I vaguely remember our family moving from downtown southeast Baltimore, Eden and Baltimore Streets, to further uptown northeast Baltimore to Boone Street, near Greenmount and North Avenues, when I was a little kid.

We kids played, laughed, and cried. We ran to the Goldman’s corner store daily for two-for-a-penny treats. I remember sweltering summer nights when the carousel sound of the ice cream truck sent kids scurrying for change. And, we kids could stay up late because there was no school the next day.

We used to be a neighborhood. We participated in the Afro-American Newspaper Clean Block every year. We kids had to keep those white marble steps and curb gutters clean. Our parents worked at places like Steel & Tin Can Company, Bethlehem Steel, and the Ward’s and Bond’s baking companies.

The riots of the 60’s made the first changes to our neighborhood. Goldman’s store, owned by Jewish merchants who brought in our meats, fresh fruit and vegetables, was burned out.

Some working class neighbors married and moved to what was then considered the suburbs, Baltimore County, like I did in the mid-70’s. To have a home of one’s own with land around it was my dream. Some working class people still live in our old neighborhood with their elderly parents or in the houses their deceased parents left them as a legacy. They waited for a “trickle down” that never came.

Drug-experimenting parties had to have a source for their drugs, so a new custom, “tea time”, started in our old neighborhood where spunky young outside entrepreneurs recruited our sons, brothers, uncles, fathers, and a few daughters to help feed poison to our kin. Drug dealing gradually and insidiously decimated my old neighborhood–the final blow! Neither was Baltimore County safe from the devastation. The cycle continues into the suburbs.

My old neighborhood is a ghost town now with very young grandchildren, parents, and very old grandparents who send the young out to get what they need. Empty lots stand where whole blocks of row-houses used to exist.

The usual gentrification of a neighborhood, when artists or hospital professionals move in, is on its way to happening in many parts of Baltimore City. The urban blight is helped along by legislators who know what is planned for the area they stopped caring about long ago.

Rosa L. Griffin


The World is Still Rich with Opportunity

A few years ago, I came across the quote below made by a reviewer of Richard Carlson’s book, Don’t Worry Make Money, that came out in 1997.         I don’t know the reviewer’s name and never found the review referenced again. But, this was and is an inspiration to me and I have always referred back to it over the years. I have a copy of it on my cubicle at work and on my bathroom wall so I can read it when necessary.

“Do you think that opportunity only knocks once? If you do, Richard Carlson, author of Don’t Worry Make Money, says you’re buying into one of the most perpetuated ‘myths’ in our culture.

Carlson argues that this kind of thing inspires people to do things they really do not want to do. That it is based on a ‘never enough to go around’ mindset that just isn’t true. Thinking that it’s now or never, often encourages bad decision making, for instance, he says. You might take a job you do not want or move to an area that doesn’t really sit well with you.

The world we live in is rich with ever-increasing opportunity, he says. The world is in need of creative people and everyone has their own gifts and talents to offer. You just have to figure out how it’s going to work for you. There are thousands of jobs out there that you can do. There are thousands of business opportunities.

But, Carlson says, first you have to overcome your fear: The fear of not having enough. The fear that you only get one shot and then it’s over.

It’s a big lie. Your life will be filled with great opportunities over and over again.”

On the other hand, you may be a person who has been blessed by some wonderful opportunities. That doesn’t mean that there aren’t more coming your way!

Rosa L. Griffin

Hello adults 18 and over!

Glamour Comes to the Windup

On Monday night, September 14, 2015, I saw a true Burlesque artist, Nona Narcisse, at the Windup Space at 12 W. North Avenue in Baltimore, Maryland 21201.

She is a beautiful woman with a beautiful personality to match.   This live model was so creative in her poses and dance routine for her audience who came to draw her and to be in her presence.   The music played was deep and soulful. It reminded me of Annie Lenox’s version of “I put a spell on you” at the start of the movie, 50 Shades of Grey. I would love to have a CD of their music to play as a stress reliever.

At the Windup, Dr. Sketchy’s Anti-Art Club was held by emcees Alexis de la Rosa and Aaron Bush who announced breaks and costume changes.    I met some nice laid-back people in a nice crowd of old and young, artists and non-artists who wanted to draw. Some of the people were like me and hadn’t drawn anything in years.

Bring you own food, but please purchase your drinks there.       It would be worth your while to have a relaxing evening of drawing without the pressures of life and the kids.   While you are there, look at the beautiful photographs on the wall.

The drawing sessions are held the second Monday evening of each month.   The next scheduled model is Valeria Vox who will appear on Monday, October 12, 2015.   Check the website,   The hours are 7-10 p.m., and the doors open at 6 p.m.     Parking meters are not in effect after 6 p.m.   Admission is $10 online and $12 at the door.


Rosa Griffin