Don't go looking for Lynde Pratt at home. When she's not working as a graphic designer downtown, this wife and mother of 16-month-old Lucas is taking advantage of the fact that she lives in Hampden--a true walking neighborhood.
"Everything is totally walkable," she says. In fact, she didn't really get to know her neighborhood until she and her husband got a four-legged friend two years ago. "Hampden is really dog friendly." Her pooch gets a tour of surrounding blocks every day--from The Avenue to the water tower--and Lynde gets to socialize with neighbors she knows and some she doesn't.Chow down
Lynde and her family stroll down to The Avenue for a bite to eat several times a month. The Golden Wes
t--a must for parents and kids--is a favorite. A kid-friendly environment and menu is great for Lucas, who needs a room big enough to roam before dinner arrives and loud enough to muffle his 1-year-old voice. "Golden West has a good atmosphere for that," Lynde says. "That's primarily our hang out now."
The restaurant is also just right for the occasional date night, where its Long Bar is legend for great beers on tap and midnight breakfast burritos. Holy Frijoles
across the street is another choice spot.
Although she's not much of a shopper, Lynde does like the charming and funky gifts at Hometown Girl
, where Baltimore-themed souvenirs reign supreme. Atomic Books
is just the thing when she's looking for comic-themed coasters or metal lunchboxes.
"Since The Avenue is only a few blocks away, if I need something funky, I go there," she says.
One of the best things about Hampden is its accessibility to the rest of Baltimore. "We like being able to get everywhere quickly and easily," Lynde says. On weekdays she walks Lucas to his sitter in nearby Medfield, before catching public transportation downtown.
Better yet is the green space that Hampden offers. "We have a front yard and a backyard," Lynde says. "Our block is tree-lined and quiet and quite nice." And the whole family takes advantage of several playgrounds in the vicinity.
"Hampden is not too upscale or too downtrodden," Lynde says. "There seems to be a lot of people who are really invested in keeping the neighborhood vibrant."