forever. On the other hand, you can no longer ignore how much you need a freaking change.

After the end of the rope presented itself so clearly, I was left with about four weeks to make the most of Maryland life. A list of things that must be squeezed in before going to Cleveland soon materialized:

1. The BMA - one last time with that pine foresty Klimt.
2. The Helmand - John clearly has to try it, and I need the roasted pumpkin appetizer to linger on my tongue for as long as possible.
3. Hampden - Fare thee well, Red Tree.
4. Woodberry Kitchen - This has been on my to-do list for an embarrassing length of time. It simply has to happen.
5. The Book Thing - Megan told me about it. You get free books!

So far, I've only completed numbers one and three. But with five days left, I remain optimistic. I refuse to (and I mean I will not) leave this city without spending some time with Woodberry's Cocktail Menu, which offers, among other things, a drink called the Farmer's Daughter, boasting organic cucumber vodka, watermelon and cucumber juice, fresh mint, lemon, and organic agave. My post-dinner drink will be something slightly more expected: the Manhampden (clever.), an old-style Manhattan citing Maryland-style rye as its secret ingredient.

A Mad Men premiere party, a trip to Hershey Park, and a "like the good old days" bar hop in Fell's are also on the agenda. Spending every waking moment with my friends has taken precedence over packing my apartment. There may be a time on Saturday when I curse myself for this decision, but it doesn't really matter. The truck will get loaded far too soon. Rooftop pool, anyone?

Thursday, July 22, 2010

"The Greatest City in America"

My past three years in Mt. Vernon have been filled with good music, good friends, and good food. That's all I need, really.

I got a Master's degree. I got a dog. I got a job (kind of). Things are happy.

Enter John Young Shik Concklin, who happens to be starting a degree in Cleveland in the fall. Throw in a potential PhD in musicology, a string of serendipitous emails from Oberlin and Case Western, and a smoldering Mid-Atlantic heat wave, and suddenly I'm on my way to Ohio, too.

It doesn't hurt one bit that I'll be saving about $600 a month in living costs.

Friends have been the perfect mix of sad and supportive. Their best piece of advice? To watch the 30 Rock episode about Cleveland immediately. Along with a cheerful montage of the city, I was awarded yet another fitting mantra from Jack Donaghy: "For God's sakes Lemon!, we'd all like to flee to The Cleve."

So, following enthusiastically in the footsteps of Liz and Floyd, John and I are on our way. We'll stop at the same hot dog stand, we'll find a nice apartment, and yes - we'll keep you posted.
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