Rainbow Round-Up - November 2016 - January 2017

Five Questions With: Jason Curtis, General Manager, Hotel Indigo

Jason Curtis

The Hotel Indigo Baltimore opened in 2015, bringing a fresh and fun hotel to the already unique neighborhood of Mount Vernon.

1. What's most unique about Hotel Indigo?

Hotel Indigo is the only hotel in the city that represents Baltimore's literary history. We've taken our inspiration from the Enoch Pratt Free Library and the George Peabody Library to create a themed hotel that provides an independent Baltimore experience. From our replication of a Mount Vernon mansion parlor, Zelda's Parlor, to the wall-papered pencil etchings in our guest rooms, to the naming of our restaurant – Poets Modern Cocktails & Eats, we're all about Baltimore and historic Mount Vernon! Even our tagline "As Original as Baltimore" speaks to the unique experience our hotel offers.

2. What does the Indigo bring to Baltimore that other hotels might not?

Hotel Indigo is an upscale full-service boutique hotel providing a unique experience. We're upscale without being pretentious. We're about our neighborhood; promoting the arts, promoting the dining options in Mount Vernon, promoting the theater and local businesses. While we have the power of an international brand behind us, we're extremely independent and support local businesses as often as we can! No two people are alike, and no two Hotel Indigo properties are alike.

3. How has the Indigo preserved the history of both the building and the neighborhood it's in?

Our hotel is located in a beautiful historic property built in 1882 that once housed Baltimore's first YMCA. The area of the hotel is today known as Mount Vernon; however, more specifically referred to as Cathedral Hill – the neighborhood between Mount Vernon and Downtown Baltimore. Our designer did a fantastic job in maintaining the exterior of the building while modernizing the interior completely. Because we are a conversion, not every room is the same, so each visit is just as unique. We also have murals throughout the hotel that reflect the historic integrity of the neighborhood.

4. What suggestions do you give to visitors about things to do in Baltimore?

There is so much more to Baltimore than just the Inner Harbor. While the Inner Harbor is an important economic driver, there are so many other unique experiences available; of course, the Enoch Pratt Free Library and George Peabody Library are great historic masterpieces that I encourage everyone to visit. The design and architecture are amazing throughout Mount Vernon and the various neighborhoods that make up Baltimore. There is also "the most beautiful square in America" – the Washington Monument (1815) and Mount Vernon Place park that surrounds the monument. Druid Hill Park can be such a relaxing getaway from the inner city hustle, and a stroll through the Rawlings Conservatory & Botanical Gardens is very relaxing. Many cities like New Orleans and Philadelphia have some great historic cemeteries – but don't forget the Green Mount Cemetery where you can add a penny to the grave site of John Wilkes Booth, Abraham Lincoln's assassin.

5. What's your favorite thing about Baltimore?

By far my favorite thing about Baltimore, beyond the history and affordability, is its people. It is one of the most culturally rich, diverse, open-minded cities I have ever lived in or visited. We're fortunate to have so much diversity in a progressive, affordable city on the East Coast! Having major educational institutions like the Peabody Institute, Maryland Institute College of Art, Johns Hopkins, University of Maryland Baltimore and University of Baltimore all help add to this eclectic community.

Special Events & Exhibitions

Queer Interiors
Baltimore Museum of Art
Through August 31, 2017
Queer Interiors is part of the BMA's Commons Collaboration initiative, which commissions an artist and nonprofit to work together on an installation and offer a series of public programs related to Imagining Home. The project, conceived and produced by Rahne Alexander and Jaimes Mayhew, comprises a larger-than-life bed, shelving and other furnishings, personal artifacts, and a multimedia wall quilt known as the Baltimore LGBTQI+ Home Movie Quilt. This component of the installation pays homage to Baltimore album quilts and the AIDS Quilt, with the aim of presenting a crowd-sourced multimedia portrait of the city's LGBTQI+ communities.

