Bel Air News & Views does Hampden’s Miracle on 34th Street


You’ve heard about it. You’ve seen it on TV. You’ve thought about going to see it. It’s Hampden’s very own Miracle on 34th Street. This Baltimore neighborhood block has been lighting up Griswold-style since 1988. It’s been featured in the news each year (it makes for great TV pictures.) And it’s become as much of a tradition here as any tree lighting ceremony from Rockefeller Center to Washington D.C. But it’s soo far from Bel Air. Actually, it takes about an hour to get there from here. Bel Air News & Views takes the family every year. We prefer the drive by rather than the look-for-a-place to park and walk around, although that looks like fun, too. We just went Sunday night, arriving at 7:50 p.m. Santa greeted us, sitting astride a motorcycle in full costume when we turned off Keswick Road onto the the 700 block of 34th Street. He gave us a friendly wave while I desperately tried to get a few pictures in focus. (As you can see, I didn’t succeed.) The hubcap tree was there (although it was difficult to capture a shot of it in the dark). And although I recall hearing news of one 34th street denzien renouncing those ubiquitious blow-up decorations, I did spy at least one nestled among the twinkling lights. Every time I drive down Hampden’s main 36th Street drag, I make a note to come back when I have time to stroll. They have some great little shops and restaurants. I really want to peek inside In Watermelon Sugar (3555 Chestnut Ave). It’s a home and bath accessories store, but it just sounds really good.

Since my photos aren’t very good, I offer the following links for better photos and more info on 34th Street’s Christmas display:
The Baltimore Sun’s coverage this year
Hampden Tales from Charm City
WJZ coverage of 34th Street from 2005

For directions to 34th Street, check the website. Here’s what they suggest from our area:

“From the north – I-695 to I-83 South, Cold Spring Lane Exit EAST – 1st light is Falls Rd – Make a right – Make a left at the light at 36th Street (There’s a 7-11 on your left) Make a right at the light at Chestnut Avenue – your next left is 34th Street”