Hard times in the city, in a hard town by the sea
Ain’t nowhere to run to, there ain’t nothin’ here for free . . .”
Baltimore, Randy Newman
I was driving by Fattie’s Bar & Grill in Essex on a rainy night just before Halloween with a pretty young widow (spying a fake coffin at a fright night party on the street, she noted that the real ones are mighty expensive) when the subject of the “weird-ass shit” you only see in Baltimore came up.
[Actually, it was the only subject of the night, which was something of a scouting mission. We also debated where to get the best cup of rice pudding in Crabtown. Suggestions welcome.]
A good yardstick for the measure of how precious Baltimore is in its idiosyncracies is to compare it to Washington.
Said the widow Kriebel: “I lived on a pretty gnarly corner in DC for several years and saw some weird-ass shit. But somehow it always lacked the charm of the weird-ass shit you see in Baltimore.
“Like the two times I’ve watched women chasing their men folk with baseball bats . . .
“The chick in DC was homicidal. The chick in Baltimore honestly thought she was gonna teach him something . . . I think that’s what sets Crabtown apart: eternal optimism.”
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