Yummm! The History, Fantasy, and Future of Food
American Visionary Art Museum
Through September 3, 2017
The American Visionary Art Museum raises a toast for its 21st birthday with a new visual feast in the original art exhibition Yummm! The History, Fantasy, and Future of Food. Inside Yummm! 35 visionary artists join forces with food scientists, farmers, nutritionists, environmental activists, psychologists, poets and humorists to publicly explore humankind's complex, multilayered relationship with food. As George Bernard Shaw wryly observed, "There is no love more sincere than love of food."

Baltimore Museum of Art
Through January 29, 2017
As the first major exhibition to show the profound influence of French modern artist Henri Matisse on the work of American artist Richard Diebenkorn, Matisse/Diebenkorn brings together more than 90 objects from museums and private collections throughout the United States and Europe that have never been shown together before. The breathtaking juxtapositions of these artworks – created centuries, continents and cultures apart – present a stunning new view of two artists who never met. The exhibition is co-organized by the BMA and San Francisco Museum of Modern Art; and the BMA is the only East Coast venue for this highly anticipated exhibition.

Holiday Festivities
It's the most wonderful time of year in Baltimore, as the city is brimming with fun-filled seasonal events and holiday cheer. From downtown holiday spectaculars like the Pandora Ice Rink and Christmas Village to beloved neighborhood traditions like Hampden's quirky Miracle on 34th Street light display and Mount Vernon's 45th annual Monument lighting, there's a sleigh full of ways to have amazing holiday adventures. Want to catch it all? Step on board the Holly Jolly Trolley to take a festive tour of Baltimore's most decorated neighborhoods and attractions.

New Year's Eve Spectacular
Inner Harbor
December 31, 9 p.m. – 12:30 a.m.
Ring in the New Year with Baltimore's signature local flair in the Inner Harbor. Count down with music from local legends, Super Bueno, and celebrate the first minutes of 2017 with a spectacular display of fireworks sparkling over the Inner Harbor.

Baltimore Restaurant Week
January 13-22, 2017
Baltimore offers a unique dining experience that encourages guests to dine their way through the city. Participating restaurants offer specially selected three-course lunch and dinner prix-fixe menu options as the city celebrates its diversity in dining.

Where to Stay

With more than 25 TAG-approved hotels and over 10 IGLTA partner accommodations, choices range from quaint B&Bs and boutique hotels to larger upscale hotels and extended stay properties.

Hotel Indigo
24 W. Franklin Street
Baltimore, MD 21201

Weaving a literary thread through every inch of its storied West Franklin Street address, Hotel Indigo Baltimore pairs its turn-of-the-century history as the city's first YMCA with modern-day amenities that delight its on-the-go guests. From complimentary Wine Wednesday receptions to the city's most affordable public parking just steps from the front door, Hotel Indigo Baltimore's 162 guest rooms and suites introduce fresh, approachable style to this classic seaport city.

Where to Dine

Baltimore's culinary scene is drawing rave reviews from around the globe, including those from Zagat and Wine Enthusiast naming Baltimore a top food destination. From the Inner Harbor to our trendy, historic and hip neighborhoods throughout the city, dining options in Baltimore have expanded in recent years to feature a veritable smorgasbord of cuisines and a range of stylish environments to suit every taste.

Points South Baltimore
1640 Thames Street
Baltimore, MD 21231

Points South Latin Kitchen provides guests with exceptional local grown foods focusing on Central and South American cuisine with an exciting interpretation of the Latin dishes. Fare includes tamales and skewered pinchos, as well as heartier plates like chimichurri steak and Chilean sea bass. The cocktail menu also reflects flavors of the region, highlighting mojitos, mezcals and sangria. Points South offers cooking and cocktail classes and South American wine tasting dinners, and features a private table in the downtown cellar.

Drag Brunches
Hotel Indigo & Points South Baltimore

Sunday brunch is anything but a drag in Baltimore! Enjoy bottomless mimosas and Bloody Marys as well as feature performances by female impersonators the second Sunday of each month at Poets Modern Cocktails & Eats, located in the Hotel Indigo. For reservations, call (443) 961-3400. Want to make it a weekend ritual? Points South Latin Kitchen's Drag Brunch, held the first and third Sunday of each month, has quickly become one of Baltimore's premier brunch destinations. For reservations, call (443) 563-2018.