Holiday Gift Guide 2016

Oh, my god, you guys, the election has happened, and we have to keep moving forward somehow. For some of us that may mean going about this time of year as usual, though with a more pained smile, soaking in the season’s changes, decorating for the holidays, buying gifts, and spending time with family. Some of us may also need to have some difficult conversations with our families (“Did you even read his platform? Did you hear him speak actual nonsense? Have you seen his Twitter?” etc. Dig deep.). If we have any hope left, it is based mostly in the collective power of our communities, so whatever your plans are, hopefully you’re taking care of yourself and others this holiday season. Across the next several pages, City Paper staffers wander through neighborhoods all over Baltimore City, poke our heads into (mostly local, independent) shops and watering holes, and offer you a loose guide for where to go and what to buy. (Rebekah Kirkman)

Photos by J.M. Giordano, Marie Machin, and Reginald Thomas II

  • Git Guide 2016: Mt. Vernon

    Git Guide 2016: Mt. Vernon

    What once was a routine stroll through the leafy, historic neighborhood of Mount Vernon, full of elegant dogs and moneyed folks and tony mansions, has become a slightly more dystopian adventure. The place smells a lot like shit these days, thanks to the constant work being done on the 11 or 15...

  • Gift Guide 2016: Charles North Old Goucher

    Gift Guide 2016: Charles North Old Goucher

    A brisk pace, my body tense to the chill, feet shuffling through leaf piles—I relish all of the banal pleasures of the fall season while walking through Old Goucher and Charles North. Especially after such a shit year. I go back and forth lately between worrying big picture and worrying about local...

  • Gift Guide 2016: Hampden

    Gift Guide 2016: Hampden

    Hampden overwhelms with choices. It’s almost unnerving, like, do I really have this much power? How can I decide between buying this adorable felted cactus or this artisanal, hand-carved wooden spoon? Should we stop into the gluten-free vegan bakery, or the vegan bakery that’s only partially gluten-free?...

  • Gift Guide 2016: Fells Point

    Gift Guide 2016: Fells Point

      Christmas shopping in Fells Point has its advantages, prime among them is the lack of muzak—no saccharine holiday tunes piped through speakers every single solitary second (including the bathrooms in, say, the mall) to manipulate your mood into narrow compliance with the merry, merry. And here’s...

  • Gift Guide 2016: Belvedere Square

    Gift Guide 2016: Belvedere Square

    The House Downtown (524 E. Belvedere Ave., [410] 464-1440, has a high-end, rustic vibe. It’s packed with furniture and objets d’art, with a smattering of little things—a bowl of geodes, say. There is a magnificent Hollace iron chandelier marked down to just under $1,200. That...

  • Gift Guide 2016: Ellicott City

    Gift Guide 2016: Ellicott City

    This year has really sucked--and some places like Ellicott City got slammed from all sides. When floods tore through Main Street in July, people called it the end of this historic hamlet. But they underestimated the energy and perseverance of the Ellicott citizens. Walking through the still-battered...

  • Gift Guide 2016: Pigtown

    Gift Guide 2016: Pigtown

    Like many neighborhoods in Baltimore, Pigtown provides options for the shopper seeking a gift for the recipient less likely to be wowed by standard mall-sourced goods. But with stores where you can find items like, say, a faux tombstone from the set of “The Wire” (recently spotted at Second Chance)...

  • Gift Guide 2016: Mondawmin Mall and Sandtown

    Gift Guide 2016: Mondawmin Mall and Sandtown

    When I want to go to places in Baltimore where I can still in some way, even briefly, buy into American ideals of pluralism and democracy—and that seems both more necessary and more fruitless right now—I’ll head to Druid Hill Park and Mondawmin Mall (2401 Liberty Heights Ave., [410] 523-1534,

  • Gift Guide 2016: Mt. Washington

    Gift Guide 2016: Mt. Washington

    With Falls Road, I-83, and the Light Rail all nearby, Mt. Washington is easy to get to, but some of its shopping options are cut off from each other, so taking a car might be best. Working from south to north, be sure to stop by vintage shop Wishbone Reserve (5730 Falls Road, [443] 961-3376,,...

  • Gift Guide 2016: Federal Hill

    Gift Guide 2016: Federal Hill

    We sometimes like to kid Federal Hill for its status as Baltimore’s home for 13th Grade, but in addition to the bars there’s no shortage of great shopping in the South Baltimore neighborhood. Protean Books & Records (836 Leadenhall St., [410] 227-3006, has become one...

1 2