Hampden is no tourist trap

November 13, 2011

Letter writer C.D. Wilmer of Baltimore refers to Hampden as a tourist trap ("Hampden isn't the same," Nov. 11). My definition of tourist trap is an attraction geared more to visitors than to locals, that promises more than it delivers. I moved to Hampden back when it was what Mr. Wilmer calls "quirky and eclectic" and have enjoyed its evolution into an even more quirky and eclectic community ever since.

Hampden is better now than it ever has been. My wife, daughter and I eat and shop on the Avenue two to four times a week. We enjoy the parades and the festivals. Sure, there are plenty of visitors, and that's great and we welcome them. Who wouldn't? They're universally pleased with what they see, and friends and family regularly express envy that we get to live in such a walkable, safe, cool and (yes) quirky community.

Hampden for tourists? I suppose, sure. But Hampden is for residents most certainly, and I suggest that Mr. Wilmer climb off his high horse long enough to come down here with us eclectics and enjoy an afternoon on the Avenue.

Mark Thistel, Hampden

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