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:: Walking Baltimore
An Insider’s Guide to 33 Historic Neighborhoods, Waterfront Districts, and Hidden Treasures in Charm City
includes Charm City’s well-known neighborhoods--Downtown, the Inner Harbor, Mount Vernon, and Fells Point. But in the voice of its insider author, the book also covers lesser-known and far-flung corners, revealing what makes Baltimore such a wonderful and fascinating destination and hometown. Full of little-known facts and trivia, this book will show how and why Baltimore was an essential player in the country’s early history and continues to be influential today.
This book also showcases a completely different side of Baltimore from the one conveyed in some popular TV shows in recent years. As in all major metro areas around the world, drugs and violence do exist in Baltimore. But the day-to-day life of the city provides so much more. Here is a city almost unparalleled in American history and it lives up to its modern reputation as a quirky, come-as-you-are and be-what-you’ll-be place. The zany Baltimore-based film director John Waters (of
fame) summed it up best when he said, “It’s as if every freak in the South was headed to New York City, ran out of gas in Baltimore, and decided to stay.”
As for the history, it lingers in 18th-century neighborhoods such as Mount Vernon, Federal Hill, Jonestown, and Seton Hill. But Charm City's cultural and political past is infused with a vibrancy well beyond the glitz of the popular Inner Harbor. From Dickeyville to Homeland, Guilford to Mount Royal, Hampden to Charles Village, Bolton Hill to Cedarcroft, and so many other neighborhoods,
takes visitors and residents alike on a romp that will have many locals exclaiming, “I had no idea.” While tourist brochures often limit their scope to a few centrally located neighborhoods and sites,
gives specific directions for beginning self-guided strolls in almost every corner of the city--with instructions on how to get to the starting points via public transportation.
Take a neighborhood such as SOWEBO (Southwest Baltimore): rarely will it show up in any guidebook or tourist brochure. And yet this one section of the city embraces the birthplace of American railroading; the homes of Edgar Allan Poe and H. L. Mencken; a 19th-century (and still functioning) market; a unique shrine to Irish railroad workers; and one of the city’s oldest Catholic churches, where Babe Ruth was baptized. The 30+ entries in this book introduce new and fascinating neighborhoods for visitors and residents, and they remind locals (and inform visitors) what makes Baltimore a wonderful place to live and visit.
About Evan L. Balkan
Evan Balkan teaches writing at the Community College of Baltimore County. His fiction and nonfiction, mostly in the areas of travel and outdoor recreation, have been published throughout the United States, as well as in Canada, England, and Australia. A graduate of Towson, George Mason, and Johns Hopkins universities, he is also the author of The Best in Tent Camping: Maryland, Shipwrecked! Deadly Adventures and Disasters at Sea, and Vanished! Explorers Forever Lost (all published by Menasha Ridge Press). He lives in Lutherville, Maryland, with his wife, Shelly, and daughters, Amelia and Molly.
Evan L. Balkan
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