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What makes Hampden Hampden? There's something for everybody here

Lately, I've done a few interviews about what my take on Hampden is. I've talked to a woman with a fashion blog who wanted me to summarize what I thought "Hampden-style" was. Man, that was a tough one.

I spoke to Southern Living magazine about what makes Hampden so unique. I've even spoken to groups of high school students in a summer program at Hopkins, who were asking me what I think about how the neighborhood has changed over the years.

At the heart of all these conversations is what makes Hampden, well, Hampden. To which I usually respond, in a relatively small neighborhood, there are many sub-neighborhoods.

What makes Hampden Hampden is that there's something for everyone here. And here are some examples.

The Hampden Hi-Fi: Summer Concert Series rolls on in Roosevelt Park, with more and more people turning out each week from 6 -9 p.m.. Even a minor afternoon shower a few Fridays back couldn't completely dampen the excitement of sitting out in the park with neighbors, enjoying a refreshing beverage and singing along to local cover bands.

On Friday, July 6, The Sound Checks and friends play the park. And on July 13, the Jon Wood Band with special guest Jordan August play.

There's usually food, beverages and snacks for sale as well, with proceeds going to benefit The Roosevelt Park Recreation Council.

July 6 is also the next First Fridays in Hampden. Many local businesses will be open late, serving snacks and treats and hosting different events. Atomic Books will be hosting an Atomic Luau from 7-9 p.m., featuring Hula Honey's Hawaiian Shaved Ice. Area residents Momi and Ramsey Antonio-Barnes have converted an adorable scooter into a mini-food truck.

There will also be Hawaiian music by The Ginger Blossoms, featuring Don Peyton and Randy Austin. So, aloha!

Also on July 6, one of my favorite local bands, The Jennifers, plays the Golden West Cafe, 1105 W. 36th St., with The Dialogue and The Sky Drops opening.

Then, on July 11, Yeveto plays the Golden West with Chris Forsyth.

And on July 15, Male Bondage, The Convocation and Friend Collector will be taking over the cafe. Doors for the shows usually open around 10:30 p.m.

And at Minás Gallery, 815 W. 36th St., Poetry Sundays kicks off with readings by Eleanor Lewis and E. Megg Magee on July 8 at 4 p.m., with an open mic to follow.

Finally, on July 14 at Minás, Rachel Hennick reads from her new book, "Ghetto Medic," at 5 p.m.. It's the true story of Bill, a Baltimore City firefighter and paramedic — and Rachel's father.

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