Parks in Baltimore.

My most recent post about Parks in Paris reminded me to stop and look around at the parks in Baltimore. I’m not nearly as skilled just yet in the Charm City’s ins and outs, but I have pinpointed  my personal favorite expanses of green. The good news is, there are parks-a-plenty to choose from. For a complete listing, consult the Baltimore City Department of Parks and Recreation.

One of the best things about my summer neighborhood in Baltimore (Hampden) is its easy access to parks. A quick walk down the Avenue puts you at Roosevelt Park, complete with community garden, wide open fields of green and a really nice municipal pool. Just $1.50 gets you fun in the sun all afternoon, or you can purchase a summer-long pool pass for just $25. Bring your own chair if you don’t want to lay your towel on the thirsty and dried-out summer grass. A quiet afternoon by the pool this is not, but it was at least mildly amusing to watch the city’s 6 to 16 year-old population cannonball and scream their way through the afternoon. Check out all those fancy water-spouts and falls!

Even better than Roosevelt is Patterson Park, located right next to the Canton and Fells Point neighborhoods. A plethora of hills and steps make it a great place for walks or jogs, and I love love love the pagoda at the top of the hill. Doesn’t it look pretty all lit up for winter-time? During the summertime, enjoy free concerts with a variety of music from African roots to folk to salsa.

The third park on my list of favorites is Cylburn (pronounced by Baltimoreans … is that a word? with an “s” at the beginning and not a “c”). I happened into this one at the beginning of this already long and hot summer. Formerly the summer estate of a wealthy Baltimore businessman, Jesse Tyson, Cylburn is now an arboretum complete with fabulous views from Tyson’s mansion and a new and modern venue constructed with what looked like a mixture of slate and various types of wood. The gardens and green paths which, for those of us  that walk dogs on a regular basis and get tired of the same old route, offer a welcome variation from an habitual walk’s same-old same-old quality. This picture gives you an idea of the look and feel of the historic arboretum. All the different flowers and architectural details provide plenty of scenery for observing and enjoying.

Parks are one of the best ways to enjoy your city or community. So once those temperatures drop (please! soon!), enjoy a walk and/or picnic in your favorite. And don’t forget to tell me about others I have not yet discovered … in Paris, Baltimore or elsewhere!

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