Friday, August 15, 2008

baltimore more more!

as expected, our travels through baltimore today were all too brief and all too wonderful. first off, we went for a stroll through hampden, a kitchy little neighbourhood with a shopping district, nice cafes, yarn shops and the like. i had a rendezvous with the lovely folks at atomic books. rachel picked out a new batch of buttons for the shop while i browsed the racks (which house a dizzying array of books, zines and crafty stuff). the atomic empire used to be split (get it?) between two shops - atomic books and atomic pop - but have now reconsolidated into the newer, larger location on falls avenue that houses everything. it's overwhelming in all the right ways.

when we strolled past their old location, we saw this:

it would seem that our screen printing friends from squidfire are spreading their tentacles into the world of retail outlets. congratulations, guys! everyone in baltimore should go check out their new shop and the revamped atomic books.

aitor also encountered his true love in a shop window.

all the curves you'd ever want and she don't talk back. on a good day, she'll also match your socks. but alas, the store was closed and seemed pricey from what we could tell. thankfully, we encountered something a little closer to our price range at the common ground cafe down the street.

who can resist fake teeth for a quarter? well, i can tell you who can't...

after our goofings and fun and soup eating, we had to cheese it over to another amazing baltimore landmark (and a must-see for any visitors if you ask us), the american visionary art museum. i sell to the glorified gift shop there, sideshow, which is owned by the same lovely man as paper boy and uncle fun in chicago. billy from uncle fun was central in our first visit to baltimore. his urgings to go to the museum didn't overplay the majesty of the place. actually, the museum is hard to even describe and pictures are only allowed outdoors, so i will leave you with this:

totally amazing from wall to wall.

ted, the owner, picked out a heap of buttons and i picked up some remaindered books (he has a way of sourcing out an amazing selection). he also got aitor to do an impromptu unflattering portrait of gina, one of the employees.

the protrait was only on a ramada note pad and the rest of the staff wanted their portraits, too, so ted suggested we plan a trip back wherein aitor could set up for a whole day doing portraits in the museum itself! isn't that amazing? we're working on dates and think this will happen in late october or early november. i'm totally excited.

but for now, we must just dream of our return and shove off into columbus for the craftin' outlaws fair tomorrow and whatever adventure lays beyond that.

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