Fri 21 Jul 2006
No, the hot town I speak of is not Phoenix, but home-to-me-for-four-more-days Baltimore. I picked up Dr. G from the airport outside of town early this morning, and as we drove in, the Baltimore skyline was muted by mist into variable shades of blue-gray. A beautiful harbinger of heat that presses down on you and fills every orofice. Chewy heat. Slow heat. Southern heat. In a contest for felt misery, an 88 degree Baltimore day just might win a 110 degree Phoenix day.
But nothing feels so good as getting all sticky in the late afternoon and then plunging into a quarry-turned-resevoir. That’s only one of the things I’ll miss. A list:
- Oregon Ridge Park, where a runner once lapped us twice on a three-mile loop hike.
- Gunpowder Falls State Park, where you can count thirty varieties of wildflower in the spring.
- Golden West Cafe, where you are not allowed to ask for any sauces “on the side” and you can order delicious lacy pancakes full of fresh fruit.
- The Book Thing, a roomy, well-organized book store where all the books are free.
- Waverly Farmer’s Market, where you can get bunches of flowers for three dollars and two percent milk in sturdy glass bottles.
- The Charles Theater, where you can watch both The Devil Wears Prada and Tsotsi.
- The many street festivals, including the Hon Festival (where you wear beehive hairdos), the Flower Festival (where you stick peppermint sticks in lemons and suck the juice out), the book festival (where authors read their works on every corner), and so on!
- Being called “Hon” by strangers.
- Living in a neighborhood with churches, supermarkets, restaurants, and kitschy shops in walking distance.
- The Brewer’s Art, where you can gulp down a delicious Ressurection Pale Ale
- The Baltimore Museum of Art permanent collection and free first Thursday
- The Visionary Art Museum’s outsider art
- All the writing-type people who hang around long after they graduate from Hopkins.
- Dogwood trees.
- Red-tailed hawks swooping past my office window.
- parquet inlay in the floors of old row-houses. Marble Fireplaces. Clawfoot tubs.
- And so on!