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Out of the Blocks

98 EpisodesProduced by Aaron Henkin, Wendel PatrickWebsite

Out of the Blocks is a uniquely immersive listening experience that emerges from a mosaic of voices and soundscapes on the streets of Baltimore. A custom-tailored score colors and connects this tapestry of stories hidden in plain sight.

episodes iconAll Episodes

Barbara's Groceries, Then & Now

August 17th, 2021


We first met the guys at Barbara’s Groceries back in 2015 on the 4700 block of Liberty Heights Avenue. This episode, we reunite with them, we listen back together to their original recordings, and we ask them, “How’s …

B Love & Bridge of Hope, Then & Now

August 10th, 2021


This episode, we reconnect with Traci ‘B-Love’ Bartlow, who runs a boutique hotel on the ground floor of her home in West Oakland’s Lower Bottoms neighborhood. She tells us how her life and her business have changed …

Antonio & Pat & Andrea, Then & Now

August 3rd, 2021


We first met Antonio McDuffy and Pat & Andrea Wills on the 400 block of E Patapsco Avenue back in 2015. This episode, we reunite with them, we listen back together to their original recordings, and we ask them, …

Wayne & Aaron, Then & Now

July 27th, 2021


We first met Wayne Brewton & Pastor Aaron Hannah on the 600 block of Cherry Hill Road back in 2017. This episode, we reunite with Wayne & Aaron, we listen back together to their original recordings, and we ask …

Sissy & Shaniqua, Then & Now

July 20th, 2021


We first met Okhui ‘Sissy’ Benlein & Shaniqua McCready on the 1900 block of Pennsylvania Avenue back in 2018. This episode, we reunite with Sissy & Shaniqua, we listen back together to their original recordings, …

George & Gus, Then & Now

July 12th, 2021


We first met Gus Zissimos & George Anagnostou on the 4700 block of Eastern Avenue back in 2015. This episode, we reunite with George & Gus, we listen back together to their original recordings, and we ask them, …

Arlo & Lei Ann, Then & Now

July 6th, 2021


We reconnect with Arlo Iron Cloud, our partner at KILI Radio, The Voice of the Lakota Nation, on the Pine Ridge Reservation. He tells us how life has changed for him and his family over the past few years. We also check …

Foots & Lateef, Then & Now

June 29th, 2021


We first met Gregory Hill (AKA Foots) and Lateef Aderomilehin on the 2100 block of Edmondson Avenue back in 2017. This episode, we reunite with Foots & Lateef, we listen back together to their original recordings, …

Tymekia & Will, Then & Now

June 21st, 2021


We first met Tymekia Spellman and Will Jackson on the 4700 block of Liberty Heights Avenue back in 2015. This episode, we reunite with Tymekia & Will, we listen back together to their original recordings, and we ask …

James & Theresa, Then & Now

June 14th, 2021


We first met James Carter and Theresa Marable on the 3300 block of Greenmount Avenue in back 2012, in the very first episode of Out of the Blocks. This episode, we reunite with James and Theresa, we listen back together …

Young Wisdom

January 21st, 2021


Have you ever been a mentor to someone? Maybe you had a mentor of your own? How did it change your life? January is National Mentoring Month, and this episode we turn our attention to the voices and the stories of some …

Sidewalk Serenades

November 25th, 2020


This pandemic’s been a tough time for musicians. Clubs are closed, and gigs are cancelled. But our friends at Baltimore’s Creative Alliance had a …

Space Sonification

September 14th, 2020


They have access to the collected astronomical data of the world’s most powerful space telescopes, and they’re stuck at home in quarantine.  Here’s …

James' Block: An Outlier

June 9th, 2020


This episode is about a virtual block that makes up the current world of one fascinating and unusual young man. His name is James Burrows. He’s a musical genius, and he’s autistic. This week, he’s graduating from high …

Lexington Market, part 3: On a Humble

May 8th, 2020


Well, this long-overdue episode wasn’t originally intended to be an audio time-capsule, but, you know… life.  Here’s a final look back at a venerable …

Um, Now What?

