August 7, 2018 - Neighborhood Tour
On the final Friday of every month, Live Baltimore heads out of the office and into one of Baltimore's 278 neighborhoods. Each month, we love what we find! June was no different.
Our June tour kicked off at Roger Hartley's home in the Glenham-Belhar neighborhood. A sprawling yard, friendly neighbors and walkability attracted the Hartley family to the community when they moved from Asheville, North Carolina.
"When we started looking at houses, we knew we liked to farm and that we would have gardens," Hartley said. "We figured it would be hard to do in Bolton Hill or Canton and we started searching for houses in this area. It's affordable and there are huge yards. It's walkable and there are trails nearby, so we knew this was the neighborhood for us."
Glenham-Belhar, a quiet Northeast Baltimore neighborhood is filled with a wide array of housing stock. As we toured the neighborhood, we were able to see a variety of homes from ranch-style to rowhouses, cottage homes, duplexes, apartments and large, single-family detached homes. The diversity of housing styles is one of Jenny Hamilton's favorite features of her community and is something that attracted her to the neighborhood about 15 years ago.
"The diversity in housing stock leads to diversity of residents," she said. "That was interesting to me and that diversity in the community really made me feel like I wanted to be here (when she was buying her home)."
With so many different neighbors having many different interests, the neighborhood association and local businesses are able to collaborate on many different events throughout the year, including arts festivals, children's events, farmer's markets and nature activities. Neighbors rally together to put on events like the annual soapbox derby race and various community clean ups.
We saw a glimpse at how tightly knit the neighbors are as they reminisced over their favorite gatherings. Hartley mentioned how much he enjoys Tuesday farmers markets and the annual summer celebration, Hamilton Fest, which is held in the Harford Road business corridor. Hamilton said some of her favorite moments include being part of Light City's Neighborhood Lights and having happy hour snowball fights with her neighbors during massive winter storms.
"It's been a really great experience living here so far but one of the best things is that over the years we've made our street a Halloween destination and it's become a real tradition," she said.
Anne Yastremski agrees that Halloween has become one of the best community events. She looks forward to it each year.
"It's really grown," she said. "The first year I was here we had maybe 10 kids come by our house on Halloween – now we have over 300."
Being able to engage in large-scale neighborhood traditions wouldn't be possible without engaged neighbors, said Yastremski, who moved with her husband to Glenham-Belhar from Harbor East in 2014.
"We intentionally moved here because it felt like a neighborhood," she said. "We wanted a place that was a real community with people who care and we found that right here."