Monday, June 14, 2010


Bzzzzz... O.K. While I didn't see any bees at Honfest, beehives thrived. (If you're groaning, sorry for the wordplay.) Honfest is a festival in the Hampden neighborhood of Baltimore that celebrates the pizazz and warmth of the working class women of the city's past. The fest features crafts, hula hoops, and local music. And women dress up in bright colors, retro fashions, and, infamously, beehive hairdos that aim for the sky.

This year, a booth at the festival offered to tease and pile women's hair up into towering buns. My friend Sarah couldn't resist. I stood in line with her for a half an hour waiting so that she could get her hair done into a beehive. She offered to pay for fresh-squeezed lemonade for me and our friend Danae in exchange for our patience. I passed, sprinkling the Boston Terriers that I was dog watching with water. Several of the stores had dog bowls out. People and pets crowded the street. While we waited for Sarah, a thin, white woman in her fifties with a high voice played a synthesizer and sung mostly Motown songs. When she started on "Pappa was a Rollin Stone," Danae yelped: "Unh, unh. That woman is not singing that song." We joined the woman for the song's chorus. I recognized the singer from Mindset, who entered the tent with his girlfriend. They decided to keep moving as we started singing. (I don't really know him very well, but he seems like a nice guy.)

I did buy a few crafts. For $13, I got a necklace made out of a domino with the sculpture from Love Park in Philly on it. I also bought a necklace for my friend Bridget for her birthday in December - planning ahead. I buy presents for people when I find something unusual that they'll appreciate. Sarah bought a domino necklace with a retro zombie movie poster on it.

All in all, I had fun. The activity within the fest thrilled the dogs, Basil and Viola. Tons of people kept asking me: "Hon, can I take their pictures?" Cameras seemed to be flashing everywhere.

After Honfest, Sarah, Danae and I went to Paper Moon, a nearby diner. I ordered the vegan nachos - homemade hummus with a hint of pepper, multi-colored tortilla chips, cucumbers, tomatoes, mild salsa, and onions. Towers seemed to be a theme for the day in Baltimore. Paper Moon mounded the chips on my plate. I had more food than I could eat and drank several glasses of iced tea. Another server assisted ours. He kept making jokes about going to a lemon tree to get lemons for our drink. His sense of humor aside, he provided us with solid service. Danae got the hummus platter with pita, which largely resembled my meal, although a smaller portion with a limited offering of bread. For $2 more, I could've added portabella mushroom strips. I skipped the guacamole, but the server told me that she couldn't substitute anything.

As far as the nachos platter goes, the chips themselves were fresh and fine. I prefer Sabra's Chipotle Hummus, though. Of course, I like spicy things and Paper Moon didn't add much to its hummus in terms of herbs or spices. Some might say the chickpeas are unadulterated by outside ingredients, I would call them bland. I bet a jalapeno has never seen the inside of that place. Get this - the server confessed the restaurant was without hot sauces - neither Tabasco nor Cholula.

The diner spotlights retro, however, with a quirky, modern, urban flamboyance, so its decor seems like an extension of Honfest. Vintage toys decorate Paper Moon - the heads of dolls from the fifties, rows of illuminated Pezz dispensers, knickknacks, mannequins, and model trains. The placement of the toys transforms many of them into sculptures. Obviously, whoever arranged the toys asked him or herself: how could a mannequin stand alone without pink, blue and yellow curlers on its head or without being scaled by toy soldiers? Day-glo green, yellow, and orange; hot pink; and fire-engine red color the walls and tables. I wish the food had the flair of the furnishings.
Danae's boyfriend lives a few blocks from the diner and was willing to let the pups play with a ball while we ate. After eating, I made a pitstop at Sarah's. We took the dogs for another long walk. They slept the whole way as I drove home.
PS - A few notes about the pictures. The guy standing behind me in the straw hat looks oddly intense, but is apparently dating a girl I know who was at the festival. Yes, the stylist put little ribbons and a mock bee in Sarah's beehive.

No comments:

Post a Comment