A Day in Station North
Published: August 16, 2010
The Station North Arts and Entertainment District stationnorth.org is a recent invention—a name the city gave to a couple of blocks around Penn Station. But it’s been building up as a hot bed of culture and nightlife for years. A lot of places do double or even triple duty here, housing art work, theater, and live music. Load of Fun Studios (120 W. North Ave., loadoffun.net) is the heart of the neighborhood, hosting visual and performance art, music, theater, dance, and things they haven’t come up with a name for yet. Single Carrot Theatre (120 W. North Ave.,  844-9253, singlecarrot.com), a theater company that moved to Baltimore en masse in 2005, puts on ambitious plays more often patronized by blue-haired hipsters than blue-haired old ladies and has taken up residence inside Load of Fun The Strand Theater Company (1823 N. Charles St.,  874-4917, strandtheatercompany.org) focuses on theater for and by women, while the Everyman Theatre (1727 N. Charles St.,  752-2208, everymantheatre.org) is one of Baltimore’s most consistent theaters, putting on professional productions of classics and more challenging fare.
If you’d rather see a movie, the Charles Theatre (1711 N. Charles St., (410) 727-3456, thecharles.com), is the place to go. This art-house multiplex has been the go-to date night for Baltimoreans for decades. Before the movie, splurge on garlic-heavy delicacies at Tapas Teatro (1711 N. Charles St.,  332-0110, tapasteatro.com); work the middle ground with gourmet thin-crust pizza at Joe Squared (133 W. North Ave.,  545-0444, joesquared.com), or, if your budget is tight, grab some handheld yumminess at Sofi’s Crepes (1723 N. Charles St.,  727-7732, sofiscrepes.com) or jerk chicken at Caribbean Paradise (1818 N. Charles St.,  332-8422, caribbean-paradise.com).
After the movie or play, get a drink at old-school haunt Club Charles (1724 N. Charles St.,  727-8815, theclubcharles.com), a stalwart of Baltimore’s nightlife scene, or relative newcomer the Windup Space (12 W. North Ave., thewindupspace.com), which is also an art gallery and sometime music venue. Shake your ass at the Depot (1728 N. Charles St.,  528-0174, thedepotbaltimore.com) during ’80s, industrial, or techno nights and keep the dance party going after-hours at Club 1722 (1722 N. Charles St., club1722.com).
For live music, the Hexagon Space (1825 N. Charles St., hexagonspace.com) books a wide variety of underground acts, from punk and metal to electronic and avant garde. All-ages and alcohol-free Charm City Art Space (1729 Maryland Ave., ccspace.org) brings the punk, post-punk, and hardcore while Metro Gallery (1700 N. Charles St.,  244-0899, the metrogallery.net) leans more indie rock.
Almost every venue in this part of town also has art hanging on its walls. For dedicated art exhibition, check out Area 405 (405 E. Oliver St.,  528-2101, area405.com) or Westnorth Studio (106 W. North Ave.,  962-1475, westnorthstudio.com).
It’s also worth mentioning that Station North is all about bicycles. Get a new or used ride at worker owned Baltimore Bicycle Works (1813 Falls Road,  605-0705, baltimorebicycleworks.com) or join Velocipede Bike Project (4 W. Lanvale St., velocipedebikeproject.org) and learn to build a bike or repair your own beater. For non-bike-related shopping, hit the flea market every first Saturday of the month in the 100 block of West North Avenue. On the second Saturday of the month, a bunch of venues in this area host free events, so it might be worth stopping by two weekends in a row or, if you’re the artistic-type, every weekend of your undergrad career.