On my drives from downtown Baltimore to points north, I often take Eutaw Place, between Dolphin Street and North Avenue, and it’s one of the best trips in the city — nine blocks of great rowhouses and a wide, shady median that pretty much constitutes a public park. On Friday, I did it again, driving from the depressing, trash-strewn streets near Lexington Market through Seton Hill to the Maryland state government complex, then to Eutaw and north. I highly recommend it to anyone looking to feel a little better about Baltimore as you drive through it.
But here’s the thing: While the tree-rich median is a thing of beauty, it’s also a dividing line. It separates Bolton Hill from Druid Heights and Madison Park and Marble Hill; it essentially separates white Baltimoreans from Black Baltimoreans.
“The Bolton Hill, Madison Park and Marble Hill neighborhoods have been divided historically and socially by the Eutaw Place Median (the ‘Red Line’ from North Avenue to Dolphin Street),” writes Lee Tawney from Bolton Hill. “We view our Arts in the Parks Program as an opportunity to break down the divide.”
The program commences this coming Thursday evening, July 22, with Ken Kolodner (Helicon) and Bradley Kolodner (Charm City Junction), father and son, performing at Rutters Mill Park, just a block off Mount Royal Avenue in Bolton Hill. The rest of the program is on the posted image below; it’s a moveable feast of visual and performing arts at different small parks. (Tawney says there are 29 parks in the three neighborhoods, another one of those stunning facts that fall under the heading, “Baltimore, you have no idea.”)
But it’s a great idea, and looks like an excellent program. Props to the Bolton Hill Community Association, Madison Park Improvement Association and the Historic Marble Hill Community Association for getting it organized.