Bolton Hill Notes

Getting ready for the holidays? Get vaxed for free, close to home

Planning a trip out of town over the holidays? Or perhaps you will have a house full of visitors? The surest way to protect yourself indoors and out is to have your first and second COVID 19 inoculations and, if you are eligible, a booster shot. You can get the shots for free, a short distance from where you live.

The state health department has opened a vaccine and testing site at State Center, 300 W. Preston St., between Eutaw and Mason streets. The shots are offered on a walk-up basis for people 12 and over on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays from 8 a.m. to noon, and on Saturdays until 3:30 p.m. On Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays they offer COVID tests, from 8 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. The facility will be closed Dec. 25 and Jan. 1. Appointments for testing for all ages are recommended. Vaccines for young children require an appointment.

Walgreens at 238 McMechen St., Rite Aid at 250 West Chase St., and Safeway’s pharmacy at 2401 N. Charles St. all offer shots by appointments and sometimes on a walk-in basis. Park Avenue Pharmacy is not offering the shots, but it does sell at-home COVID test kits.

Leaf collection is underway 

During leaf season, Midtown’s Green Team is out cleaning up leaves in the streets, sidewalks, and parks. Midtown Benefits District staff monitor the community, focusing on areas that have yet to be serviced and those that have the greater needs. In all they cover 144 blocks, including all of Bolton Hill, collecting fallen leaves from over 4,000 trees.

With many still working from home, you may experience short bursts of noise when a team is on your block, a short-term noise in exchange for streets and sidewalks cleared of leaves. Midtown says it will will only deploy within times allowed by municipal noise codes. To protect Midtown workers, brief road closures may be necessary.

Midtown takes the leaves it collects to partners at urban farms and community gardens to be composted. In more densely populated and high vehicular traffic areas, Midtown teams sweep the leaves by hand and bag them for trash collection, which can be a tedious process. They ask for your patience as they collect these leaves. Midtown will be back several times over the upcoming weeks to collect leaves. If you need to have piles of leaves collected or leaf bags removed, please submit a request online at

Owner of Mount Royal Tavern dies

An owner of the famous (some would say infamous) Mt. Royal Tavern has died.

Ron Carback, a Baltimore native who gave up a career in banking to run a dive bar that Esquire magazine in 2016 ranked among the country’s best such joints, died of complications of skin cancer. He was 71. His longtime friend and co-owner, Chris Kozak, continues running the bar.

Not a regular at the tavern? This film, Dirt Church, captures its spirit.

Reverse holiday caroling set for Sunday, Dec. 19, 3-4:30 p.m.

Stroll the neighborhood and enjoy holiday music from different groups throughout the neighborhood. Featuring:

  • 3 in Threes: Selections from Tchaikovsky’s Nutcracker Suite and other holiday favorites, inside Memorial Episcopal Church
  • Brett Naylor: holiday music. Ana’s Garden at the end of Mosher St.
  • David Storey: Christmas music on the organ, corner of Bolton in front of Cookhouse
  • Frintini Family Band: All ages sing-along-caroling. John St. Park and West Lafayette.

It’s hosted by: Brown Memorial Presbyterian and Memorial Episcopal churches. Brown Memorial will offer cocoa and cookies on the church’s front steps.

Legislators to discuss state funding initiatives

The four legislators who represent most of Bolton Hill will hold a Zoom hearing Thursday (Dec. 16) from 5:30 to 7 p.m. to discuss legislative bond initiatives for the 40th legislative district and beyond.

A Legislative Bond Initiative (LBI) is a request for state funding to support specific local or non-state owned capital projects. These projects include various cultural, historic, health, educational, and economic development projects not funded by other state capital grant and loan projects.

Sen. Antonio Hayes and Delegates Melissa Wells, Frank Conaway Jr. and Marion Amprey, all Democrats, will host the meeting. To register go to

 About The Bulletin. . . .

The Bulletin publishes monthly except in the summer and invites your feedback, suggestions and submissions. Send them to Laura McConnell is our designer. Marci Yankelov is the business manager. Contributors for this issue, among others, are Drew Dupuy, Monty Howard, Paula Jackson and Rob Kasper. I own the errors and omissions.

– Bill Hamilton