Consider this scenario: You are in Parkville, Maryland, somewhere on East Joppa Road near the interchange of Loch Raven Road and I-695. You’re only 25 minutes north of Baltimore, but it seems farther. In front of you is an expansive asphalt desert, strewn with dotted lines and speeding cars. The area is industrial, with mostly furniture stores and car dealerships.
You are stuck here for three hours without a car. What on Earth are you going to do?
Don’t worry, there is a story behind all of this randomness. Last week, Paul needed car repairs at a Pep Boys in Parkville and we had to wait four hours until they finished. We made the best of a potentially irritating situation and explored the area. The verdict? There’s not much to look at around here, but you will find some killer good deals and prices. Would I ever come back here? Most likely no.
So, without further ado, here are my highlights of East Joppa Road in Parkville, Maryland. If you ever find yourself in this area, you’ll be glad you read this.
First opened in 1964, this blast-from-the-past diner is a rare find. Is it good? Well, no, not really. But for the authentic, diner experience, it’s worth a trip if you’re nearby. We ordered a Western Omelet, which was gigantic, and a two eggs any-style dish with bacon and breakfast potatoes. Our server was warm and friendly, and encouraged us to stay as long as we wanted while we sipped our coffee.
You know what Goodwills are: a smorgasbord of random items at bargain prices. This is definitely one of the better ones I’ve visited. Similar to Bel-Loc, I felt like I’d stepped back 15 years in time. We found Disney VHS tapes, old records, books and retro gaming consoles. Paul found a cheap DVD he could resell on Amazon for a higher price and I picked up a milk frother for $10. (Now I can make lattes at home!) I looked up the actual retail price, and it was somewhere around $50. On Tuesdays, there is a 10% student discount. Oh, the things you do when you’re bored.
Baynesville Electronics (Warning: this website causes extreme motion sickness!)
I encountered all sorts of complicated-looking computer parts, but I also found odd items such as do-it-yourself potato clock. I wasn’t really sure what was going on here. It was mildly entertaining for about three minutes, and then I really, really wanted to leave. At least Paul, the computer genius, understood what was here. If you are in of need computer parts, then this is your spot.
We had high hopes for this store. We imagined challenging games that required serious brain power. What we found instead was a children’s store with items like Play-Doh and multiplication flashcards. In fact, the entire store kind of smelled like Play-Doh. If you’re a teacher or a small child, then you’ll probably love this place. We spent 30 seconds here and bolted towards the crisp, fresh air.
Once I saw how cheap everything was, I decided to knock out some grocery shopping. I bought three packs of Dentine Ice gum, a big-pack of fun size M&M’s, a pack of Rubbermaid tupperware containers, Palmolive soap, all for $1 each. You can’t even get these deals at Target! Obviously, there were some obscure brands that I might be skeptical to purchase, but overall there was a great selection of everyday stuff.
This is definitely one of the best bang for your buck beer, wine and liquor stores in the area. When I went to Hopkins, we used to drive all the way out here to stock up before parties.