March 28th, 2020


We’re working through how to best proceed on near-future episodes of the show, and we want to invite you into the conversation. Got an interesting online ‘block’? Hit us up on Instagram @outoftheblocks1 or on twitter …

Lexington Market, part 2: Engines of Change

March 13th, 2020


Conversations with vendors & market-goers about the past & present of Lexington Market, a look at hopes for (and doubts about) the market’s future, and a talk with the idealistic developer responsible for the …

Lexington Market, part 1: Survival of the Fittest

February 28th, 2020


Change is knocking on the door of Baltimore’s iconic Lexington Market. Ground has been broken on a new market building, and local vendors are wondering if they’ll have a place in the much-hyped new structure. In this …

Melody & Verse

February 14th, 2020


We love it on this podcast when we meet people who are natural storytellers. And it’s an extra bonus when they happen to be talented musicians or poets, too.  This episode, we celebrate some of our favorite musical and …

Charleston,WV, West Side, part 2: We May See a Harvest

February 1st, 2020


Our audio tour through Charleston’s West Side continues with a community gardener, an antique collector, a symphony clarinetist, a deli owner, and a …

Charleston, WV, West Side, part 1: History Laid Down Like Shellac

January 17th, 2020


We take the show to Charleston West Virginia’s West Side neighborhood to visit a family barbecue joint, a country music jamboree, a faith-based …


January 3rd, 2020


Every scar comes with a story. And if you’re telling the story, it means you survived whatever gave you that scar.In this episode, stories about things that left a mark.

Barbershop Stories

December 20th, 2019


Tales of camaraderie, mentorship, second chances, prosperity, and style, from barbershops in Baltimore and beyond.  Have a seat, grab a newspaper, and make yourself comfortable… the next available barber will take you …

Juneau, Alaska, part 2: Learn How to Fall

December 6th, 2019


A game hunter consults his conscience, a Native Rights advocate remembers being separated from her heritage, a local chef plays host to TV …

Juneau, Alaska, part 1: We Belong to Each Other

November 22nd, 2019


A visit with a Chilkat Ravenstail weaver, a rain-forest hike in search of Devil’s Club, the tale of a rudely awakened Black Bear, an afternoon with a …

Eastern Ave, East to Highland, part 3: Our Life is True

November 8th, 2019


A therapist plumbs his own psychology by creating artistic collages, a Central American kitchen staff cooks the menu at a Peruvian chicken …

Eastern Ave, East to Highland, part 2: Do What You Do for the Love of it

October 23rd, 2019


In this episode: The perfectly nice lady behind one of the most menacing overdubs in television history, the tireless purveyor of Baltimore’s most famous pizza, two barbers who’ve paid their dues to learn their trade, …

Eastern Ave, East to Highland, part 1: Pebble in a Pond

October 10th, 2019


Stories from a Dominican barbershop, a tattoo parlor, a lawyer’s office, a coffee counter, and a collaborative arts hub, all neighbors in the melting …

1600 Sulgrave Ave, part 2: Second Nature

September 26th, 2019


We visit Baltimore Clayworks, where artist Sam Wallace teaches a pottery technique he learned as a kid in Jamaica. We talk with the crew at The Mount Washington Tavern about romance, oyster shucking, and a major fire …

1600 Sulgrave Ave, part 1: Actually, I’ve become myself

September 11th, 2019


This North Baltimore neighborhood is just inside the city line, but it’s got the cloistered feel of an affluent suburban hamlet. High-end consignment boutiques, beauty salons, and restaurants bring well-heeled locals to …

West Oakland, Lower Bottoms, part 2: The World We Live In

August 27th, 2019


Our listening tour of West Oakland’s Lower Bottoms continues as we meet the volunteers at a local food pantry, a street ball legend known as ‘the …

