Empress in her City: Baltimore Block Party
Baltimore Pride: Oh Chile the Glitter
The Baltimore heat. Heated with bodies, jerk chicken seasoning, and questionable lollipops. What a venture. Fun facts we arrived too late for the parade but the rally and block party were exciting! This was my first time venturing into Baltimore in awhile, the last time I was there was for a Janet Jackson concert I was too young for. That aside Baltimore pride is full of people of color, but I’m jumping ahead of myself let’s start from the beginning.
The Steamy beginning:
Taking the train was a hot mess. Now in case, you didn’t know tickets for the Baltimore train are two dollars. If you get caught it’s a fifty dollar fine. Remember this information you’ll need it later. Anyway, we hop on the train and sit behind some glittered hair youth on their way to Baltimore. At some point, two men sit in front of us, and God bless this man for packing a whole bottle of grapefruit juice and unknown alcohol to share with his new train friends. That paired with the coollata and whiskey business in my hand, my liver was mortal combat finished. As we traversed pass each stop, I began to realize that the people in front of me were going to a boat party. A boat party that they were planning to do cocaine on. Now me, I'm very recreational drug usage innocent, it's not my brand or lifestyle. Still, the shock that people just plan to do cocaine on boats on train rides was certainly a good headline for the day.
Stepping into Baltimore and walking with our strange but certainly happy train friends we find the block party in no time. Only one problem. No alcohol past the entrance. The security was there and piles of plastic bottles with mixed debauchery littered the ground. A tragic scene. As we panicked, and the dramatic anime zoom in as we chugged straight whiskey out of a plastic bottle. Which was topped by a person approaching me asking if I could smuggle their alcohol over the fence? Am I a pirate now? Was this a dream come true? Absolutely not, my mama would disapprove if I got caught by security smuggling liquor. Still, after politely declining, we walk past security guilt free and watch as the liquor is smuggled over anyway, but that's none of my business.
Hello Beautiful Baltimore:
The number of people, the aromas, the all-inclusive feeling. Baltimore is where the vibe was at. I looked around and saw what I felt was missing from Capital Pride. There were many booths and vendors set up for the block party, plenty of dancers and artists circulating the streets. One of my favorite encounters happened just outside the rank porta-potties. I met a fellow magical girl, who shared my same love for colored hair. She would not be the last magical girl I met that day. I even met a fellow facebook friend, and later a pastel cutie.
There was a lot to experience at the Baltimore block party, it wasn't just rainbows and fun aromas. People were out informing the masses about sexual health and safety. We interacted with advocates from Virginia, asking people to tell their stories or offer advice for the community. We left our podcast information with them, but still waiting to interact with them later. The point is, there was information, artists, and just loving people trying to help a cause. We even saw an intimate apparel shop, which sadly did not have my waist and bust size but more on that struggle later.
As we dashed through the block party, witnessed a woman being glittered with Vaseline as the base, we needed to stop and rest. No seriously, some men were applying Vaseline and gold glitter to a woman's body. The brilliance of the idea, but the messy shower after I can only imagine. A photographer captured our essence while we sat and then we made plans to eat at Sardi's. Before we could make our escape from the heat, and glittered air we walked towards the end of the block party. Snuck past...well technically I asked if we could go by him, a stoic security man who would not move a monopoly dollar aside for us to pass. I have too much booty to squeeze through a toothpaste bottle sized opening. After that strenuous exit, we stumbled through a lot party by graffiti alley.
Grafitti Alley - "Hidden Place of Dreams & Grit"
Why did I sit down on the ground? Commitment to the aesthetic will always have me be on the ground for a picture. After a quick groovy photoshoot, and a moment walking through the Lesbian Lot Party, we discovered one of the most colorful places I've ever been too. Grafitti alley, found somewhere in Baltimore is an alleyway of nothing but art, and stickers. Messy for sure. In fact, Captain and I witnessed an artist butchering a name on the wall. Pretty sure that name was "Jessica" or "Rachel". Anyway, this alley was amazing, except for the fact there was a blazing sign that said no drinking and patrol walking through. We bore witness to some of the best mixtape covers, and Instagram photos that day. I was living in the vibes of graffiti alley.
The place held memories, it was a hidden place of dreams and grit. There was a story in every image, and each color screamed at my senses. It was a beautiful visual to end my Baltimore block party experience and I hope more people can see it one day. Well it's off to the next venture my NYC musings.
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