Despite the fact that some folks consider this here blog a “news” source, we are actually a completely opinionated Web site that occasionally delves into local politics, City of Annapolis shenanigans, Annapolis rumors, and activities of the Annapolis Police Department. And tonight, we’re venturing out to a true passion- shopping!
I remember my first Midnight Madness quite memorably… had no idea what it was about and was invited to join my very-first-friend-in-Annapolis and her mother to check it out. I discovered Tin Can Allee, or something similar to that name, on the corner of West and Cathedral, that night. (that place was great) I’m not sure if it was the awesome company of the evening or the overall joy and excitement and genuine holiday spirit that filled the streets of Annapolis, but I knew after that night just how special and to some degree, magical, Annapolis truly is.
As a lover of downtown, a very seasoned shopper, a serious bargain hunter and someone who, even in their 30’s, has to take NyQuil on Christmas Eve because of my excitement for Santa’s visit, I live for events like this. My must-stop shops, always, are Mary & Blanche! and Lilac Bijoux. If you appreciate the humor in this blog, I can guarantee you’ll very much enjoy the crap (crap as in, best place to find a stocking stuffer or hostess gift for someone with a sense of humor) that Mary & Blanche! sells. And if you love fashion and sparkles and fun jewelry (or you have to buy a prezzy for someone who does) you can (usually) always find something on the tables at Lilac Bijoux. They also have some rad clothes, but until I return to the gym, I’ll stick to their jewelry. Both shops are on Main Street and both shop’s owners are all absolutely lovely people.
Since I can remember, I’ve maintained that Annapolis, and your opinion on the historic district, is usually based on your experience. No matter how delicious that $10 gourmet sandwich on goody bread (for an extra $2) is or how refreshing your $5 bottle of water is, if you don’t have a pleasant experience, you’re much less likely to return. Have to wait 30 minutes at a wine bar for a glass of water and be told they are “out of glasses”? Not really likely to buy another bottle, no matter how fabulous it sounds. Or if a business owner is your next door neighbor and is too good to speak (or even smile) to anyone on the block, you’re not going to support them. Because Annapolis is about the experience. And for many, it’s about the relationships built from your experience.
As a new reader recently wrote, “I like your clear, not-politically-correct approach” and the blog takes pride in calling it like it is, at least in our eyes. (it’s that whole totally subjective thing) So as one might imagine, our relationships are true and genuine. We obviously aren’t wearing Best Friends necklaces with City Council members, or married to the only Republican Alderman, but apparently someone out there is. And that relationship has clouded the city’s judgement, again, regarding Midnight Madness and the use of Market House. (And he’s planning on running for Mayor next year…)
Last night, I started writing this post with the intention of it being all about shopping. And then found this article. I was SHOCKED. And then pissed. And now just downright disappointed. On so many levels. Disappointed that the City of Annapolis completely contradicts themselves and can’t even follow their own policies… the exact policies they so easily and quickly spout when asked a question. (Their law requires licenses for these events, which have to be approved by City Council.) They don’t play fair, ever. Disappointed that Mike Malinoff would make such a jackass comment. (What professional goes on the record with the media and says, “if so and so wanted it, he could have had it” like a 5 year old) Disappointed that the Market House is not being made available to any community group. Disappointed that the City of Annapolis obviously doesn’t think that maybe these craft fair type vendors would be competing with our local merchants who are part of downtown 365 days a year and pay taxes so they can operate. Disappointed that again, the City continues to display signs of an “old boys network.” And disappointed with some of the reactions shared at the end of the article. And to SafetyFirst, the individual who wrote, “This is just one of the many reasons I who am a long time resident of this city will not spend a penny on any business downtown” … it is because of people like you that one of the true landmark businesses of downtown is closing their doors.
And a simple disclaimer before people jump all over me, please know that my grandmother died of breast cancer. I work in women’s health. And I’m involved in a lot of charity work, and have been for over half my life. I get it.
So, much like the overall debacle of Market House, the City of Annapolis government again displays signs of total incompetency. I have no doubt tonight’s Midnight Madness will be an amazing evening full of energy, excitement, good will and holiday spirit. I’m excited to see this magical town decorated for the holidays, the sidewalks packed and many familiar faces on the streets. I’m not too excited about spending money, but I will. Not at the Market House, of course, but for no other reason than to show my support for my town. And I hope each of you do as well! Who knows, you just may see or hear something seriously Annapolis Chatter worthy…