36 Hours in Baltimore, Hon!

Copyright JC Politi Photography
Water Taxi in Fells Point

When the New York Times does a 36 hour story on Baltimore, I feel that I have to add my two cents. I am a Baltimore girl, from head to toe. While I have lived all over the country, I still feel like a Charles Villager, who is happiest eating steamed crabs and going to Orioles baseball games.

It’s fun to see an article in the New York Times about your hometown – it kind of shows what your city looks like from the outside.

I love Baltimore’s quirkiness and flair. Baltimore is sassy!

I remember the first time I realized that Baltimore was maturing in front of my very eyes. I had gone to the then newly-developed Power Plant area, and found an ESPN Zone, a Hard Rock Café, and a wide range of other stores and restaurants in a previously run-down part of town.

Copyright JC Politi Photography
Revitalized Power Plant Neighborhood

I got tears in my eyes, feeling pride in my hometown. Maybe this is what my family felt like when the Inner Harbor opened in the early 80‘s.

I remember, as will all of my schoolmates, the excitement in the air when the Inner Harbor opened and we stood in line for hours just for a taste of Thrasher’s French fries!

I also remember visiting Baltimore after I moved away from home after college. It was the first time I can remember seeing people in bars in Fells Point who had not grown up in Baltimore. I realized that some people actually moved to Baltimore, instead of away from Baltimore, when they grew up. This was an illuminating moment for me.

For anyone who has not visited Baltimore, I encourage you to give it a try. People frequently tell me that they have driven through Baltimore on their way to Washington, DC. That is a shame. DC is well-worth a visit, but anyone who does not take time to stop in Baltimore to get a taste of its gritty character is missing out on something special.

Copyright JC Politi Photography
The best part of Baltimore – aside from my family, of course!

While you’re there, make sure to eat steamed crabs full of old bay and wash them down with a Natty Boh beer, catch an O’s game, take the water taxi to Fells Point for a drink and some mussels at Bertha’s Mussels, and check out the national aquarium. I am sure my friends and family could add quite a few other things not to be missed.

What do you think? If you were to describe your city or hometown to visitors, how would you describe it? What are some must-do activities in your community? Have you been to Baltimore? What is your impression of the city? What city or town do you identify most closely with?

I would love to hear your thoughts. Thank you for reading!


Filed under Culture, Food, Photography, Photos, travel

43 responses to “36 Hours in Baltimore, Hon!

  1. My city/hometown is like a yin to your yang! I grew up in the rural Mississippi Delta, and the closest town had a population of about 350 people!
    Must do activities? For the novelty, my sister and I loved to ask a neighbor if we could borrow his mule wagon! A worker helped hitch the two mules to the rickety old wagon, and we would take it to town. One drove the mules while the other jumped off the wagon and retrieved tossed coke bottles along the way. I think they were worth three cents each – a small fortune, though I do not remember what we did with our windfall!
    We loved the harvest season and would pick our token amount of cotton by hand and later play in the cotton trailers when the mechanical pickers dumped load after load.
    Cotton picking, the change of season, back to school, football season – we rode that magic carpet of unique “Delta” life, which still thrives in my soul here in Ecuador! Z

  2. The Baltimore you lived in isn’t the Baltimore I lived in! I left in 1959 or thereabouts and haven’t been back since — and “since” is when they made all the improvements. One dared not go near the waterfront while I was living there! Great post. Thanks. 🙂

  3. I love Charm City. Spent many a good year in that area, and everything you describe is the bomb! Didn’t know you were a Bal’mer gal…you just keep getting better and better Hon! Go O’s!

  4. Had some fantastic days and nights … quite a few .. in Baltimore – been up that street with all the sex bars are too – a lot of doggy places .. but I had some fun. A lot has changed on the waterfront since then .. this was in middle of 70’s and I was back in the 80’s – what a change, but still a lot of fun. Great to read about it now. Bring back some fantastic memories.
    My hometown Landskrona you can visit through this link. Welcome to Landskrona, Sweden – http://wp.me/p293Pw-1Ke

  5. Carrie Rubin

    I’ve moved around a lot in my life, and as such, don’t necessarily think of a town as my own, though certainly I feel nostalgia for some of them. But Baltimore sounds great. 🙂

    • It’s a really fun city! Thanks so much for reading and leaving a comment! I can’t really imagine not having a town to call my own. But maybe that means every town is your hometown, which can be even better!

