As I mentioned recently, I went to Baltimore, Maryland. I should say WE. My boyfriend had to go for work and was nice enough to let me get a free ride out of it. Yeah, I know... VERY nice. Now I can't say that Baltimore is one of the first cities that would pop into my mind to go to if faced with multiple options BUT I'm so glad I went.
I love traveling and especially enjoy going somewhere new. There is always a lot of eye candy that makes me happy but more importantly I am exposed to culture, skylines, architecture, sites... even sandwiches that do not exist here in Austin. I like where I live but let's face it, Austin lacks a certain history and diversity that older parts of the country/world have.
About all I knew of Baltimore I learned on The Wire, which although one of the best shows ever, a bit of a narrow (and fictional) guide to the city. Without making this post a mile long I'll try to wrap this up (my ADD is kicking in)...
In my 5 day stay I was able to explore a good portion of the city. I like that it's just that easy; you can see so much in a short time and I found the city surprisingly (seemingly?) small. And from block to block you never knew what kind of neighborhood you were going to get. Transition is one word I would use to describe the landscape. Things were falling apart, but things were patching up, and back and forth. Stuff was dirty, but stuff was just gorgeous. The tulips, greenery, cobble stones, and statues were beautiful, not to mention the old buildings. The buildings... this was most fascinating to me. Some areas were like ghosts of eras past, so much so if you squinted you could see everything in its heyday. One thing in particular I liked were the clocks embedded in many of the buildings (maybe a standard to some of you, but not the norm here).
I have no cold hard facts about Baltimore's economy and crime rate. I can guess. And I have eyes; my inner scaredy cat said "turn around" a few times. I do hope that any numbers you look up do not deter you from going. And I hope the future is looking brighter for the city. Really, there a richness and vibrancy even among some of the less obvious spots. Nice people, good food, and at the time fabulous weather. And somewhere, if you're lucky, maybe you'll see a herd of guys on motorcycles that will ride down the streets doing tricks. That made a great trip amazing. The only thing that would have made it better... two words, John Waters.
A few photos below. After, a quick run-down of some good stuff to see / do/ eat.
Crab cakes, broiled crab, crab omelet, Museum of Dentistry (a few most may debate this), Natty Boh beer (the secret/not so secret twin to Lone Star), Little Italy, the inner harbor, The Brewer's Art, Edgar Allen Poe's grave, the Washington Monument, cherry blossoms, the Bromo-Seltzer Tower, Lexington Market, Cafe Hon, Geppi's Entertainment Museum, the Shot Tower, Charles St., Vaccaro's, Federal Hill... and probably a bunch of other things I'm forgetting.
[ Photos by me ]