I may have mentioned before that I love living in Baltimore. I was not born or raised a “city person,” but I realized at an early age that there is comfort to be found in the chaos of urban life. When I moved here I’d already lived in cities on each coast and everywhere in between, each with its own manner and mood. To me Baltimore is a city of contrasts, high-strung in a laid back kind of way, with a “c’mon please love me no never mind I don’t care if you do” vibe. It’s like the kid in high school who somehow managed to squeak into the top 10 of the class after spending four years doing homework on the bus – you don’t know how or why, but somehow the combination of minimal effort and maximum attitude create something wonderful. Anyway, I like it and it suits me (probably because I was that kid).
Not everything is always rosy in Urbtopia, however. There are things about city-living that just grate on me sometimes. For example, it seems that all things related to owning and/or operating a motor vehicle within Charm City are cause for stress these days. Last weekend, as I was getting in my car, the grumpy old fart who owns the take-out restaurant on the corner of my street yelled out to me. “Hey, don’t you know you’re not supposed to park there after 10am? Can’t you READ???” Now, this man has not spoken to me or my husband in all the years we’ve lived in our house. Nor has he so much as acknowledged our greetings as we crossed paths. A few other facts: The “no parking” sign
hoards is intended to reserve three or four precious city parking spaces for “deliveries,” the sign is not specifically for his business, his stupid restaurant does not even open until noon, he uses the spots as personal parking spaces for himself and his equally nasty staff since they do not even deliver (it being a take-out place and all), the food is terrible, and they only get “deliveries” like once a week, likely because the food is so bad. To add further insult, rather than walk over it to get in my car, I’d just picked up the trash on the sidewalk in front of his restaurant (which he witnessed prior to his snarky comment), something I usually do as I may my way through the neighborhood and something I’d never seen him do. Ever. And so as I stood there holding the disgusting used cups and paper plates from his nasty take-out place, I found myself counting to ten so as not to shove them down his throat. And while he was telling me he was going to call parking enforcement the next time he so much as saw my car within that block (please do, my friend – you have no idea who I am, what I do or who I know), I told him to have a nice day and sped off. Argh.
Later that same day, some idiot in a souped up car that should not have been souped up (like a Honda or something, come on people) started to weave into my lane and so I tapped my horn at him. As a courtesy, as if to say “get out of my lane idiot, get off your phone and watch where you’re going.” He proceeded to violently swerve directly into my lane, slam on his brakes, put the car in park and get out of his car. Now I learned how to drive in NYC and I can tell you this is nothing new to me. Of course we’ve all heard horror stories of road rage but this is Baltimore people, just get over yourself and your ridiculous vehicle and move it along, we all have places we’d rather be than sitting in traffic. Here’s the problem, at least for him: I had T in the car. And if I would not have put up with this nonsense before T, I was all out “don’t you mess with this mama with her baby in the car” this time around. I will not insult you with the tirade that was unleashed, but Mr. Man jumped back in that car like his own mama just appeared and shamed him in front of his friends. With any luck he takes that lesson back to his buddies and tells them all to watch out for the crazy lady in the blue station wagon. Maybe he’s friends with the old fart, I could kill two birds with one stone.*
But I guess those were both bad….the weather is good. Any day with sun and low humidity and a nice breeze is a good weather day, and we get lots of those.
Now for the awesome (insert drumroll here):
That’s right, Baltimore hosted a Star Spangled Sailabration to celebrate the bicentennial of the War of 1812 and the writing of the Star Spangled Banner and events included none other than the Blue Angels. For two days I watched them do flybys past the windows of my office building and zoom all over downtown; on Saturday and Sunday DH, the kids and I watched them buzz over our house with a deafening roar. It was beyond awesome, it was once in a lifetime! The only blip in the sheer awesomeness was that they were so fast (and my camera so slow) that I didn’t get a picture of them as they went over my house. But I’m okay with that.
* No birds were injured in the writing of this blog.