Friday, March 2, 2012

Quoth the raven,`Nevermore.' 5 Must See Sites in Charm City

 Whenever I travel I always...always!...get up and get moving early, usually before the sun comes up.   If you travel with me, this is not negotiable.  On this I am inflexible.  I want to arrive before the crowds, if it is a place where crowds are anticipated. Besides, I had to drive two hours to get there.  

I only had a day to visit Baltimore (and I plan to revisit), but I quickly found out why it's known as Charm City.  It's charming.  If you ever find yourself in Baltimore for a day, here are five places I can personally recommend you see.

Little Italy
Near the entrance to Little Italy is a statue donated by its citizens of a famous Italian.  On the morning I visited the sun was coming up and a stiff breeze was blowing off the harbor, unfurling the Italian flags around the statue of Christopher Columbus. 

As you wade into Little Italy, a few thinks hit you.  1.) The smell of baking bread.  2.) The realization that this is a real neighborhood, not something made up and packaged for the tourists.  Oh, the restaurants surely make their money from the tourists who stay in the hotels of the nearby Inner Harbor, but everyone leaves at night.  As you can tell by the deep shadows of these pictures, I was there early.   

Cafe Gia

One of the more colorful Ristorante in the neighborhood.
Little Italy claims at least one famous resident and modern day politician.  Her father was once mayor of Baltimore, as was her brother.  She went on to be a congresswoman from California and the first female Speaker of the House of the United States: Nancy Pelosi

Fells Point
A short walk from Little Italy and a open air flea market (below) on Fells Point I decided to get a bite to eat.  I am not a "foodie" and never plan travel around a restaurant, but if I am ever in Baltimore for breakfast again, I could do worse than stop at Broadway Market.  The prices were reasonable and the food was plenty, and I at a bar stool watching the cooks prepare my food.  

For those of us who love cop shows, you will remember this building as the set for the best police show drama of all time ..Homicide: Life on the Street
This show ran for 8-9 seasons in the 1990's.  I've seen every episode

A plaque embedded in the wall of the building commemorating the making of the series. Hallowed ground. 

The World Trade Center Baltimore
This World Trade Center is one of the better kept secrets in Baltimore.  Few people know you can go inside, pay $5 and take an elevator to the top floor which is reserved as an observation deck and get 360 degree views of the city and harbor.  Most people just walk on by.   When I got there, crowds of people were moving around outside and I ducked in, walked to the counter and paid for a ticket, walked to the elevator and up I went, all within a few minutes.  No lines whatsoever!  

Views from the top of the World Trade Center 

The Bromo Seltzer Arts Tower
Inside the tower is a small art museum made up of paintings and crafts done my local artists.  Unfortunately, on the day I was there I was unable to take the elevator to the top.  

The Grave of Edger Allan Poe
The above stone lies just inside the gates of the cemetery, and stands as a memorial to the famous Baltimore author, but many don't realize they must move much deeper into the grave yard before they find his actual resting place.  Among the other dead and the crypts built by the Rosicrucian Order you will find his grave.  On his head stone at the top of the arch above the raven reads: 
Quoth the raven, `Nevermore.'   

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