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And then there was Baltimore…

April 20, 2013, 12:54 AM

The day after my trip out to Annapolis, I was back in the car again and headed out to Baltimore.  It’s kind of funny how things work out.  This vacation kind of reminded me of spring break in 2002 and 2003 back when I was in college.  I planned out the vacation week with five or so different destinations in the eight days that I had available.  In 2002, my destinations were (in this order) DC, Richmond, Norfolk, Charlottesville, and Roanoke, with a day in between all but Richmond and Norfolk (which involved a hotel stay).  Then in 2003, I did (in this order) DC, Richmond, Norfolk, Covington/Clifton Forge/Lake Moomaw (one outing, all three destinations), Roanoke, and Charlottesville/Blue Ridge Parkway.  I only took two “off” days in 2003, between DC and Richmond, and Norfolk and Covington.  Now, ten years later, I had the luxury of spreading it out over two weeks, and did Stuarts Draft (intended to do Roanoke, but it got snowed out), DC, Richmond, Cumberland, Annapolis, and Baltimore.  I also scouted out Glen Echo Park as a potential photography destination (spoiler: not high up on my list).  And with two weeks and a few destinations planned, I kept a close watch on the weather, and that affected my plans.  Richmond was moved up a day to take advantage of sunnier weather.  Cumberland was similarly scheduled to take advantage of optimal weather (that’s how Glen Echo Park got included – to fill a gap in the schedule from Cumberland’s placement).  And then Annapolis fit the schedule, though weather was less important there, since it was mostly to get a feel for the area and determine further location work (probably).

And then there was Baltimore.  I was out exploring Fells Point on this particular day.  I chose Fells Point based on an episode of Bar RescueOne episode featured J.A. Murphy’s, which was located in Fells Point.  That bar, renamed “Murphy’s Law” during the show’s makeover, had closed, but I knew that going in.  No worries, though.  I wanted to explore.  I parked on the street (in front of Dogwatch Tavern, also featured on the episode), and went to work.  In getting the lay of the land of this area, I ended up dividing it into three sections.  First area was south of Thames Street.  This was the harbor area.  Then the next area was Broadway from Thames Street to Broadway Market.  The street around Broadway Market was a bit of a choke point due to construction on either side of the building that took away the sidewalks.  Then the third area was the block of Broadway between Fleet Street and Eastern Avenue.  I could have gone further north, I suppose, but owing to time considerations, I cut it off there.

And here’s what I got…

 First of all, this is the former J.A. Murphy's/Murphy's Law.  There a business called Bradley's of Fells Point is now in the building.
First of all, this is the former J.A. Murphy’s/Murphy’s Law.  There a business called Bradley’s of Fells Point is now in the building.

And then it was off to the harbor.

Baltimore Water Taxi
Baltimore Water Taxi.

Docks at Fells Point.
Docks at Fells Point.

 Vintage lettering on the City Pier.
Vintage lettering on the City Pier.

Sea gull over the water.  You know I had to try again with bird photos after my less-than-successful attempts to get a bird in flight in Annapolis.
Sea gull over the water.  You know I had to try again with bird photos after my less-than-successful attempts to get a bird in flight in Annapolis.

And then the next section.  I actually found myself most drawn to the construction, where historic building facades had been preserved to reuse in a new development.

Fells Point historical marker
Fells Point historical marker.

Construction site behind the facades.
Construction site behind the facades.

Historic facades along Broadway, supported by steel while construction continues.

Historic facades along Broadway, supported by steel while construction continues.
Historic facades along Broadway, supported by steel while construction continues.

And then north of Fleet Street, I mostly centered on another building that was also being supported by steel.  However, this one was a burned out building that originated as a Hecht’s store (though it hasn’t been a Hecht’s in a long time, as I understand it).

The canopy on the old Hecht's building.  I don't know if the awning's current state is a direct result of the fires, or if it was cut away to erect the steel.  I'm guessing a little of both.

Burned-out Hecht's building

"HECHT'S" lettering on the building

View from across the street
The former Hecht’s building has definitely seen better days.  Based on appearances, as well as the current Google Street View imagery as of this writing, the building’s first floor was most recently a grocery store.  It would appear that much of the building is gone from two fires that occurred in the building in 2012.  I don’t know if the awning’s current state is a direct result of the fires, or if it was cut away to erect the steel.  I’m guessing a little of both.

This building had a few iterations of a painted sign on an exterior wall.  From what I can tell, it's "Rosenstein's Big Store Clothing and Furniture".  Not entirely sure what the two other versions of the sign said.
This building had a few iterations of a painted sign on an exterior wall.  From what I can tell, it’s “Rosenstein’s Big Store Clothing and Furniture”.  Not entirely sure what the two other versions of the sign said.

After I finished at Fells Point, I had to do two things in fairly quick order.  First, get out of Baltimore to avoid traffic stemming from an Orioles game.  Then the second thing was to get to Arundel Mills in order to wait out rush hour.  I’ve been to Arundel Mills before, and there’s stuff to do there – enough to entertain me for a few hours while I wait for traffic to calm down.  I have found that taking I-95 or B-W Parkway during rush hour, even on the relatively short distance that I take it (to Laurel) is more fun than I wish to handle.

The trip to Arundel Mills was kind of unremarkable, but I did get one amusing photo of myself at Best Buy:

Ben Schumin, refrigerator inspector.

I call this my “refrigerator inspector” photo.  All I did was set the phone up in the back of the fridge, and use the front-facing camera.

And that was my vacation, more or less.  Now I have a lot of work to do with all of these photos.  Look for some new photo sets based on all of this work… one of these days.