Of all the cities we have traveled to so far, Baltimore is the first city that I could see myself living in. I just love it. Although I probably would not protest too much about living in Fort Lauderdale either, Baltimore has such a vibrant personality, charming neighborhoods, bars with such character, and a fantastic waterfront – even Fort Lauderdale with its beautiful beaches, doesn’t have quite the charm of this town.
There has been a lot of hanging out in bars since we arrived here. The Radisson, where we are staying, has a pretty cool bar, so most nights we have been there, but there is also a great pub called Maggie Moore’s across from the theater where we have hung out a few times. The presenters here threw us an opening night party at Maggie Moore’s, where we all got complimentary shepherd’s pie as well as free drinks. There is a big Irish population here in Baltimore as far as I can tell with Irish pubs a-plenty, and the approach of St. Patrick’s Day is definitely felt.
Last week I did quite a bit of walking around and exploring. The waterfront here, called the Inner Harbor, is a great shopping area and loaded with restaurants. The Aquarium is also there as well as a number of old boats which you can tour. The big Barnes and Noble (which I mentioned in my first Baltimore post) is also at the Inner Harbor, housed in an old red brick power plant building.
Fell’s Point is to the east of the harbor, and is filled with fun pubs and restaurants. There is also a cute yarn store there called A Good Yarn, where I picked up some yarn for a hat. Fell’s Point is filled with beautiful brick townhouses – and I looked online this morning, and rents are cheap! Only about $1000 for a two bedroom!
On Friday, Ryan and I went to check out the Mount Vernon neighborhood. There are tons of historic buildings there as well as the original Washington monument, which we climbed 228 steps to the top.
The weekend was filled with four shows, which mostly went well. The theater here is really great in many respects. It is a large house, but intimate, so the audience feel very close, which is a good thing after all the mammoth performing arts centers we have been playing. The crowds have not been quite as raucous as the rock star houses we had in Atlanta and Memphis (who knew the south was filled with such Python fans?), but they have definitely been having a good time. The local stagehands here have been a challenge, very forgetful and a bit on cranky side, but luckily, so far, no huge mishaps backstage. Jaki and I butched it up and struck a piece of scenery the other night when the local carpenter was nowhere to be found, but other than that…nothing too tragic.
The clocks changed on Saturday night and with an early show anyway on Sunday, we were waiting to see who would be the one to miss the call. We thought it was strange when one of the actors, who is normally very early, hadn’t arrived at the theater by an hour before the show. Sure enough, shortly before half hour, that actor called in sick. Now, it is really bad form to wait until half hour to call in. If you’re going to do it, you should make sure you call in at least an hour and a half before curtain as that is when all the production departments are in readying for the show. For this actor to call in a half hour before curtain was very discourteous, to say the least. Her understudy had only had a half an hour to get herself ready, as well as the wardrobe crew, who had to run their asses off to change out all her costumes to the understudy’s. All this for what? Because this person woke up too late to spend two hours on make-up? Lame. AND said actor was back for the evening show on Sunday, so it was fairly apparent that there was no sickness involved in calling out. I’ll say no more about that.
Sunday night a group of us went back over to Fell’s Point to go to a bar called Bertha’s, which is known for it’s mussels. They give away bumper stickers that say “Eat Bertha’s Mussels”. Well, we got there, and wouldn’t you know, they were out of mussels! We had a good time anyway, with our crazy bartender Michelle. There were also a couple of old drunk Irish guys down the end of the bar that kept yelling “Ni!” all night once they heard we were from Spamalot. There are bumper stickers all over the walls of the bar that people have created by cutting up the Bertha’s stickers to say something else. Tony made one for us.
We finished the night at the Cat’s Eye Pub, where we listened to some good blues musicians play some tunes.
On Monday I headed to the Aquarium, which was not quite as impressive as the one in Atlanta, but did have dolphins, which I love.
Then I checked out the ‘hood of Federal Hill, which like Fell’s Point, is chock full of beautiful brick townhouses and cute restaurants and businesses.
Monday night was made complete by a delicious dinner at the Rusty Scupper, which is right next to Federal Hill Park. The crab cakes were amazing.
Yesterday I headed back to Fell’s Point for the third time with Ryan to get some sushi and check out the Baltimore Tattoo Museum. It was way cool! The museum is actually part of a tattoo shop and is a small display of the history of tattoo art in America, with bios on some of the prominent artists over the last century and examples of their work. Very cool.
After the museum, we had a bit of time to grab some coffee at the Daily Grind, a coffee house in Fell’s Point, and for me to catch up on a bit of knitting. I am desperately trying to finish the cable skinny scarf I am working on before we leave Baltimore! There are a ton of great yarn stores in Philly and I am looking forward to buying some yarn for some new projects there.
So we have a few more days left in Baltimore and then on to Philadelphia. I am planning on heading back into New York for a day or two at the beginning of April to see friends and catch a couple of shows…will be strange after being away for almost four months!