West Oakland, Lower Bottoms, part 1: Self-Determination

August 14th, 2019


West Oakland’s Lower Bottoms neighborhood is home to the historical headquarters of the Black Panther party. It’s also one train stop away from San Francisco, and escalating real-estate prices are quickly changing the …

Compliments to the Chef

July 30th, 2019


One of the great bonuses of documenting Baltimore is that we happen across lots of incredible kitchens. This episode is our love letter to all the hard-working cooks behind the pots and pans and fryers and grills in …


July 16th, 2019


An older couple inherits two unexpected sons, an ex-offender regains custody of his daughter, an entrepreneurial mom teaches business smarts to her …

Out of the Docks, part 2: Close Quarters, Wide Horizons

July 3rd, 2019


Do you have any privacy when you live on a sailboat with another couple? What happens when you try to raise kids on a motor yacht? How does it test a marriage when you share a small space? What do you sacrifice to live …

Out of the Docks, part 1: Life Aboard

June 20th, 2019


From minimalist millennials to well-off retirees, some 300 people live year-round on floating homes in Baltimore’s Inner Harbor. Their vessels range from small sailboats to luxury motor yachts, and their offbeat stories …

Hollins Market, part 2: The Beautiful Side of Ugly

June 4th, 2019


Locals call Hollins Market ‘The Gem of Baltimore,’ and while the lines of customers used to wind around the block, more than half the stalls are now …

Seoul, South Korea: Inspire Citizens

May 21st, 2019


Out of the Blocks teamed up with the education activists at Inspire Citizens to spend a week at Seoul Foreign School, working with students on …

Hollins Market, part 1: I’ve Been That Kid

May 7th, 2019


In Southwest Baltimore’s Hollins Market neighborhood, a barber survives a shooting and goes back to work the next day; two young artists support each …

Chicago, North Lawndale, part 2: Every Day, I Politic

April 24th, 2019


Neighborhood elders take it upon themselves to step between warring gang members, a mother-daughter duo produces a DIY feature film about gun …

Chicago, North Lawndale, part 1: Tears Watering Flowers

April 9th, 2019


Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. lived in North Lawndale on Chicago’s West Side in 1966, and he galvanized the neighborhood in a campaign against redlining and housing discrimination. Two years later, he was assassinated. In …

Introducing Theo

March 25th, 2019


Theo Hill drives a truck for a living. On the job, he often catches *Out of the Blocks *on his radio. One day, he got inspired to call us with an …

700 Fallsway: Masterpiece in the Mire

March 12th, 2019


One man spent more than half his life in prison. Another fled his country to avoid religious persecution and ended up on the street. One was left to live alone at age 12. One relapsed after 18 years clean. And one …

Working behind the Wall: Conversations with Jailers

February 26th, 2019


If you heard the last episode of the podcast, you’ll remember we spent some time on the block where the release door of the Baltimore Jail lets out onto the street. We met some guys who’d been locked up in the jail …

300 E Eager St: I'm Fighting for Me

February 12th, 2019


The release door of the Baltimore City Jail opens out onto this otherwise abandoned block, empty except for the presence of a mobile medical office that posts up there 5 days a week. The PCARE Van, as it’s known, is …

Pine Ridge Reservation, part 2: One Heart, One Mind, One Prayer

January 29th, 2019


Our collaboration with Arlo Iron Cloud & KILI Radio continues this episode, as we travel through the Pine Ridge Reservation and visit with an …

Pine Ridge Reservation, part 1: Meeting a Prayer Halfway

January 15th, 2019


We team up with Arlo Iron Cloud of KILI Radio, Voice of the Lakota Nation, for this listening tour of The Pine Ridge Reservation, a 50 by 100 mile stretch of land in South Dakota that's home to the Oglala Lakota people. …

