Five things to eat, drink, see, hear, and do with your Charm City weekend.
Dovecote Café, 2501 Madison Ave. Mon.-Sun. 7 a.m.-3:30 p.m. 443-961-8677. dovecoatcafe.com.
Hipsters rejoice! You have a new trendy den to dine in for your most beloved meal of the day: brunch. Slip out of bed this weekend and wander your way to the otherwise culinarily-quiet neighborhood of Reservoir Hill. There, this adorable café now sits, filled with bright light, beautiful local art, and tons of desk space for you to write your memoir. It’s also filled with the smell of fresh, micro-roasted coffee, sweet baked goods, and warm, savory quiche to begin your day. Sit down with a book and stay awhile, but on your way out, don’t forget to check out the store’s mini produce stand and stock of local goods, like WOOT! Granola and Knits, Soy, & Metal candles.
Jan. 8: Station North Tool Library “Alloverstreet” Happy Hour
Station North Tool Library, 417 E. Oliver St. 5-7 p.m. 410-347-0850. facebook.com.
We’re really into these STNL first Friday happy hours—for the awesome space, the great local beer, and, especially, because they so often fall at the same time as the Alloverstreet art walks of Station North. On these nights, local galleries and studio spaces stay open late and bustle with eclectic, creative energy. Think Gallery CA, LabBodies, and Terrault Contemporary (its Beth Hoeckel show still stands out as one of our favorites from 2015), to name a few. Excitingly, in 2016, Alloverstreet has decided to stick around for a second round, teaming up with the Tool Library for recurring monthly happy hours with the help of Union Craft Brewing and local gallery art talks. This Friday, after a few Duckpins, head next door to Area 405 to hear from local artist Bonnie Crawford Kotula, whose playful pieces incorporate found objects into fine art.
Jan. 8-9: The 3rd Annual Baltimore Crankie Fest
Creative Alliance, 3134 Eastern Ave. 8 p.m. $12-15. 410-276-1651. creativealliance.org.
Crankie is not just a mood you get into when you haven’t had enough to eat. It’s also a thing you can physically hold in your hand—and it tells a story—and oftentimes, contrary to its y-ended homophone, it has a happy ending. Crankies are cranked scroll puppet shows, also known as moving panoramas, which date back to the 19th century. Often thought of as children’s toys, they’re truly a work of art, with more than a dozen artists currently creating them across the country, even in the age of the silver screen. In Baltimore alone, we have Anna Roberts-Gevalt and her Virginia-based pal Elizabeth Laprelle, with the duo pairing crankie stories with old-time music and the magical charm of eras past. For the third year, see them perform at the Creative Alliance, with special guests like local folksinger Caleb Stine, puppet and paper-cut artist Katherine Fahey, and banjo-toting artist Liz Downing.
Jan. 8-10: School of Rock’s Fall Season Show
Ottobar, 2549 N. Howard St. Fri.-Sat. 5-9:30 p.m. Sun. 12:30-6:45 p.m. $10. 410-662-0069. theottobar.com.
We know that most times that you give a kid a musical instrument, it’s a downright disaster, but not this weekend. Baltimore’s School of Rock is a rock-and-roll music academy, offering teachers, instruments, and programs to a talented group of tots and teens who can do a mean Steven Tyler, Stevie Wonder, and, even, the inimitable David Byrne. This weekend, see their fall showcase for three nights at the Ottobar, with hours upon hours of Aerosmith, Talking Heads, female rockers, a “rock choir,” hip-hop, and more. Pay attention—you might catch the city’s next Future Islands or Beach House.
Jan. 9: The Walters Art Museum’s Free Islamic Arts Family Festival
The Walters Art Museum, 600 N. Charles St. 11 a.m.-4 p.m. Free. 410-547-9000. thewalters.org.
If you haven’t had a chance to go see “Pearls on a String” exhibit at The Walters, now is your time to do so. In it, you’ll explore the exotic treasures of the great Islamic empires (think Mughal, Safavid, and Ottoman) with more than 120 paintings, ceramics, textiles, and jeweled luxuries from Turkey, India, and Iran. Together, those artifacts delve into the rich history of Islam art and culture, which will be celebrated this weekend at the museum’s first-ever Islamic Arts Family Festival. At this museum-wide fete, enjoy a full day of events inspired by the exhibit, like traditional music, dance performances, storytelling, and hands-on art activities, like make-your-own dream boxes, temporary Henna tattoos, and calligraphy. Just be sure to swing by the last room of “Pearls” on your way out; there is a sweeping, 18th-century oil painting of the Constantinople skyline by French painter Antoine de Favray that will take your breath away.