      • I grew up in North Dakota, but even there we moved a fair amount. I guess technically my hometown is Grand Forks, North Dakota, since I spent the most time there. But that doesn’t exactly draw the tourists like Baltimore might. 😉

        But, you know, Josh Duhamel and Angie Dickenson are from North Dakota, so it’s all good. 🙂

  6. My hometown is Montreal, Quebec and it is an incredible city. It has a European flair and in the summer one has to check out the street acts. Cirque de Soleil got its start on the streets of Vieux Montreal!

  7. Really nice post. I grew up in Detroit proper. We were on Prince Edward’s Island during the ’67 riots. There are places still boarded up and eserted since the riots, but the Detroit Institute of Arts is magnificent. The Historical Museum was always a favorite destination. Kensington is a Detroit Metropolitan Park that is still beautiful. I go back every few years to visit my Aunt Loena, and it is encouraging to see my old street, where at least half the houses were boarded up and trashed, being reclaimed a house or two at a time. It is a gritty city that refuses to die. May it rise up like a Phoenix from the ashes.

  8. What a lovely tribute to your town! It’s been so many years since I lived in Sioux Falls SD I don’t know if I could do it justice now. I will say going to the Falls and seeing our replica of the Statue of David are highlights lol. Picture #2 speaks volumes about the diversity of culture in Baltimore.

    • I would love to see South Dakota. There are only three states where I haven’t spent time – ND, SD and Wisconsin. I’ll have to. Check those off the list soon and check out the Falls and David! Thanks so much for the comment!

  9. My daughter goes to Otakon in Baltimore every summer. When she was younger, I went with her and had a chance to fall in love with Bertha’s Mussels! YUM! xoxoM

  10. Come visit again and I’ll meet you at the Inner Harbor!!

  11. Baltimore – best crab cakes Faidley Seafood at Lexington Market; favorite museum: American Visionary Art Museum. I live in the DC area but I love to visit Baltimore!

  12. You sure are a Baltimore girl from head to toe and after reading this piece, I sure want to stop by Baltimore if we’re ever in that part of the world! Nothing beats reading a post about a place which pulls me in so thoroughly as the words that come from an overflowing heart! Thank you – lovely. Simply lovely! Sharon

  13. Nice that you’re proud of your home town. Doubt I’ll ever pass by, but then I don’t need to. We have this lovely blogging world.

  14. I’ve not been to Baltimore yet. I’m from Las Vegas – 3rd generation. Yes people do live there, and no we don’t live in hotels! Old timers have a closeness and kinship that you don’t expect in a city this size. Check our Red Rock Canyon if you want to see what the desert is all about.

    • Sounds lovely. I have a friend who grew up in Las Vegas. What an interesting place to call home! I loved LV when I visited, although I am sure I missed all the great local spots. Thanks so much for reading and leaving a comment!

  15. Hi there. I’ve never been to Baltimore but it seems to be the sort of city I would like to visit. I live in Hollywood Florida. Hollywood has a lot of things that will attract visitors. There are the dog and horse races, the beautiful beaches, great hotels, restaurants, hot night spots, cassinos…including the Hard Rock Cafe, arts and entertainment at the theater, and other nice things to do.
    What I also like about living in Hollywood is that we are smack dab in the middle of South Florida. Both Ft Lauderdale, and South Beach are only a few short miles away with even more entertainment and fun things to do.

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  18. Great photos. Looks like a great town. Maybe some day I’ll be able to take in the sights.

    My hometown may not have the history of Baltimore, but a lot of the older architecture is much like that of old Chicago, since the main architect also designed buildings for the Chicago downtown area, as well. Many Hollywood movies were shot here because of that fact. I am proud of our history and write about it as much as I can.

    It sounds like you have great pride in your former hometown, too. I think we all have a soft spot for the place where we grew up. No matter where we go in life, our roots still hold tight to our past home. 🙂

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