YEAR IN REVIEW: Jamie’s 2014

The Year of the Hat. My annual round up of what did it for me this year…

 Consistently a vodka martini with, at best, two olives. Not dirty, not dry, definitely up and perfectly benign. I started drinking these a couple of years ago and have just this year realized my perfect martini is not what I taste, but what I don’t. It has zero flavor. The ratio of vermouth to vodka has to be just so that one can neither taste the alcohol from the vodka nor the vermouthyness of the vermouth. It’s a minimalist and refreshing cocktail of liquid air that melts away the day at first sip—and seems easy enough to get right, but based on a few mmm-that’s-not-quite-its this year, it apparently isn’t. The one who got it right for me in 2014 was Naomi Kline at Pen & Quill. She makes the meanest, most glorious, delicious glass of nothing in Baltimore.
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Naomi Kline, bartender and proprietor of Pen and Quill
ReadThe Dinner by Herman Koch. In my continuous pursuit of finding and getting lost in my next Gone Girl, I was lead to Koch’s 2009 talky page turner that Gillian Flynn described as ‘Chilling, nasty. Smart, shocking. Unputdownable.’ So there you go. And yes, if you love really uncomfortable dinner conversation and excruciating family turmoil, then you’ll love The Dinner!
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Ate– The meat of my life at Doris Metropolitan in New Orleans. It’s a beautiful melt-in-your-mouth dish called ‘Fall off the Bone,’ a short rib cooked lovingly, over 24 hours to unparalleled perfection. I told Dru that it was so tender I didn’t even have to chew.
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This is not Doris Metropolitan, but it is Dru walkin’ the French Quarter beat.

SawBirdman. A reminder of why I’ve loved Michael Keaton since Night Shift. It’s an elegant, claustrophobic masterpiece that doesn’t stop moving from the opening scene. Three words: Emma Stone’s eyes.

HeardFuture Islands, Singles. You can’t live in Baltimore and not give a shout out to the most ‘alive’ band in the country right now. These guys just give and give and give and seeing them live, on the street at Hampdenfest was definitely a highlight, but seeing on social how happy and successful they are out in the world, is beyond.
Felt– The awesomeness of making new friends. As the worst networker in the world, I am most proud of us for shaking out of our comfort zone and seeking new, creative, smart peeps to meet, get to know, bounce ideas and collaborate all millennial-style. Treason Toting Co, Creative Mornings, Strangers with Style, Pixelated Photo Booth—we’re staring right at you…
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Clockwise from top right: The Creative Mornings Baltimore team at the Summit in NYC, some Pixelated Photobooth action, Olivia Obineme in the front row of Creative Mornings at Area 405, BFFs Jason Bass & Aaron Jones of Treason Toting Co.
 Experienced– flying in what felt like a sports car in the sky (do not attempt this after eating, btw). Here’s to having cousin-in-laws with Cirrus cache.
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Travelled to– New York, Kansas City, New Orleans, Bogotá, Colombia, San Juan, Puerto Rico. We felt at our peak and the most sincere gratitude on an amazing job in Bogotá. When client project meets international travel meets beautiful subjects, that there is our holy ‘work trinity.’
Wore– This hat.
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Bought– After 3 years of pining, these No.6 boots. Polar vortex shmortex. Bring it, old lady winter.
Final Thoughts. My final post of 2014 and this entire year is dedicated to my best friend and one of our partners at Shine, Melissa Kirby. This past April she suffered a rare, debilitating brain-stem stroke and has since been fighting to gain back her life and mobility. We are astounded, but not surprised at her strength and progress and we continue to believe that she will crush this incredible challenge with the grace and force of her beautiful being. We love you Melissa and are looking forward to what 2015 holds for all of us. -Jamie Campbell