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by Peter Moskos

September 28, 2008

Oh, Baltimore

I always leave Baltimore loving it more than ever. This time was no exception. Except I was really wet. Man did it rain.

A shame, considering the Book Fest was outdoors. Yeah, they had tents. But it was wet. Man did it rain.

I got in on Friday night and went out drinking with my Palin-loving friends.

Saturday I had lunch at Icarus (they make good crab cakes) and got to chat with Xenophone, whom I haven't seen in years. Then I walked to the Highlandtown Library in the rain.

Thanks to an influx of Mexicans and other from south of the border, Greektown and Highlandtown are very different than I remember. There are taquerias in Highlandtown! A lot of them. It's hard to imagine. And property values are up. I'll tell you what, Eastern Ave looks a lot better than it did when I left in 2001.

The library talk went well. It was a small turnout, about 20 people, but a very good discussion. Some very good Greeks (and non Greeks) were there. I was actually quite deeply moved. Senator Sarbanes and the Maroudas family and John Gavrilis. If it weren't for them, I never would have gone to Baltimore.

Yes, Senator Paul Sarbanes and his wife were there. Sarbanes knew my father. Sarbanes is a very good man. He gives me faith in both politics and politicians. Seriously. He's so low key. And so nice and caring. Nobody turns their head. But they all know who he is. I didn't even recognize him at first. Like the Senator is always at the Enoch Pratt Free Library, Southeast Anchor branch. Maybe he is. I'm proud to have voted for him. Too bad I can't vote for his son.

Then I got a ride to the book fest and a nice little tour of the growth of Southeast Baltimore. But the book fest was basically a washout. I talked twice. And I thank anybody and everybody who showed up in the rain.

Afterward, I went with friends to the Owl Bar in the Belvedere. Classy. I had never been there before. And then on the 10:45 train back to NYC.

29 hours in Baltimore. Such a fine city. And I think it's finally on the rebound. Too bad it rained. Man did it rain.

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