Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Rising to Meet the Past

Last week, my husband took his mother back to the town of her birth: Baltimore.  Linthicumth Heights on the south side Linthicum, Maryland.  She was born Lois Miriam Corbett in 1923.  She went to Thurmont grade school ( Thurmont is where Camp David and G-8 meetings are held) and St John Lutheran Church.  She attended Western Maryland College n Westminster, Maryland.  And today is May 1, 2012.  To put that into perspective,  said this today:

On this day in 1931, President Herbert Hoover officially dedicates New York City's Empire State Building, pressing a button from the White House that turns on the building's lights. Hoover's gesture, of course, was symbolic; while the president remained in Washington, D.C., someone else flicked the switches in New York.

So you might say that things have changed just a bit.  Some for the better and some for the worse, but change indeed.

The weather decided to cooperate and allow them to roam the areas with reasonable attire and ease.  The gray skies kept the sun from making it too hot, and the cool breezes kept the humidity level at just about windbreaker chilly.  The city smacked of Washington DC when first pulling in.  Large old buildings, tons of people, busy atmosphere...  We arrived on Saturday, which gave us some of Sunday to cruise around.

Back side of City Hall

Front side of City Hall

Incredibly wonderful old buildings seemingly unnoticed by those walking past.

One of only a very few similar buildings left in the United States, the Phoenix Shot Tower was used to make lead shot from 1828 to 1892. Molten lead was dropped from a platform at the top of the 234' tower through a sieve and into a vat of cold water. Being constructed of one million bricks, the Shot Tower was the tallest building in the United States until the Washington Monument in Washington, DC, was completed after the Civil War. The Shot Tower was designated a National Historic Landmark in 1972.   It does present a striking figure, but slightly out of place among the rest of the City.

The Children's Museum presented a fun view, with the Power
Plant Live auditorium and eateries next to it.

Don't know if you can read the sign that says Baltimore, a city divided. But Lincoln and Douglass are on the posted.

Tourist area of the pier is kept clean by a cool skimmer boat that collects floating trash.  Charles was quite impressed with the operation.

The Douglass Museum is on the pier and has beautiful buildings and walkways to enjoy the Sunday.

You are supposed to see that there is a huge sign that says "Under Armor" across the harbour.

The museum had way cool metal shutters that closed for storms I imagine.  I also like the doors that have  no stairs to exit from.....

Charles and Lois discussing the meaning of life or the harbour. And this might be a good time to bring up the plans they were making for the grand tour of her youth. Lois was born in Linthicum Heights, southside of Baltimore.

Of course, then she wants to go to Thurmont, where her grade school and her high school were.  Also, I hear it is home to Frederick High School, Mount St. Mary's University and of course, Cunningham Falls State Park
Me, I know nothing of Maryland or Baltimore, but the lovely harbour and the flower pots packed.  and The pretty harbour walk.

The small white building is part of John Hopkins University.
How about that for a cool bar name.

Fells Point Area from the view of the saloon.

Lovely little bistro called Mezze
Mezze, which boasted delicious Mediterranean cuisine, is located on Thames Street.  Don't know how  missed this one! Mezze Restaurant Fantastic service, great folks and good food.And if you are nice, the waitress will help you pronounce Greek words like Galaktoboureko!

Studying the menu

Oysters with spinach and feta

And oysters raw from chincoteague Oysters from the Island area

On the way to the Convention Center

More DownTown

This is the PNC Bank that I went in to tour.  Long ago, this bank was the mercantile bank and it has a litlle museum and tourist area inside!  I asked to see Mr. PNC and no one knew his name Mr. PNC!  PNC Shareholder Meeting Funny, one lady told me the president was named Pierre.  But the web site ( I have to look it up and not find out in the building) says it is William S.Demchak President.  I am pretty sure he is a shareholder too.  As a shareholder, I thought that there would be an invite in and up, but alas, I didn't even have an account with them.  I guess that means I don't get to go to the top of the building!  Well, as much as I am not too thrilled with my Baltimore reception, I have to say that the stock prices are rising and the bank has great reviews and reputation.  So thank you Mr. PNC President!

So now trip to Baltimore is complete without a trip to McCormick and Schmiks

I thoroughly enjoyed my lobster salad.... cobb don't you know....

My favorite restaurant by far was the Thames Street Oyster House. oysterhouse located in Fells Point.  

My phone camera does not do it justice, it is really a pretty bar....

Oysters from around the country listed on the mirror

The Oyster Shucker King.  Now knowing we are from Florida and used to Apalachicola Oysters and knowing that we know how to shuck, I have to tell you that this dude knows how and doesn't waste any motion doing it!

Old cans that are labeled by the oysters that were in them.

Mussels fit for a tourist from Florida!
We read about it in southernliving magazine and it was well worth the walk down the cobblestone road.  Just past the major tourist point, you feel like you may be at the end of the line and then you open the door and ouila!  Fabulous from the minute we sat down!

Yes, it was a fabulous time for Lois and for my husband.  My time was peppered with work and with camaraderie with my employees.  And then the moments of great escape. I asked Lois if she had something to say about the trip and she said that all her memories are now good ones!  The bad have disappeared.  She did say that if you are a tourist, she would tell you to hit the eastern shore and go to the beach.  She also said to tell you that Maryland is a great state fo history.  All the domestic wars can be traced to the ground of Maryland including the war of 1812

Lois, who says no one is named Lois anymore, had a fabulous time and still thinks of the trip.  Thanks to a loving husband and son! A job well done Charles.  A job well done.