Pennsylvania Avenue, part 3: It Still Gets Still

December 31st, 2018


In its prime, Pennsylvania Avenue was the black entertainment hub of Baltimore, but there’s a whole generation that doesn’t know about that heyday. …

Pennsylvania Avenue, part 2: Born in a Tornado

December 18th, 2018


In this episode, businesses survive against the economic odds on the 1800 block of Pennsylvania Avenue, where local entrepreneurs have established their niches with fashion boutiques, discount variety stores, jewelry …

Pennsylvania Avenue, part 1: Resurrection Intersection

December 4th, 2018


In 2015, circling helicopter footage showed West Baltimore in chaos. In the wake of the death of Freddie Gray, buildings burned, protesters and looters alike filled the streets, and entire neighborhoods were cordoned …

Love Stories

November 20th, 2018


A man returns from prison to renew his vows with his wife. Young fiancés try to convince immigration that their marriage plans are legit. Old acquaintances cross paths and get flirty. A woman pines for her ex, even …


November 6th, 2018


A street preacher pleads with passersby to heed the word of God, a Pentecostal pastor struggles with her calling, A Muslim father and son confront anti-Islamic sentiment, a man behind bars reinvents himself through …

American Dream

October 23rd, 2018


Stories about hope, sacrifice, home, and what happens when you come to America, as told by immigrants from Egypt, Nepal, Korea, Eritrea, Vietnam, El …

Fast Friends

October 9th, 2018


Two childhood friends go in on a shared dream and open up a beauty salon. At a tire shop, a tall guy and a short guy know how to make each other laugh. A crew of octogenarian pigeon racers trade tall tales. Two cousins …

This Isn't What I Used to Do

September 25th, 2018


Stories about surprising second acts, from the owner of a pinball museum, a Kashmiri journalist exiled to a snack counter, a washer repairman with a checkered past, a funeral director who stumbled into the job after he …

Strong Women

September 11th, 2018


Stories from a mixed-martial-arts fighter, the manager of a diner, a trainer of Doberman Pinschers, a child-abuse survivor, a fashion entrepreneur, a recovering drug addict, a performance artist, a mom who avoided …

Odd Jobs

August 28th, 2018


Conversations about work and life, with a fishmonger, a repo man, a fortune cookie maker, a cobbler, a spiritualist, a tag & title bureaucrat, a …

Atlanta, West End, Part 2: The Crossroads

August 14th, 2018


This episode begins on the historic spot where two dirt roads intersected and consequently gave rise to the city of Atlanta. Today, that crossroads is a busy intersection, and it anchors a residential neighborhood …

Atlanta, West End, Part 1: Meditations on Heritage

July 31st, 2018


There’s a room hidden behind a curtain at the Shrine of the Black Madonna Cultural Center and Bookstore that houses shackles and hand-written slave …

When Aaron Met Wendel

July 17th, 2018


Curious about how the original seed got planted for Out of the Blocks?  This week marks the ten-year anniversary of Aaron Henkin & Wendel Patrick’s audio bro-mance, and on this episode the two friends unearth …

A Conversation with Mayor Catherine Pugh

July 3rd, 2018


Funny thing about making a podcast: You never know who’s listening. Turns out, Baltimore’s mayor, Catherine Pugh, is a fan of Out of the Blocks, and she invited producer Aaron Henkin to join her in front of a live …

Detroit: MorningSide, part 2. Slide, Ride or Die

June 19th, 2018


In this episode, we meet the founder of the Detroit Artists’ Test Lab, the head of an African American podcast network called Audiowave, neighborhood …

Detroit: MorningSide, part 1. Faith not tested can’t be trusted.

