GALLERY: Easter Eggs at Kenilworth’s Christmas Train Garden

December 30, 2014 at 4:15 pm Leave a comment

Merry Christmas!

A Christmas miniature train garden at a suburban mall is the last place I expected to get a mesmerizing dose of social realism. But when my wife and I took our two-year-old to see the trains at The Shops at Kenilworth in Towson, we found (little) people being carried away on stretchers from a car accident and a house fire, a funeral (surreally juxtaposed with a backyard pool scene), someone getting arrested at a Dunkin Donuts while behind him a man slept on a bench with a newspaper for a blanket, and a man with a big backpack standing by the tracks waiting to jump a train.

There’s also winking humor: three cop cars parked at the Dunkin Donuts and, if you look closely, R2D2 among the scrap metal at the junkyard. There’s also a trailer park with a guy in a ZZ Top beard eating KFC straight out of the bucket, someone going through a trash can, a beat-up old truck with a tree growing through it, a leathered-up moustache man restraining a vicious pit bull, women in tight dresses, and a man in a wifebeater sitting in a La-Z-Boy…outside. (I don’t know if the trailer park scene was done to be inclusive or to be mocking. Given the comparative sophistication of this train garden, maybe both.)

By any standard, this is a very impressive train garden. But these touches make it extra special. I can’t wait to go back next year and see if there’s anything I missed.

Click on the first picture to launch the gallery.

Entry filed under: Uncategorized.

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- A much prettier website with my journalistic highlights is at
- Disappearing Ink released its first album, "There Is No Time and Nothing's Been," in December 2014. It's available on iTunes.
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- The Art of Social Critique: Painting Mirrors of Social Life includes my chapter "New Possibilities and Old Limitations of Political Art in The Wire."
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