Over a week ago I got a notice (via one of the e-mailing lists that I’m currently on) of a Bernie Sanders march that was taking place in Baltimore. It was one of many that have broken out all over the country over the past few months which have drawn many people yet the mainstream media had ignored it. I only knew about these marches because of Facebook and Twitter.

I found out that the march was supposed to start in the Penn-North area of Baltimore, which is the same area where those riots broke out in the wake of the police murder of Freddie Gray last year. (You can see the photos I took during this period of both the May Day protest and my trek through the Penn-North area on Cinco de Mayo, exactly one week after the riots.)

I know from my previous trip to Penn-North that parking can be hard to find plus there are a bunch of boarded up row houses that I really don’t feel comfortable in parking my car nearby. I decided to park my car at the North Linthicum station so I could take the light rail into the city. Even though I made every effort to get out early, the downside of relying on public transportation on the weekends is that public transportation runs less often on the weekends. (That’s true for both Baltimore and DC.) I arrived just as the light rail left the station so I had to wait another 15-20 minutes for the next train to arrive. In the meantime it was cold outside plus it was raining off and on. I was still determined to press on despite the cold and gloomy weather so I got on the next light rail train going into the city.

I got off at the Lexington Market light rail stop then transferred to the nearby Metro stop that’s located just a few feet away. When I entered the station, I noticed these really pretty tile pieces that lined the ceiling.

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So I had to wait a bit for the next Metro train to show up. I got off at the Penn-North station. The next photo shows the CVS that was torched during last year’s riots. I remember when the news media made a huge deal over what happened with the implication that the people were animals for burning down a pharmacy. Well the same CVS has since rebuilt and re-opened but you won’t hear about it on Fox News or CNN.

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I was trying to look for a group of people brandishing Bernie Sanders signs and I walked around a bit. The next two photos show boarded up row houses that are literally a stone’s throw from the CVS.

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Penn-North is such a mix between nice buildings (which I photographed last year) and deteriorating boarded-up row houses. This mural (which includes famous jazz singer and Baltimore native Billie Holliday) is located at the intersection of Pennsylvania and North Avenues.

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I caught up with a single man who had a Bernie Sanders sign. He told me that the group had already left. He said that the march would end at Penn Station and he suggested that I get in my car and drive there. Unfortunately for me my car was at the North Linthicum light rail stop so I ended up taking the next MTA bus to the Station North Arts District then walk to Penn Station. When I arrived I didn’t see any crowds or marches. I went inside where I did a search on my smartphone and found that the march route wasn’t anywhere near Penn Station. In fact, the final destination was the Hollywood Diner Food Truck Park on Saratoga Street, which is nowhere near Penn Station or the Station North Arts District. Yeah, that guy was definitely wrong about the march’s destination. Unfortunately it was around 1 p.m. by that point and the march was scheduled to end at 2. By the time I made my way to the North Avenue light rail station and take it to the Charles Center stop then walk a few blocks, the march would be over.

So I sat on a bench and ate the lunch that I had packed with me. Being inside Penn Station brought back a lot of memories for me. For a few years when I was a child my family would take the Amtrak to Ohio to visit my great-aunt who lived in a small town along with her children (my cousins) who all lived in the same area. (Some lived in that same small town while others lived in another small town located just a few miles away.) We would go to Penn Station to catch that train. That station looked really huge to me when I was very young. Seeing it as an adult, I have to say that it’s pretty small compared to Union Station in Washington, DC or Grand Central Station in New York City. Yet Penn Station has the same kind of classical Greco-Roman decor that the larger aforementioned stations have, including stained glass ceilings, Roman columns, and little touches of classical art.

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After I finished eating my lunch and taking pictures inside, I stepped outside where it started to rain a bit harder. I took a couple of interesting shots outside of Penn Station.

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Ultimately I headed back on Charles Street towards North Avenue. I’ve been to the Station North Arts District enough times (thanks mostly to attending sessions of the Baltimore chapter of Dr. Sketchy’s Anti-Art School at The Wind-Up Space) that I know my way around the area. I’ve noticed some more arty touches that have been added since my last trip to the area a few months ago, such as these painted storm drains.

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I walked past the BAMF Cafe, which is a new geek-themed cafe that had opened last year. I last went there just before it opened full time when the windows were loaded with all kinds of cool looking toys. I decided to step inside and see what the place looked like because it intrigued me. (Just the word “BAMF” brought back memories because my then-husband used to collect comics, especially The X-Men. One of the characters in that comic book, Nightcrawler, was capable of doing teleportation and he used to make a “BAMF” noise everytime he used that power.)

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I found that the cafe has a very cozy interior that’s full of toys, art, and books on all aspects of the geek fandom including comic books, science fiction, horror, anime, and cult movies. It was such a visual treat.

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I didn’t order any food or drink because I had just consumed my lunch at Penn Station. I plan on doing so the next time I find myself in the Station North Arts District.

The weather started to rain harder so I decided to cut this trip a bit short and head back to pick up my car that was parked at the North Linthicum light rail stop. While I walked towards the North Avenue light rail stop, I saw this really cool looking decorated car that was just parked on North Avenue.

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I attempted these two artsy shots when I was crossing an overpass.

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The last photo shows this really cool painted mural that’s painted on the side of an underpass on North Avenue near the light rail stop. (You can really see the raindrops coming down in the foreground.)

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I later found out that there was very little media coverage of the Bernie Sanders march in Baltimore. In fact, the only media story I found was this video that was shot by The Real News.

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