Seven Foot Knoll Lighthouse || Beacon of Freedom

”For most of its history Seven Foot Knoll Lighthouse was manned by keepers of the US Lighthouse Service, and later the US Coast Guard. As an isolated station, Seven Foot Knoll was designed for three keepers – a principal and two assistants – which allowed for regular rotations ashore.

The duties of keepers were often routine but were nonetheless essential. Each night at sundown the beacon lamp was lit and had to remain so until sunrise the following morning – a task which required vigilance and regular maintenance. Each morning, the beacon lens and lamp were thoroughly cleaned and made ready for use that evening. In times of fog, the fog bell had to be sounded continuously which required winding the station’s bell machine every 45 minutes until the fog lifted.”

This vibrant red round feature was built in 1855, the oldest surviving screw-pile lighthouse in Maryland. Originally located at the mouth of Patapsco River, its light shone for the first time on January 10, 1856 and it continued doing so for 133 years, marking the safe approach to Baltimore. Replaced by modern navigational aids, it was subsequently relocated to Baltimore’s Inner Harbor. These days, it houses historical exhibits and consists part of the Baltimore Maritime Museum.

 Seven Foot Knoll Lighthouse

April 27th, 2017

The House of Poe, Baltimore

”When asked about his origins, Poe was fond of saying that he was a Virginian gentleman, but it was in Baltimore that Poe sought refuge when he had feuded with his foster father, John Allan, and was compelled to leave the house. It was in Baltimore that Poe found his future wife, Virginia Eliza Clemm, and in Baltimore that he placed his feet on the first steps of what would be his career for the next 17 years. Perhaps most revealing, when asked for the place of his birth, Poe turned his back on Boston and claimed Baltimore instead.”

It is no coincidence that Edgar Allan Poe’s final resting place is also in Baltimore, not far from this tiny house, in which he lived with his aunt, grandmother and two cousins. 

The Poe House is currently closed for restoration and scheduled to re-open in April 2018. Check for updates and opening hours here: Poe in Baltimore

Visited on April 27th, 2017

A bookstore with a steampunk feel

The reason Barnes & Noble in Inner Harbor looks particularly interesting, is that it is built inside a former power plant with part of its interior intact. The store offers a cafe, views over the harbour from the second level, a small aquarium, an audiovisual section, gifts and, of course, loads and loads of books – all displayed around some of the power plant’s original features. And although it is part of a larger complex of shops and restaurants, it takes a bookstore with a distinct steampunk feel to produce such a winning combination.  

April 26th, 2017

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

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