The backstory: my friend and I went to Baltimore ten years ago after she graduated from high school.  While we were on the town, my car was broken into, followed by a long, frustrating night of running into a series of the dumbest people ever put on this earth (read slightly more about that here).  I spit on Baltimore!  But as I am a deeply forgiving person, I’m willing to visit places again if I can eat a lot while I’m there.

We went up for the weekend to visit our friend Jess.  She did a bang up job taking us around Charm City (they call it that because “That’s So Raven” was already being used).  We ate delicious crab cakes at Faidley’s, which also doubled as a “Wire” tour stop (McNulty had his kids play “front and follow” with Stringer at the market).  I don’t like seafood, but this was the best crab cake anywhere, so says Faidley’s and the crab cake experts.  It was pretty delicious.  Then Richard ate a sausage at Pollack Johnny’s immediately after.  I also think he ate some fried chicken while Jess and I made our way around a corner to find him.  The honeymoon’s never over to him.

We also did some shopping/expensive store looking in Hampden, which was an Oregon Hill/Carytown kind of place, meaning there were a lot of boutiques plus shirtless boys walking pit bulls.  I bought a lot of fun stuff.  We took a break at a Royal Farms, which is kind of like a Wawa, but since it was on a city block it reminded me more of a Tesco in London.  We had Berger cookies, which were mini-heart attacks covered in fudge.  We ate dinner at the Golden West Cafe.  I had to blow my nose every ten seconds so I spent a lot of time in the bathroom, mesmerized by the LP covers lining the walls.  I had the best cocktail there called the Sarsaparilla, which was described as Sprite root beer plus vodka (it was clear).  Baltimore did not make me sick, but it also didn’t cure my cold, so our night was cut short.

In the morning we had brunch at a place called the Red Door and I ate a mashed potato omelette.  We walked around the harbor — not the inner harbor part, but around the way, with upscale housing and cats staring at us through cracked doors.  Jess is from Baltimore, and was an excellent navigator and ammature historian.  Baltimore still seems like a lot of trouble, and we kept comparing it to Richmond.  Though we don’t have our own type of cookie and I would never spend $50 on a skirt in my hometown.  Richard tried to convince Jess to move to Richmond, like he does with everyone who doesn’t live here.  I like to have friends out of town because I like to visit places and it’s always nice to know a local.

Is it bad to keep comparing every place I go to the place where I live?  What kind of perspective does that really give us?  All cities are probably the same.  They’re rundown for the same reasons and being revitilized in the same ways.  Plus a store keeper told me that Richmond was really expensive when I told him where I was from.  I had never heard that before.

It did make me feel better that Jess shouted “OH MY GOD” when we drove by the hotel that my friend’s parents booked for us those many years ago when we had our patch of trouble.  It was bad!