June 5th, 2018


On the east side of Detroit, the streets of MorningSide are lined with stately, brick Tudor-style houses.  But today, one in four of those houses is abandoned, boarded up, gutted, or burned out. The foreclosure crisis …

Steal This Podcast

May 22nd, 2018


Ever build one of those snap-together model kits when you were a kid? Think of this episode as a sort of snap-together *podcast *kit. It includes a …

200 W Read Street, part 3: Tomorrow’s Not Guaranteed

May 8th, 2018


The owner of a falafel stand gives a lesson in gratitude, a minimalist overcomes cerebral palsy by sheer force of will, a female boss takes the helm at a men’s barbershop, an apparel entrepreneur reflects on a family …

200 W Read St, part 2: Consistently Inconsistent

April 24th, 2018


The bartender at The Drinkery tells the history of the ‘gayborhood,’ a handyman-turned-comedian reflects on comedy as a flashlight in the dark, a pizza-maker from Pakistan shares words from the Koran about living with …

200 W Read St, part 1: The Greenwich Village of Baltimore

April 10th, 2018


The 200 block of W Read Street was Baltimore’s ground zero for hippies, head shops, gay nightlife, and wild fashion. In this episode, we explore the past and present of the neighborhood with a vintage clothier, a …

Chinatown ID, Seattle, part 2

March 27th, 2018


Devotion to family. That’s the overarching theme in this episode, as we return to Seattle’s Chinatown International District once more to visit with sons and daughters who are committed to honoring and preserving their …

Chinatown ID, Seattle, part 1

March 13th, 2018


Seattle’s Chinatown International District is a bustling, pan-Asian neighborhood of immigrants from China, Japan, Vietnam, and The Philippines.  It’s also a mix of generations, where Americanized children navigate a …

The Music of Out of the Blocks

February 27th, 2018


Wendel Patrick is the composer, producer and performer of the musical score for every episode of Out of the Blocks. In this special installment, he talks about some of his favorite compositions from the show and delves …

100 S Broadway, part 3

February 13th, 2018


If we’re truthful about it, most of us will admit it: There’s a gap between who we are and who we yearn to be.  In this episode, people confront the …

100 S Broadway, part 2

January 30th, 2018


This episode begins with a recovering addict who’s found peace, purpose, and a modest income folding paper flowers and peddling them to passersby on …

100 S Broadway, part 1

January 16th, 2018


Baltimore became a second home to members of North Carolina’s Lumbee tribe when they immigrated to the city after World War II, trading in farm work …

Station North

January 1st, 2018


A spectrum of stories exploring the creative impulse: from an emcee, a sculptor, a muralist, a florist, and others in Baltimore’s Station North …

Out of the Ville, part 2

December 19th, 2017


This episode kicks off with a barber who’s been cutting hair in The Ville for 60 years, and it ends with the story of a woman who just recently …

Out of the Ville, part 1

December 5th, 2017


We’re all taught that housing desegregation was a good thing, right? But if you talk to the old-timers in The Ville, they’ll give you a more nuanced …

3600 Falls Road, part 3

November 21st, 2017


In this episode, a group home is a haven for residents with mental and psychological challenges; a web-design CEO reveals his second life as an …

Out of the Blocks with the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra

November 7th, 2017


Out of the Blocks collaborated with the BSO for a special concert series called, “Baltimore Voices.” The concerts featured recordings of four …

3600 Falls Road, Part 2

October 25th, 2017


A boom in new, young residents is great for business, unless you’re the neighborhood funeral home.  In this episode, a funeral director looks toward an uncertain future, a yarn shop becomes a handicraft social hub, a …

3600 Falls Road, Part 1

October 10th, 2017


“I think the word we’re dancing around is gentrification.” So says Benn Ray of Atomic Books at the outset of this episode. What follows is a …

2400 Saint Paul St, Part 3

September 26th, 2017


Super-saturated sound-portraits of entrepreneurs and artists at work on the 2400 block of Saint Paul Street:  Whirring blenders, whispering crochet …

2400 Saint Paul St, Part 2

September 12th, 2017


In this episode: Portraits of irrepressible drive and determination.  A self-made cosmetics mogul opens up a school of makeup artistry, a local …

