Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Charm City?

Last time I was here, I woke up and couldn’t lift my chin or turn my head side-to-side.  I did manage to drive to my customer’s location – not an easy feat in my condition – and they find me a chiropractor that happens to be next door.  It helps, but only a little and I must lean way back and turn my whole body to look at the people in my class. They are very understanding but it is both painful and embarrassing.  On the way back to my room, my husband calls to tell me our daughter hit an industrial mailbox in his truck.  She is okay and the truck is drivable but it is our first wreck experience with a teen driver. A traumatic event for all involved, especially me since I am not there to console (and there is more than one person who needs consoling).  The very next night he calls to say the stereo was stolen from the same truck while parked outside the restaurant where our daughter works.  I went straight to my hotel room and went to bed.  Maybe a second go at it will help me find the charm I missed last time in this city.

So D and I decide to give the new parents a break from our constant presence at the hospital to do a little sightseeing in Baltimore.  We find a Barnes & Noble right away, a good sign because finished his other book and has nothing to read.  While he searches around, I look at a book on Baltimore and make notes about some places to go.   I get a few magazines, he gets Abraham Lincoln, Vampire Slayer and everyone is happy.  We walk around the waterfront but it is cold and we aren’t really dressed for it.  Also, we could see a lot of these places at home…Planet Hollywood, Urban Outfitters, Dick’s Last Resort.  D stops to ask someone for touristy ideas and where to find a Yeungling since he can’t get one in Texas:

We learn that you can rent boats for harbor tours but decide against it when we get close enough to inspect the equipment:

We decide to move on and go to Fells Point to have lunch.  It is supposed to be this really cool neighborhood with shops and restaurants and bars. 

I wrote down Du Claws from the book at B&N, a brewery specializing in seafood.  This is perfect, I want seafood and D wants a brew.  We drive around and around, no Du Claws.  We park and walk around hoping we missed it but no.  The address now belongs to The Bond Street Social Club.  Hungry (me), thirsty (him) and cold (both of us), we go in.  We know right away we are in the wrong place.  Lots of hip 20-somethings hang at the bar, drinking, laughing and talking too loud.  D and I are not hip and are not 20- or even 30-something.  The hostess, quickly sizing us up and recognizing that we are lost, escorts us to another area of The Social Club.  There seems be some age segregation going on in this establishment.  This section contains maybe 5 tables and another bar but the 4 people at this bar are all over 40.  The only menu is for brunch with several strange creations I know immediately D is never going to eat.  The music is not our style and is so loud we can barely carry on a conversation.  We stay and eat something since we don’t know what else is out there but we can’t leave fast enough once the check is paid.

There are more restaurants and bars than shops here so mostly we just stay on the street.  As we walk around Fells Point we spot The Horse You Rode In On Saloon and decide to go in.  This is more like it!  A waitress goes by with what looks like frozen Ore-Ida tater tots fresh from a well used Fry Daddy.  D has a beer and I have a coke and we enjoy some serious variety from the live musician – Jim Croce’s Bad, Bad, Leroy Brown followed by The Doors’ Don’t You Love Her Madly.  The menu tells us this is the “oldest continually operated saloon in North America” and claims that Edgar Allen Poe had a drink here on the night he died.  The music is good and not overloud but I notice D limping when he gets up and his pants are about to fall off his non-existent ass so I declare it time to once again leave Baltimore behind.

I can't see Texas from here...

About an hour later, I am suspicious that I won’t easily get over the Crab Cakes Benedict I had back at The Bond Street Social Club, and I don’t mean that in a good way.  At the hotel they come back to haunt me again and again during the evening and throughout a very long night.  The ambiance was terrible and the service was marginal but it is definitely the food I never forget. 

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