Humans of Hampden

No, this idea is not original. But I made it my own. I got this idea from here and from a book by the same name that I received as a birthday gift from Christie and Sean. My final thought before falling asleep a few nights ago was, “I need to make a Humans of Hampden.”

And here it is.

I have taken all but one of these photos and I have only written one of these captions myself. While this was the easiest blog to “write,” it was the most time-consuming to create. I still cannot believe how much fun I had talking to all of these awesome people who agreed to be a part of this. If your photo is below, thank you for your participation, for trusting me, and for letting me steal your soul (kidding–or am I?).

Thank you to my darling Sierra who is an actual photographer and let me borrow her camera so I could pretend to be one for a few days.

Shout out to my four rotating co-pilots in the past few days: Morgan, Sarah, Becky, and Gabby.

This post has made me wish I had more reasons to talk to strangers, especially in my favorite neighborhood. For more on Hampden, see this post.

Lastly before the big show, if I had taken my own photo my caption would be “Whatever you are, be a good one.”

Please feel free to enjoy, share, or guffaw at…

Humans of Hampden

“Work together. Live together. Nap together.”
“I was never the type of girl who ran up to other people’s dogs to pet them or got all excited over puppies…and actually when I think about it, I avoided dogs for the most part—especially any that would jump or sniff my lady parts without my consent…but the minute we walked Maggie home from the SPCA, something changed and I was officially a dog person!  I have become the girl who wants and needs all dogs, talks in a dog voice, spends money on special grain free pet food, will defend Maggie and speak her praises whenever I can, and is okay with dog hair on her clothes and it just took was one pit bull formerly know as Sherri to change it all.” 
– Morgan


“Board down there chillin’.”
– Derek King


“I want to bring boat-building back to Baltimore. This is a nautical town.  So I’m starting in my basement.  I’ve already built a bunch – stand up paddle boards, kayaks, and a 17 foot dory…and they’re only going to get bigger!”
“I’m thinking about whether I need to get back to work in human rights, anti-slavery, here in Baltimore. I mean, what am I doing painting pictures? Is it enough?” 
Left: “I encourage anyone interested in improving our city to take a look at the Facebook page for Close Up Baltimore which shows a more authentic view than what the media shows.”
Right: “Fuck the police.”

“Future soldier.”
– Romario Morris
“‘What are they filming over there?’ I asked a bank security guard while strolling through Hampden on a lunch break. House of Cards, the man answered, eyeing me. ‘Ain’t you in it?’ I had to laugh, reminded that modern work attire surely resembles a prison jumpsuit and that too often books are judged by their covers. I can’t get enough of this neighborhood, its unique angles and people and rooflines, odd shops and sweets. Sometimes I’ll walk for an hour straight, turning down the narrowest alleys I can find, taking in off-kilter porches and turquoise tin and gnome parties on makeshift lawns, feeling the squish of soft mud beneath dress shoes in the park as I lend a free, unmeant scare to those doing god-knows-what in the woods. Sitting by the skate park, perusing the bookstore for a deal too good to pass up, climbing the enticing steps of Luigi’s–best sub shop in the city–I find solace, knowing I’m not the only one who’s talking to themselves, dreaming up a moment that seems in view but just out of reach, grasping, kicking up a cloud of dust, thinking I’ll see something that will spark something morphing into something else becoming tangible like our surroundings, our neighborhood—smells, sound, tastes. Sometimes they’re filming hit TV shows. More often they’re not. But it’s all out there, for us, if we choose to immerse ourselves, in it.”
“It is what it is.” 
“Everyone keeps telling me to put on a jacket but it’s April and I refuse.”
“And for the record, I am cold.” 
“Hanging out on the porch of the pie shop.”
– Rodney


“It’s too windy to drop in today.”
– Josh
“[In Hampden] you can be whoever you want to be, just be you!” 
“Been home from work for five minutes. I’m gettin’ cozy.”
“Himalayan guy in a blue cap.”
“Meandering with Molly.”
“Are my eyes closed?”
“Van Man wants to take you for a ride!” 
-my dad 
“I get off at 6. Then I’m gonna go home, drink cider, and watch professional wrestling.”
– Meredith at The Charmery
“I’m too young to have wise words, but I enjoy eating and a smile never hurts.”
“When you’re hot, you’re hot.”
– Shelly Shellhorn of Crafted Salon
“All you can do is BE YOU.”
– Crystal Whitman of
“I am an artist, a painter and printmaker. I’ve been working at Royal Farms for about four years now, I manage digital marketing for the company (excluding social) and I also run the test kitchen, amongst other things. The day this picture was taken we were testing new breakfast options (sorry, I’m sworn to secrecy). I have three sons, all under the age of 12 – I’m a single parent. Also, I perform in community theatre, the last show I was in was Determination of Azimuth, a Baltimore Rock Opera production started at Arena Players. I’m less busy now that show is over.” 




“Ever since the day I met Rob, he’s been a really good friend. And I thank God he blessed us both to meet each other. Since day one, we’ve been very good friends and we’ve always had a helping hand for one another.”
– Chuck and Rob
“Checkin’ the phone.”
“People are dying to get in there.”
“Country dog vs. city squirrel.” 
“I like taking pictures with people. I like to draw too.”
The number 95.
“Dog matches boots.”
“Dwight Schrute would be welcome in Hampden.”
“Celebrating the Hubble Telescope’s 28th Birthday!”
“Never leaving Baltimore.”
“No, this is not a Ravens jacket.”
“Visit Strawberry Fields for bargains and treasures. We give teacher and student discounts all year long.”
“Come to the library for free books, music, and movies.”



“Send help.”



5 thoughts on “Humans of Hampden

  1. When I walk down the street in Hampden with Chris every young person we see says ‘hi, how ya doin’, I love that! I think it’s a very friendly neighborhood and I talk to strangers there all the time. Huh, that could be partly just me…..


  2. Pingback: Perspective: Baltimore/Amandy | Write, Amandy

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