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Shopping on the Strip

Just let your checkbook do the talking. Hampden is an area made for shopping.

On 36th Street, you’ll find more than 150 shops. Explore the friendly worlds created by shop owners as you walk down The Avenue.

Located at 1001 W. 36th St., across the street from Café Hon, you will find Hometown Girl & Co.

Owned by Roland Park resident Mary Pat Andrea, Hometown Girl & Co. was named "Best Baltimore Souvenirs" in the 1999 edition of Baltimore Magazine for its "inspired selection of hip local postcards, books, wind-up toys, clothing and assorted other momentos."

On a personal note, I had been conflicted as to what I should purchase my best friend for her birthday. Within five minutes of being inside Hometown Girl & Co. I had found not one, but two perfect gifts. It couldn't have been easier.

The sales associates are more than friendly, offering to find anything that you may not see out on the floor. They also know their regulars and engage in heartfelt conversations with them before they walk out of the door.

And located in the back of Hometown Girl & Co. is The Soda Fountain, where you can get made-to-order milkshakes, ice cream sodas and espresso drinks, served all day. The old-fashioned soda fountain can make chocolate malts, root beer floats, hot-fudge sundaes, old-fashioned egg creams and Italian sodas with a choice of 18 flavors.

You can also pick up a light meal for breakfast and lunch and a variety of salads, to start your day of shopping off right.

You can purchase just about any Baltimore gift, from books to crab glasses to your very own ‘HON’ T-shirt. Other various Baltimore styled gifts can be purchased, such as paintings of famous landmarks or famous Baltimore citizens.

You can also either begin or expand your pink flamingo collection.

Customers can also purchase Café Hon’s homemade Dill vinaigrette salad dressing, if you simply didn’t get enough at lunch. Next door to Hometown Girl & Co., temporarily taking up the store that is normally Nightgoods, is the Women’s Industrial Exchange, specializing in handmade baby gifts.

"I love bringing my kids down here," said Timonium resident Thomas Cummings. Cummings, the father of three girls, enjoys going out with the girls and walking down Main Street during the nice summer days.

Today, Cummings was busy keeping after the girls while Sara and Megan ran around the stroller. The youngest, Emily, was busy looking through the window at the pink plastic flamingos.

"The girls love to look in all the windows, especially the ones with pink flamingos, while on the other hand, my wife likes to go in," he said with a smile.

Cummings also brings his family down to Hampden during the community events such as Honfest during the summer and 34th Street’s Christmas lights during the winter. "It has become something of tradition," he said. "More for the girls than for me and my wife."

"Coming to Hampden is a nice change from the everyday business of school," said Towson University student Lauren Jarosinski. "And it’s so close, which is even better."

Jarosinski has bought many items that now decorate her townhouse from the Hampden merchants. She likes the prices and vintage selections.

"I bought this great vintage mirror from Oh! Said Rose and an awesome shirt from Fat Elvis for my roommate’s birthday," she said. And it didn’t empty her bank account.

If you aren’t looking for "Baltimore specific" gifts, walk farther down the street to find stores like Cloud 9, Oh! Said Rose voted "Baltimore’s Best Jewelry" and "Baltimore’s Best Place to Splurge" by the City Paper, Atomic Books, Ma Petite Shoe and Fat Elvis, just to name a few.

At these stores you can find the latest in up-to-date clothing and shoes, or antiques and vintage home accessories. You can also find handmade jewelry or pottery.

Related Stories

A Little Food for Thought, Hon: You can’t miss Café Hon, with the larger-than-life pink flamingo hanging on the outside of the building.

Other Services Down on Main Street: Hampden Village Main Street has many other services to offer you.

Welcome to Main Street, Hon: Visit 36th Street ('The Avenue'), shop around, and eat at Café Hon.