For many households with people working from home and kids not in school during the evolving coronavirus pandemic, one of the biggest challenges will be how to fight boredom. Now is the appropriate time to turn to streaming services, books, music, movies and art to keep spirits up and minds engaged during the evolving crisis.
Fortunately, Baltimore has produced and inspired so many works and creators that there’s no shortage of ways to appreciate and learn from Charm City during this pandemic. Here are a number of options available to you from the safety and convenience of home. Keep in mind that many, but not all, of these options are not family-friendly and may have adult language and themes.
Widely regarded as one of the greatest television shows of all time, “The Wire” is a portrait of Baltimore through the lenses of The War on Drugs and systemic failures. Former Baltimore Sun reporter David Simon’s unflinching and cinematic portrayal of Charm City’s darkest chapters is available for HBO subscribers to stream via HBO and the HBO GO app.
Films of John Waters
Whether you’re well-versed in this Baltimore native filmmaker’s unique brand of camp or not, now’s a great time to look back at John Waters’ extensive canon. Charm City’s rowhomes, neighborhoods and aesthetic charms take on a special character under the prolific artist’s unique eye. Many of these movies, including “Cry-Baby” and “Hairspray,” are available via Amazon Video.
Lor Scoota documentary
Local rapper Lor Scoota built a significant following, especially in the Baltimore area, before he was killed after an anti-violence event in 2016. Fans, both old and new, can learn about the rapper before his untimely death by watching this 2014 documentary on YouTube.
'The Case Against Adnan Syed’
The case that inspired the first wildly successful season of the “Serial” podcast is revisited in this four-part HBO documentary series from last year. Directed by Oscar nominee Amy Berg, the riveting docuseries is available via HBO and HBO GO.
Baltimore Museum of Art works and videos
While you can’t make it to Baltimore’s premiere arts institutions while quarantined, at least one of its biggest museums allows viewers to experience the works from afar. Visit artbma.org/collections to see thousands of images from the BMA’s collections. Visit the same parent website to catch. Go to stories.bma.org to learn more about exhibits you’d otherwise catch on display, and find even more content on the BMA’s YouTube channel.
Enoch Pratt Free Library digital offerings
All you need is a library card to access tons of e-books, magazines, audiobooks and more. Just visit prattlibrary.org/elibrary for tons of literary and artistic content for the whole family.
Books by local authors
Speaking of library content, now would be a great time to catch up on the work of local authors. Consider the works of contemporary authors like D. Watkins, Laura Lippman and Ta-Nehisi Coates, as well as classic Baltimoreans like Edgar Allan Poe.
B’More Birds Coloring Pages
Maybe you want something more educational and interactive for you and your child while they’re stuck at home from school. The B’More Birds Mural Project has you covered with 13 special coloring pages, modeled after artist Iandry Randriamandroso’s murals, that you can have fun coloring with your little one. Just visit bmorebirds.com/coloring-pages to find them.
12 O’Clock Boys
Being inside probably means you probably can’t see Baltimore’s famed dirtbike riders hitting the city streets anytime soon. Take the time to learn about the culture from the iconic documentary that inspired the upcoming motion picture, “Charm City Kings.” Lotfy Nathan’s film is available for streaming through a variety of platforms, as well as for purchase via 12oclockboys.com.
Sound of Baltimore Spotify playlists
Even with all this free time, building a working knowledge of Baltimore music is a difficult task. Start with the Sound of Baltimore playlists, including one focusing on indie/rock and another on hip hop, from Spotify.
Lamar Jackson highlight reel
Of course, if you love our sports teams, you can’t go wrong with reliving the Ravens’ record-breaking 2019 season and watching highlights from quarterback Lamar Jackson. Over and over.