I put together my "Quote Post" as I watched Baltimore crash and burn. Then I thought, really Patti? Motivational quotes as this city is in such turmoil. I traveled to Camden Yards many, many times with my friends, Graziella, Angie and Jess, to watch the Sox play the Orioles.
The second time we traveled to Baltimore, the four of us wore this shirt...we thought we were funny.
The shirt, as you can imagine, was the source of many humorous and not so numerous comments from Sox and Oriole fans alike.
We made jaunts to Baltimore for several years...sometimes twice a year. Camden Yards was a beautiful park. Outside Camden Yards, there were vendors, the good, hard working people of Baltimore, selling water (2 for a dollar), bags of pistachio nuts (2 bags for $5.00) and Red Sox gear. All of which you could bring into the park. The feel outside the park was festive. You could walk up to the box office on game day and buy great seats. The bars and restaurants surrounding the park are overflowing on game day or game night.
When I think of Camden Yards I think Sox v. Orioles, hotdogs, rain, good games and bad, ticket scalpers, laughter, sun and relaxation. There were Sox wins and Sox loses. There was friendly banter with O fans. I always felt safe. I never felt threatened.
The Inner Harbor, Fell's Point, Pitango Gelato, Bonaparte Breads and Café and Mo's Fisherman's Wharf (also known as Julio Lugo's place and yes that is an inside joke.) were traditions for us. We couldn't leave without visiting each one.
I had my own personal tradition of taking early morning walks around Camden Yards and hotels. I enjoyed finding different coffee shops and meeting other early risers.
Two of my favorite memories of interactions with people of Baltimore....
The Celtics were the in the playoffs during some of our visits and I always wore my Rondo shirt at least once. As a result of wearing that shirt I had numerous conversations about the Celtics, Rondo, Boston and Baltimore. It was surprising to me how much the people I met loved the Celtics.
The other has to do with this sign at a church near Camden Yards...
The sign was out every time the Sox played Baltimore. We always joked that the church changed the sign when the Yankees were in town to say, "Maybe the Yankees." As we were walking by during one visit, a security guy was outside. One of us said, I bet Yankees and Sox are changed when the Yanks are in town. He said nope, even when the Yankees are in town this is what the sign says. Orioles fans don't like Sox fans but they like Yankee fans even less. He had to add it drove him crazy because he was a Yankee fan.
I love Baltimore. I enjoyed the time I spent there. I miss the people, the businesses and time spent with friends. Oh I know we spent time in tourists areas but that doesn't mean we didn't have meaningful interactions with the very good people of the city.
I don't wear rose colored glasses. Baltimore is a big city with big city problems. Still, it is with great sadness, that I watch it crash and burn.