Station North already looks a lot different than it did less than a decade ago.
North Avenue west of Charles St. and along Charles St. itself are bustling at night with people headed to theaters and bars that have opened --- very unlike the vacant storefronts reflecting the fluorescent lights of fast-food restaurant signs.
But according to the Station North Arts and Entertainment District's executive director, about 10,000 cars drive north on Charles St. through the district every day during the evening commute. As I wrote in today's paper, he and other leaders want to encourage more people to stay for a while and to patronize the businesses and support the artists who make the neighborhood so unique.
The organizers are using both a $150,000 National Federation for the Arts grant as well as matching funds and donations to try to fill in gaps --- both in those early evening hours as well as in underutilized blocks and spaces in the district.
The plan is to offer free entertainment --- music and performance art --- for people to enjoy on "Final Fridays" of every month, as well as 150 "Sta-Notes," each worth $2, to lower the cost of food, merchandise or cover charges at participating businesses.
For the first Final Friday, David Wax Museum will have a free show, along with local band Sac Au Lait. Paco Fish, Ambush Theater, the Baltimore Rock Opera Society and Brinson Renda will also be performing.
Do you plan to attend Final Fridays? What would you like to see come to Station North? What else would encourage you to spend more time (and money) there?