Photos and text by Amy Davis
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How did Trip, Finn and Ollie Hewitt, the identical triplets of Hampden, get ready for their first birthday party? While their mother took care of the party details, their father loaded them into the family’s Honda Pilot for an hour-long driving nap. This vital preparation epitomizes the careful planning and multi-tasking skills of the triplets’ parents, Kristen and Thomas Hewitt, Jr. While the boys slept, Thomas, Director of Service Development at the Maryland Transit Administration, navigated through some city bus routes being redesigned.
Since we last visited the Hewitt triplets three months ago, Ollie, Finn and Trip have become giggling, attentive, teething nine-month-olds. The fenced-in play area, once a mellow haven for bottle-feeding, is now a lively scene. Chubby arms and legs propel the boys as they crawl, pull themselves up, stand and play with toys and each other.
The kitchen is also a hub of exploration as the triplets eagerly feed themselves using spoons and fingers. Since the boys have each sprouted two bottom teeth, bottle feedings are interspersed with seated meals. Favorites include pancakes, yogurt, avocado, meatballs, watermelon and zucchini. Teething has presented the greatest challenge, triggering some low-grade fevers, more clingy behavior and sleep disruption – all taking its toll on parents Kristen and Thomas Hewitt Jr. Long daily stroller walks keep the caregivers in shape and providing both stimulation and nap time.
On a recent weekend, paternal grandparents Terry and Thomas Hewitt Sr., of Ramsey, New Jersey, were thrilled to see the changes since their last visit two months ago. “The progress they have made is unbelievable,” Terry remarked. Her husband added that the calmness of the triplets’ parents helps a great deal. “They are not hovering parents, but at the same time they are very protective.” Terry added, “The love that you see the boys have for each other matches how their parents feel. They all love one another.”
Venice Tavern, one of Highlandtown’s last basement bars, was born after Prohibition was repealed in 1933 when Mary Victoria and Frank DeSantis Sr. added a side stairwell to their corner house. The compact bar, located at South Conkling and Bank streets, started out serving shots, beers and spaghetti with meatballs.
When former corrections officer Lt. Melvin Easley toured the closed Baltimore City Men’s Detention Center recently, he was struck by the silence. The last inmates were relocated in August, and an eerie quiet had settled over the decrepit facility. No more hollering, as inmates tried to communicate across different sections, no more chatter from prisoners or guards, no more keys clanging, grills slamming, whistles blowing or heaters rattling.
Amy Davis, Baltimore Sun
When education reporter Liz Bowie enthusiastically described her special project on refugee students at Patterson High School last winter, I was intrigued because it was a subject I knew little about. The goal was to examine the complex challenges faced by refugee students and the staff in a high school where one-third of the students are immigrants. It took Liz many weeks of observation and interviews to determine which students might best illuminate the varied issues that beset these teens at different stages of assimilation. We had worked together before, so I trusted her judgment as we felt our way along, bouncing observations off each other. As the photographer, I faced a familiar dilemma. Photographers want to be brought in early on a project, yet we don’t want to waste time documenting situations that will never appear in the final story.
The brand-new Baltimore Beltway gave the 1964 Bel-Loc Diner the front-half of its name. The “Loc” comes from Loch Raven Boulevard, where the stainless-steel diner remains at the intersection with Joppa Road fifty-one years later. Today the Beltway is more congested, but less traffic finds its way to the diner. The jumbo neon sign is not working, and besides, the restaurant closes after the lunch shift. Yet the Bel-Loc perseveres as a Towson landmark, with the boldness of the space-age sixties expressed by its sky-piercing zig-zag roofline.