Girlz in Baltimore: Getting to Know the City With Woman Friends
By Beth D'Addono
Most tourists discover Baltimore's shiny side.They flock to the Inner Harbor with its world class aquarium and upscale mall shopping. They feast on crabs in respectable restaurants and tour the harbor on spiffy white pleasure cruisers.
But there's another side to Baltimore that lurks in the shadows.
Not as freshly painted, more off the beaten track, Baltimore can be weird. Rent any John Waters movie for an inside track -- Waters, the director of such gems is "Pink Flamingos" and "Hairspray" is a Baltimore native, and often sets his movies in his hometown. Waters' Baltimore may not be picture perfect, but it gets under your skin all the same.
There were four of us on the trail -- four women out for a seamy good time. We found it on St. Patty's Day weekend in the city that invented form stone -- poured concrete molded into stone-like shapes and used to cover the facades of houses. It isn't pretty. But then again, we weren't after pretty.
Here are a few of the stops we made. You probably know a few more. Baltimore is just that kind of town.
and more At AVAM
One recent exhibit, "We Are Not Alone: Angels and Other Aliens,'' showcased the work of 90 artists, all obsessed with aliens in some fashion. The work included pitchfork wielding devils, sexually charged angels, E.T. alien abductors. One couple painted their firsthand experience with probes and spaceships. Another artist discovered beautific angels while in a 19th century lunatic asylum. What's so fascinating about this museum is that the artist's stories are told -- and most of these people are totally out there Artist Oscar Levant once said ³There is a thin line between genius and insanity and I've managed to erase it.² He isn't alone -- the artists of AVAM have all crossed the line.
The Art of War and Peace is on exhibit through Sept. 1, followed by High on Life, Transcending Addiction, October 6, 2002- September 1, 2002, 800 Key Highway, Baltimore's Inner Harbor, 410-244-1900. avam.org
kind of oddball stuff you'll see at the Dime Museum, a
collection of the weird and grotesque once featured in the Dime Museums
the 1800s -- called such because it cost a dime to get in. See a mummified
9-foot-2-inch Peruvian Amazon, a cadre of shrunken heads, a stuffed
And When You Get Hungry, There's...
We grazed on sushi, crab cakes and a corned beef sandwich in honor of St. Pat. The beer was green, the floor was concrete and the prices were reasonable. We were happy. South Charles and Cross Sts. 410-396-9049
We were the
only customers, joined by two more people later in the evening.
Located in a less than savory neighborhood, Martick's is housed in
former 1920's Speakeasy, complete with boarded up doors and windows
bell that you have to ring to gain admission.
A friend's sweet potato soup was grand, a seafood pasta was tasty, chicken Marsala was confused with tomato sauce and my steak was overcooked and drowned in mustard sauce overkill.Consistency may not be the kitchen's forte, but the place is funky enough to keep on your list. 214 W. Mulberry St. 410-752-5155
What makes Jimmy's great is that it's the real thing -- a luncheonette with a cast of local characters, and good food at great prices. The morning special -- eggs, home fries, bacon, sausage or scrapple was priced at $3.95 Fuel up and go -- there's bound to be somebody waiting for your table. 801 S. Broadway, 410-327-3273.
Where to Stay
For affordable accomodations in Ballimore, see the GoNOMAD listings for budget hotels in Baltimore.
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