The DougBlog
"Et sans savoir pourquoi, disent toujours: Allons!" —Baudelaire

Tuesday, October 02, 2007

Quoth the Raven, "Baltimore!"

Until recently, the only business trip I went on this entire year was to Chicago in June—and that was when the fungus struck! But happily a few more recent trips turned out much better, and I went to some exotic locations: Barcelona, Denver, and Baltimore. Ooo, Baltimore…

Well, not to malign Baltimore. I’d actually never been, and any trip can be fun if you make it such. So I made sure I had a few free hours to walk around. I guess one could say I explored my Chesapeake:

Just don’t explore your Chesapeake too much, or you’ll go blind.

Here’s a view of Baltimore Harbor with a Civil War canon. I’m not exactly sure why the canon is pointed directly at the city, but I guess I'm no military genius:

Also along the harbor was this random man walking with a cheese hat:

Nerdly, I know, but the first thing I thought of to see in Baltimore was Fort McHenry. This is where the Americans raised a giant flag during the War of 1812 and a certain lawyer by the name of Francis Scott Key, held captive on a British ship offshore, wrote the Star-Spangled Banner. Here’s the fort, over which they still fly the 1812 version of the “Star-Spangled Banner”:

Upon closer inspection, you’ll notice that it has 15 stars and 15 stripes (as was the style at the time):

The original, bomb-tattered flag is in the Smithsonian. To this day, Fort McHenry is where any new American flag gets to fly first: the current 50-star flag was first raised here at 12:01AM on July 4, 1960.

Here’s a “bed” for the soldiers inside the fort. It still looks more comfortable than a Travelodge:

Here’s Ben Franklin at the fort, along with his Mitsubishi Gallant:

I wandered too long on the grounds and got locked in. Here you can see Thomas Paine, Ben Franklin (in a baseball cap), and a National Park Ranger trying to unlock the gate. Now there's something you don’t see every day:

Random photo…on my walk I passed this church:

Ironically, just down the street was the Church of “Our Lady of the Really, Really Bad Idea.”

My next stop was Edgar Allan Poe's grave—very timely this close to Halloween:

More random photos…can you count the grammatical errors in this sign? I mean, come on, people…if you’re going to spend money on a sign, at least do a spell and grammar check:

I can’t think of a worse idea for a museum, much more a “National” one:

I walked past Camden Yards, home of the Baltimore Orioles. It was a game day, so not much to see from the outside. But they did have this Sports Legends Museum:

The windows were filled with photos of the like of Babe Ruth (who Baltimore tries to claim, but let’s get real), Jim Thorpe, Billie Jean King, and Arnold Palmer. Oh, and Abraham Lincoln. I’m not sure why…perhaps with his tall height and lanky build he was a forward for Ye Olde Chicagoe Bulls before becoming President?:

I also saw this outside Camden Yards. I guess it means at least one Oriole lost:

Finally, off to bed and some early morning research. The Sheraton offered a spectacular view…of the Hyatt (they must be thrilled about that):

Next stop, Denver…and then on to Barcelona!


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