Welcome to Baltimare!
It’s that time of year when we local Baltimoreans welcome back the bronies, otaku, and nerds for BronyCon, Otakon, and Balimore Comic Con. I do apologize that I was unable to provide updated Baltimore City guides like I did last year. Here is the link to the guide I made last year which can still be used for reference, but keep in mind all the information in that guidebook is from last year.
For those who are coming to Baltimore for your first time let me provide you with some important information on getting around and finding food.
Getting Around the City
Here are some tips for traveling to Baltimore. If you are flying in from Baltimore-Washington International (BWI) the best way to get to the Baltimore Convention Center would be to take the MTA Light Rail. A one way trip on the Light Rail or any city bus will cost you $1.60 or $3.50 for a Day Pass which can be used on all MTA owned buses, light rails, and subways. The Light Rail stops in from of the Convention Center, get off at the Convention Center/Pratt Street stop. Though a word of warning, the MTA is pretty bad, it is constantly late, skips stops, and is very slow.
If you arrive to Baltimore by Penn Station the best way to get to the Convention Center is to take the MTA Route 3 Bus. Though I would recommend you take advantage of the Charm City Circulator which is a free bus service. The Purple Route runs from Penn Station to the Inner Harbor. Just get on the Penn Station Stop 311 and get off at Light/Pratt Street Stop 319 then walk a block west to the Convention Center. While in the Inner Harbor you can take the Orange Route from the Convention Center to all the little attractions along the harbor area up to Little Italy and Harbor East. If you want to go to Fell’s Point you can take the Green Route at Harbor East Stop 118 to Fell’s Point Stop 121. The Banner Route from Stop 319 will take you to Fort McHenry, the place where the Star Spangled Banner was written. If you arrive north of Penn Station then take the free Johns Hopkins Shuttle (JHMI Shuttle) to Penn Station from Homewood campus.
Food and Dining
Baltimore is well known for its food culture, its blue crabs, Old Bay seasoning, crab cakes, and more. If you want a taste of Baltimore I recommend taking a short walk north of the Convention Center to Lexington Market, the longest running market in America. There are many stalls selling seafood, crab cakes, and Asian food at Lexington. If you are in Baltimore for your first time I recommend Faidley Seafood, which has won awards for the best crab cake in the world.
Near the Convention Center just walk east to the Inner Harbor. This area has more touristy foods but has a good selection from fast food to nice restaurants. The Powerpoint has Hard Rock Café, Chipotle, and Phillips Seafood. The Harborplace Mall and Light St. Pavillion has Bubba Gumps, Five Guys, Edo Sushi, M&S Grill, Tir Na Nog Irish Restaurant, Uno Pizza, Noodles and Company, and more. The Gallery has a traditional mall food court with McDonalds, pizza, Chinese food, and more.
If you don’t mind a trip on the Charm City Circulator or the MTA Bus take a trip east to Little Italy and Fells Point. I highly recommend Fells Point for seafood, the entire area is made up of bars, pubs, and taverns. And if you are north of Penn Station, I also recommend a trip to the Hamden neighborhood which is home to some famous food places like Charm City Cakes and Café Hon.
Good news! By coincidence BronyCon falls on Restaurant Week again for this year. Even better news, is that this year you will be able to get full course meals for only $20 and $30 at nearly every Baltimore restaurant. My personal favorite for Restaurant Week is the all you can eat Brazilian steak place Fogo de Chao. For more information about Restaurant Week and to see the list of participating food places check out the link below.
New Art for BronyCon 2014
I will be teaming up with Flavinbagel again for BronyCon. We are Table 816 in TumblrPon Alley. Thank Head of Vendors firenvy for trying to place all us TumblrPon folks in the same area, if you see him thank him for all the hard work his department has been doing.
This year I will be selling my Pony Tarot Cards once again. However due to issues with the overseas card printer I only got 1/5 the amount of tarot decks that I had last year, and they all sold out last year. So they will probably go very quick, so make sure to try to pick one up this Friday. A new limited edition deck that I made exclysive for BronyCon is the White Deck, with blank sketch backs you can get signed or a little drawing from your favorite VAs or artists.
And if they arrive in time I will have Doctor Who playing cards with an exclusive Doctor Hooves card for only BronyCon attendees and my History of Manga and Anime Tarot. I will have these at Otakon the following weekend as well, same time, same place.
Also new for this year, this will be my first time doing live wood block carvings, I will be carving Chinese names, cutie marks, and ponies, so if you want one make sure to stop by.
Panels at BronyCon 2014
I will be on two panels this year at BronyCon. The first is PonCast Presents Our Creative Fandom which will be Friday at 9:15 PM in the Hall of the Moon. We will talk about creativity within the MLP Fandom and those who have used fanart as a launching on point for a successful career in freelance art or professional art. Our panel will include flavinbagel and I as hosts, and artists askstalkerloo, askstarswirl, and ask-star-chaser
My other panel is the 100 Years of Narrative Art: From Peter Pan to My Little Pony, which was a success last year. In this panel I track the evolution of popular culture and storytelling from the end of the Victorian Era to the modern day. I look at 22 significant works which changed how we see storytelling including Ulysses, Mountains of Madness, Action Comics #1, Citizen Kane, Air Pirates, Watchmen, Star Wars, Ren and Stimpy, Harry Potter, Clannad, and more. This is a fun all age educational panel for both bronies and those who know nothing about ponies, unfortunately it was pushed to Saturday 11:45 PM this year. It’s a bit late, but if you are interested in history and understanding how Friendship is Magic and this fandom came to be make sure to check it out.
If you folks have any questions about Baltimore, directions, places to go, etc. feel free to send me a message to my Baltimore Brony Tumblr. I will be answering questions on that blog and also be posting Baltimore/BronyCon/Otakon related updates there.
I will also be organizing some group dinners for TumblrPon folks on Thursday-Sunday nights, including planning a trip to Camden Yards with piratedashmod for an O’s game on Thursday, a group dinner on Friday, and planning a Six Flags trip the following Monday.
For more information you can check out the guidebook (https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/52109477/Baltimore%20Guide.pdf) or my old maps from last year on DeviantArt.