Baltimore blogs

Annual Meeting 2017 blogs


For Foodies


Baltimore is a well-known destination for innovative and delicious cuisine. Get to know the best restaurants, cafes, bistros and diners from one of your fellow attendees.

Alvin Liu

Alvin_Yiu.jpgBorn and raised in Hong Kong, I moved to New Hampshire when I was 15 for a boarding school. Since then, I have lived mostly on the east coast and spent 5 fantastic years in NYC, my home away from home. I am currently a vitreoretinal fellow at the Wilmer Eye Institute, where I did my ophthalmology residency as well. Food and drinks have always played a big part in my life--- there is no better way to connect with people and to learn about a new culture. I was fortunate enough to have dined at El Bulli and to have met the great Ferran Adria himself shortly before the restaurant closed, and it forever changed my perception of food.

  • Besides Fells Point, Mount Vernon is another historic district that is worth a visit. The cuisines offered here tend to be more diverse and “ethnic” if you will. My recommendations are as follow. Helmand 806 North Charles St. Helmand has been a Baltimore institution for decades. Afghani restaurants are uncommon and definitely rare to find outside of the biggest cities in the United States. If you have never tried Afghani cuisine before, Helmand is a good place to start. My personal favorites are: Kaddo Borwani (pan-fried and baked baby pumpkin) , Aushak (dumpling filled with leeks and ... More

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    In my previous post, I talked about steaks. A natural continuation of that conversation will be seafood. Baltimore, among many things, is known for its seafood, especially blue crabs. When you come in town, you will encounter many restaurants, casual and upscale alike, serving “Maryland crab cake.” I am sorry for being a wet blanket but I have to warn you that most likely you will not be trying REAL Maryland crabs during ARVO. The Maryland crab season typically runs from June to October--- blue crabs have to be shipped in from North Carolina and the Gulf during the rest of the year. However, having ... More

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    When it comes to restaurant choices for group dining or special occasions, one cannot go wrong by picking a steakhouse, and there are plenty of options near the downtown and Harbor East neighborhoods. There are several well-recognized chains that serve high quality steaks and perform consistently. You can’t go wrong with any of these:  Morton’s (300 S Charles St.), Ruth’s Chris (711 Eastern Ave.) and Capital Grille (500 E Pratt St.) . Of the chains, I personally like  Fleming’s (720 Aliceanna St.) the best for their small plates/appetizers. If you end up trying Fleming’s, you should ... More

  • Hi there, I am excited and honored to be your food blogger for the ARVO 2017 Baltimore! I have lived in Baltimore for the past four years and am eager to show you the gems around Charm City. Over the next few weeks, I will regularly upload posts with different themes, such as seafood, Italian and places for drinks, etc. For my first post, I will go the practical route and talk about lunch options near the Convention Center. This year’s ARVO will be held at the Baltimore Convention Center, which is conveniently located in the downtown/Inner Harbor area. While this is a superbly central and ... More

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Culture & Nightlife


From museums to tours to music to clubs — Learn the inside scoop on exploring Charm City.

Ericka Oglesby

Ericka_Oglesby.jpgOriginally from a suburb of Washington, D.C., I attended university in Baltimore and have been here ever since. I have the privilege of working with Dr. Harry A. Quigley at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Glaucoma Center of Excellence at Wilmer Eye Institute. Our lab studies various aspects of glaucoma and possible interventions of the disease progression. When I’m away from my bench I enjoy casually running getting passed by other runners while enjoying the beauty of my North Baltimore neighborhood. I regularly take in the burgeoning local arts, music, food and DIY scene. Most importantly, if you have ANY kind of local retail related inquires I have a 40 slide PowerPoint presentation at the ready.

  • So I must admit bias immediately when writing about these last two neighborhoods. This is where I spend the majority of my time, because I live here. There’s a lot of good reasons why I’ve lived in this neighborhood for 7 years! This area has a great mixture of quiet green spaces, a strong hipster and diy community, and classic Baltimore ‘Hon-ness’  all rolled into a 4 mile radius. Charles Village Continuing to move along Charles Street you’ll find yourself in the heart of Johns Hopkins University undergraduate Homewood campus and surrounding Charles Village neighborhood. The JHU  campus ... More

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    Lightening Round

    A few things I may not have covered in the blogs. If you’re looking for even more fun stuff to do nothing here will disappoint! BromoSeltzer tower Another important part of Baltimore cityscape also has gallery and art exhibits. Lexington Market Historic landmark with great food and beverages. True taste of Baltimore flavor. Maryland Film Festival Check out some cool, independent and artsty films in the newly renovated Parkway theater. Patterson Park Yep! Another green space with a small pond, soccer fields and even an ice rink. B&O Railroad Museum That kid that love ... More

