Baltimore – A long walk around the Inner Harbor

So what if it’s touristy – Baltimore’s Inner Harbor offers endless car-free walks with wonderful views of the harbour, away from the hectic rhythm of the city. 

Above, views from the Baltimore Public Works Museum. Below, walking up the steps to the Federal Hill Park and what looks like an upscale neighbourhood with neat townhouses and lovely little gardens. 

Back at the Inner Harbor and that very interesting building housing Barnes & Noble; we’ll have to have a look inside before leaving.

But first, Little Italy by night for some delicious pasta washed down with copious amounts of chianti and a splendid grappa for desert.

And, finally, back to our very old-world, very ambient B&B for a good night’s sleep. 

April 26th, 2017

“Other friends have flown before— On the morrow he will leave me, as my Hopes have flown before.”*

To Mr. Poe

Thank you for all your brilliant madness.
Pain and destruction births many great artists, but ultimately causes their demise.
I wonder if you are somewhere in the great ether(?), witnessing the events that you set in motion.

Nevertheless, rest easy

– anonymous artist

Poe’s Memorial Grave, Baltimore

* The Raven, by Edgar Allan Poe

April 26th, 2017

Forget Viagra Eat Oysters

Also, if you’re really hungry, you might want to try those utterly delicious, palate titillating lump crab cakes of Faidley’s, this Baltimore Institution that has remained a family affair for three generations, today owned and operated by Bill and Nancy Devine.

Mrs. Devine, grandaughter of the founder John W. Faidley, Sr., is still very much actively involved; a lovely sight behind the counter, supervising, tasting, adjusting, dressed to the nines and self-assured, exuding the kind of confidence achieved by a life-time of work and an experience passed down from one generation to another.

Faidley’s is located inside Lexington Market, one of the oldest continuously operating food markets in the country and a a not-to-be-missed landmark on its own right. A pair of Faidley’s crab cakes is an added bonus – you just can’t leave Baltimore without tasting them at least once!

Faidley’s Seafood

April 26th, 2017

Baltimore – First impressions

Baltimore reminded  me of an old aristocratic lady who, over the years, saw her fortune shrink to a mere fraction of its original grandeur and now poor, charmingly shabby but perfectly coiffed, watches the world go by from her porch sipping tea from her last remaining heirloom fine bone china.

It is easy to fall for the charms of this lady, her innate elegance evident even in unexpected places. Like this incredible waiting room in Baltimore’s Penn Station, bathed in light filtered through three stained glass domes, in place of a ceiling.

April 26th, 2017

A brilliant mind

Drawing by Bill Sienkiewicz

“I believe the simplest explanation is, there is no God. No one created the universe and no one directs our fate. This leads me to a profound realisation that there probably is no heaven and no afterlife either. We have this one life to appreciate the grand design of the universe and for that, I am extremely grateful.”

In Memoriam: Stephen Hawking (1942-2018)

I got my eyes on you D.C.

Three days in the capital were just enough to whet our appetite for more. I don’t know when that will be, because there so many places in America we want to see before leaving the country, and the more time we spend here the longer the wish list gets; but I do hope we make to D.C. again, if only to explore Georgetown which we missed this time due to, well, rather unfriendly weather conditions (read rain, tons of it!).

But time to hop on a train again; not yet back to Manhattan, that will have to wait a little longer.

Our next stop: Baltimore.

April 25th, 2017

Fear & Love

Go hand in hand. See, for instance, how beautifully these works complement each other –

From the powerful painting by Maynard Dixon, giving shape to fear,

Maynard Dixon, Shapes of Fear, 1930-32, oil on canvas

to the subdued and delicate works by Joseph Cornell, who took his fear of this world and placed it inside wooden boxes, each one containing a mini universe,

Joseph Cornell, Soap Bubble Set, 1949-50, glasses, pipes, printed paper and other media in a glass-fronted wood box

or his magical homages to Tamara Toumanova, Cornell’s way of expressing his great affection for the world of Romantic Ballet.

Joseph Cornell, Untitled (Marine Fantasy with Tamara Toumanova), c. 1940, collage and tempera on paperboard
Joseph Cornell, Untitled (Tamara Toumanova), c. 1940, collage with tempera on paperboard

Embracing Life @ Smithsonian American Art Museum

April 25th, 2017