2400 Saint Paul St, Part 1

August 29th, 2017


The locals call it Black Wall Street, and it’s earned the nickname. 17 black-owned businesses operate on the 2400 block of Saint Paul Street, which …

1100 Ward Street, Part 3

August 15th, 2017


It’s hard to write a ‘spoiler-free’ description of this episode because these stories from 1100 Ward Street take so many surprise twists.  Let’s just …

1100 Ward Street, Part 2

August 1st, 2017


This episode is an unlikely triptych of redemption stories from the 1100 block of Ward Street. We meet Paul’s Place Peer Recovery Coach Dolly Miller, …

1100 Ward Street, Part 1

July 18th, 2017


Back in the 1800’s, they literally herded pigs through the streets of Southwest Baltimore’s Washington Village, from the terminus of the B & O Railroad to the neighborhood’s meat packing plants and butcher shops. …

7200 Harford Road

July 3rd, 2017


7200 Harford Road is about as far north and east as you can get and still be in Baltimore City.  It’s tucked just inside the county line, and downtown feels far-off when you’re out here.  On this block, MMA fighters …

600 Cherry Hill Road, Part II

June 19th, 2017


Out of the Blocks field producer Melissa Gerr takes us back to the 600 block of Cherry Hill Road to meet Mike Johnson of Delicia's Restaurant, Deacon Tim Gasque, convenience store owner Murad Aljaboobi, Amy Lee of …

600 Cherry Hill Road, Part I

June 5th, 2017


The South Baltimore neighborhood of Cherry Hill looks out across the Inner Harbor to the downtown skyline, but it’s a world unto itself.  The block at the heart of the neighborhood is 600 Cherry Hill Road, and Out of …

2100 Edmondson

January 4th, 2017


The corner diner, Soul Source, is the hub of the 2100 block  of Edmondson Avenue. The manager, Joyce, has been serving breakfast to the locals for 30 …

600 Deepdene Rd

September 18th, 2016


The 2016 season finale episode of Out of the Blocks takes a twist, as we travel to the 600 block of Deepdene Road in North Baltimore’s Tuxedo Park neighborhood.  The sounds of city traffic give way to the natural …

2100 E Monument

July 1st, 2016


The 2100 block of Monument Street is anchored by the Baltimore’s Northeast Market, a honeycomb of vendors selling fish, meat, fried chicken, …

200 W Saratoga

May 13th, 2016


The 200 block of West Saratoga Street is nestled in the frenetic bustle of downtown Baltimore.  Church bells ring in a duet with the clanging Light Rail, city buses rattle and hiss, and loud sidewalk conversations …

6300 Reisterstown Road

March 14th, 2016


The 6300 block of Reisterstown Road is tucked just inside the Northwest Baltimore city limit. Orthodox Jews from Russia and Iran operate kosher eateries, and Nepali Hindus run carry-outs and gas stations. Add to the mix …

4700 Eastern Avenue

December 18th, 2015


4700 Eastern Avenue is in Southeast Baltimore's Highlandtown neighborhood.  Over the past fifty years, the story of the American Dream has been written and rewritten in this community, as two distinct waves of …

4700 Liberty Heights Avenue

October 19th, 2015


The 4700 block of Liberty Heights Avenue is a portrait of survival and adaptability.  It's a self-governed, informal economy where the currency is respect.  Space is shared by merchants, churches, longtime residents, …

400 E Patapsco

July 7th, 2015


On the 400 block of E Patapsco Avenue, you'll meet octogenarian pigeon racers, evangelizing barbers, philosophical convenience-store clerks, reformed and not-so-reformed drug dealers, aspiring hip hop musicians, and …

3300 Greenmount

June 7th, 2015


On the 3300 block of Greenmount Avenue, you'll meet store clerks and restaurateurs from all over the globe - Pakistan, Mali, Korea, China, Thailand, Eritrea, and the Ukraine. You'll also meet born & bred Baltimore …

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