  • A few blocks north of the Inner Harbor and downtown hotels is Baltimore’s Midtown. Specifically, along the midline of the city is the Mt. Vernon neighborhood. Heading north of the bustling waterfront this is a more residential part of the city. The focal point of this neighborhood, Washington Monument, is surrounded by opportunities to soak in culture and beautiful landscaping. So, if you’re more inclined to enjoy taking in elegant architecture, the sounds of a classical string quartet and diverse art from around the globe this is the place to explore! Peabody Conservatory and library  Although ... More

  • In my last entry I mentioned SEVERAL times how the waterfront promenade of the harbor has so much to offer. I hate to sound repetitive but I think you know what’s coming…MORE neighborhoods along the waterfront promenade. Continuing east from the Convention Center and Inner Harbor are two great neighborhoods for a taste of new and old Baltimore. One, modern development and the other steeped in history and charm. Harbor East This is a newer neighborhood that has had an influx of development in a short amount of time. I would describe this area as: live where you play. First thing to ... More

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    Welcome to Charm City

    Welcome to Charm City! Baltimore, like all cities, has many sides. More recently a less than ideal side of Baltimore has been the focus in media and pop culture. Admittedly, this too IS Baltimore but only a piece of who we are as a community. Like many cities in the U.S. and around the world we are working towards understanding one another and creating unity. It is safe. We’re nice and we do have some of THE best crab cakes in the state. Let us prove it to you. One of the first things I emphasize about Baltimore is the very strong ‘come as you are’ vibe. Spend a few hours here and you’ll ... More

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Baltimore on a Budget


Where are the bargains? We’ll share our favorite places for cheap eats, inexpensive public transports and how to spend a day out without spending cash you don’t have.

Roomasa Channa

Roomasa-Channa.gifRoomasa is a current second year surgical retina fellow at Hopkins. She has lived in and around Baltimore while doing her medical training at Johns Hopkins for the past 9 years. When not working, she loves exploring the city, and enjoys spending time outdoors.  Being on a trainee budget, she has learnt to explore the city without breaking the bank.

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    Mount Vernon

    Mount Vernon is one of the city’s oldest neighborhoods and is designated a national historic landmark district. The area has beautiful architecture, and a pretty park around the Washington monument.  Some of you may recognize the church below from the Tom Hanks and Megan Ryan movie, Sleepless in Seattle. This area is easily accessible via public transport from the Convention Center and the charm city circulator purple line can get you there for free. However, would recommend checking the website for any service delays. You can climb up the Washington Monument , would recommend checking out ... More

  • If you’re done with exploring the sights and sounds of Inner harbor and have had your fill of shopping at the Gallery Mall, you can go hiking, biking, rollerblading, fishing or picnicking at The Gwynns Falls Trail. The Trail is about 15 miles long and passes through several Baltimore neighborhoods including Otterbein and Federal Hill. You can check out the website for more trail info or call the B altimore City Department of Recreation & Parks at 410-396-7012 or the Parks & People Foundation at 410-448-5663 . You can also explore Baltimore by foot by either on your own or by taking one ... More

  • Walk around the Inner Harbor The Convention Center sits right in the heart of Baltimore’s Inner Harbor. The area is dotted with restaurants, shops and pubs and it’s a pretty walk with a lot going on in summer. You can just walk around the water, which is fun, relaxing and free! J Rent one of the dragon paddle-boats or take a water taxi to further explore the Harbor. Visit the American Visionary Art Museum American Visionary Art Museum is located about a mile away from the Convention Center. It’s open Tuesday through Sunday and although there is an admission fee for adults ($15.95), ... More

  • Baltimore has recently had an up surge of fine dining and restaurant but eating well doesn’t have to be expensive. In this blog, I’ll talk about a few places with reasonably priced great food. Mount Vernon market place Located in the historic Mount Vernon District, at 520 Park Avenue, this is about a 15-minute walk from the Convention Center, and is a one-place stop for a variety of foods. I would definitely recommend a walk around the market place and you’re sure to find something you’ll enjoy. There are over a dozen vendors with very reasonably priced food options: oysters, Korean bibimpap, ... More

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    Fell's Point

    Fell's Point If you love historic architecture, a nautical back drop, fine dining and bar hopping, Fell's Point is a must see during your Baltimore trip. It is rumored to be the place where Edgar Allen Poe had his last drink. You can get to Fell's Point pretty easily (and for free!) from the Convention Center using the Orange route of the Charm City Circulator. The Circulator will pick you up right outside the Convention Center and drop you off in the heart of Fell's Point (see map to the right). You can also take the water taxi, which will take you from the National Aquarium to Fell's Point. ... More

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