Okay, I needed a place to stay for my race on Sunday since I was not about to leave DC at 5 am to drive up to Baltimore. Way too stressful, way too big of a risk of a wreck-induced traffic jam. Yeah they happen at 5:30 am on a weekend too. And would happen to me if anyone.
Enough of stress, time to talk about good stuff. I pimp Baltimore from time to time because I really enjoy visiting there. I pimp places and things I like. We'll start with the place I stayed at last Saturday evening. Abacrombie was recommended to me. Small, quaint, but very enjoyable room at a B@B right in the Cultural Center in Baltimore. AC Worked, it was peaceful, and fit right into the Cultural Center / Mount Vernon area of Baltimore.
After a hiccup with a Light Rail train being delayed because a door wouldn't close, and another hiccup caused by my misreading of a map and walking the wrong way towards the packet pickup area as a result, I returned to Baltimore with some time to wander around Mount Vernon a bit. Charles Street has a lot of things to offer, restaurants, bars, coffee places, an outdoor concert just north of Penn Station last week, and The first Washington Monument.
I really enjoyed my dinner at Aloha Tokyo, great salmon, noodles, and eel, not to mention the complementary sushi which I received extra from the staff as an opening night gift. Friendly staff always helps. It's right across from a new housing thing at 1219 Charles for Baltimore peeps. Bar opens Saturday. After dinner I explored the neighborhood areas a bit. Definitely no shortage of bars to go, the outdoor concert that I referred to, and some cool row houses. Definitely a neighborhood feel for sure, you really don't get that in most of DC. Penn Station is a ten minute walk , fifteen at the most, from the Cultural Center light rail stop. Hey look, Maryland Transportation Authority upgraded their web site!
I walked east down North Avenue a bit, stopping at the rite Aid across from "http://www.greenmountcemetery.com/">Green Mount Cemetery. While I saw a lot of boarded up houses, many with roofs alos busted, around North Avenue, I also saw a ton of potential in not only the area but the city. There's a lot to like about Baltimore, and with some capital, a lot of these boarded up houses can turn into quality housing quickly. Public transportation is not far from North Avenue at all. They say, Live Baltimore: Get in on it. Truth be told, if I could get a guarantee that my current employer will keep me around for 5-6 years (I'm a 10-15 minute walk from Union Station), I'd give moving there a real shot when my lease runs out in March. Mount Vernon has just about everything I'd want. If anyone goes to North Avenue, please let me know how Tyrone's is, it's a fried chicken place next to KFC. I couldn't eat there since I already ate dinner and wasn't about to toss fried chicken down 12 hours before a race.