"When I was a student at Gilman, I was editor of the school paper, and our printer was located right across the street from the racetrack. I would leave school to take stories to the printer, then skip over to Pimlico and bet the last couple of races, even thought I wasn't 21. Those are fond memories, so that's where I go when I'm in Baltimore." 5201 Park Heights Ave. | 410-542-9400 | pimlico.com
Joyce J. Scott, visual artist
"As a born and reared, dyed-in-the-wool Baltimoron, I bask in the mundane delights of my hometown Arabber. They pass by my block with a medley of their eatables and of course the lingering aroma of horse manure. ... Man, those sweet hazy days."
The smells of Little Italy
Joe Tomarchio, Mr. Tire
"I've always loved Little Italy. Going way back to when I was a young boy and my grandfather would take me down there, the smells still register in my head when I think about those fresh Italian breads, the prosciutto, the other fine smells, walking by the delis and the bakeries. As a kid, my eyes probably got as big as saucers, wanting to taste everything - especially from Vaccaro's."
Baltimore's underground art scene
Doreen Bolger, director of the Baltimore Museum of Art
"There is so much youthful energy and creativity bursting out all over this gritty town in unexpected places. I love the exhibitions that pop up in lofts and bars or behind auto body shops; the music performed in bookshops like Cyclops and Normal's; and performances on improvised stages and in empty store windows. Get in on the fun in Station North Arts & Entertainment District or the H&H Building on West Franklin Street, the nation's only vertical arts district."
The Painted Ladies of Charles Village
Deborah Hazlett, resident artist with Everyman Theatre
"We are lucky to live in a beautiful old building in the heart of Charles Village, surrounded by trees and flowers and graceful old homes. I learned from a longtime Baltimore resident and neighbor that these lovely homes are called the Painted Ladies. I love hanging out in my courtyard with my family and my friends and my Boston terrier. It's rare to live in a city and have this kind of generous space right out our front door."
Mickey Cucchiella, stand-up comic and 98 Rock DJ
"I think my favorite thing about Baltimore is its accent and dialect. Although sometimes ridiculed for having it, I would never try and lose it. I know that many will say it sounds ignorant or even foreign, but it is ours and ours only. Being from Baltimore gives me great pride, and I would never want to lose the one thing that identifies me so clearly with the city I love."
Pat Moran, casting director
"Hoehn's Bakery is the hidden gem of Highlandtown and a true Baltimore bakery. They still use the same massive brick hearth oven from 1927 and the same recipes that came over from Germany with Sharon Hoehn Hooper's grandfather. Honey, they have fresh peach cakes, hot cross buns for Lent and traditional stollen at Christmas; not to mention all that deliciousness is tied with a red string by the cheery bakery ladies." 400 S. Conkling St. | 410-675-2884 | hoehnsbakery.com
The crab cakes at G&M Restaurant & Lounge
Jenn Wasner, lead singer of the indie rock duo Wye Oak
"For my money, this is the best thing you can eat in Baltimore. Yes, I realize everybody says this. I was born and raised here, and this is the only food item that I truly miss, to which I know I cannot find an equal anywhere else in the world. It tastes like lumpy heaven and reminds me of my grandparents." 804 Hammonds Ferry Road, Linthicum | 410-636-1777 | gandmrestaurant.com
The benches at the top of Federal Hill
Sharan Nixon, head of Baltimore Fashion Week
"It's my favorite place away from it all. It allows me a sense of serenity and peace. I can look at as much of the city as my eyes can see. It's very beautiful and tranquil. When I go there, I zone out. It is like an out-of-body experience. I meditate. I become one with the space. It is a meditation place for me. I love to go when it rains because there is no one there but me. I'm so at peace."
Darker Than Blue Cafe
LaDawn Black, 92Q radio personality
"I love this place! Great food and entertainment in an intimate setting. The owners take the time to get to know you and have often stayed late to discuss the community. What a joy to patronize an establishment that is looking to better Greenmount as a whole and is not just focused on its personal growth. Plus, you never know when you are going to walk in and catch live music downstairs or a great exhibit or event upstairs in the private party area. One cannot help but feel the city vibe here." 3034 Greenmount Ave. | 443-872-4468 | darkerthanbluecafe.com
Science Center secrets
Joshua Sharfstein, state health secretary