Thursday, January 6, 2011

Balmer Girl

There are many things I miss about Baltimore, and I list these in no order of importance:

- The row homes in ethnic, bustling neighborhoods, with marble stoops and painted screens.
- Steamed crabs, red with Old Bay seasoning, spread out on newspaper on picnic tables, wooden mallets, and big pitchers of cold beer. And I'll always be rather proud of my crab-picking skills.
- The Baltimore accent (with the famous ö), including the use of "hon" when addressing any female and the way we say "Downey Ocean" instead of "down at the ocean."
- The old days of the Orioles (known to us as the O's) playing in Memorial Stadium. Boog Powell. Frank Robinson. Brooks Robinson. Hot Cal Ripken. Jim Palmer. Eddie Murray.
- The inner harbor, especially back in the old days before it got all touristy.
- Eating mussels at Bertha's in Fells Point.
- Bowling duckpins instead of ten-pins. I can never look at a bowling ball with three holes and and not feel resentment, knowing that there's a better way of bowling up North where the ball fits within the palm of your hand.
- Broadway, Cross Street and Lexington markets (today's newfangled outdoor organic farmers' markets don't hold a candle to what was inside the brick walls of one of these gems).

And so I was especially touched when co-worker Laura, whose husband is from Charm City, went back to the hallowed ground on the Chesapeake Bay during the holidays and came back with this gift for me. National Bohemian, or Natty Boh, is a Baltimore institution, first brewed in 1885 by Baltimore's own National Brewing Company. This folk-artish sculpture, made from a Natty Boh can by Baltimore (actually Hampden) artist James Pollock.


Chateau Gahan may be all girly pinks and vintage florals, but this tin can angel will have a place of honor on the study shelves, a smile-inducing reminder of my hometown.

5 comments:

Honey said...

That's the cutest little beer can I ever have seen. :) Very sweet of your friend to get this for you to!

Laura said...

I'm so glad you liked it!

Although now I have a serious craving for steamed crabs.

Claudia said...

As a dialect coach, I'm interested - do you still have a trace of your Baltimore accent?

xo
Claudia

Loretta a/k/a Mrs. Pom said...

Two of my kids are currently in Baltimore; one for college and one for career. We've come to love the city and look forward to every time we have an opportunity to go. I am especially enamored of the coffee shop at Fells Point. If we hadn't bought a cottage on the Cape, I have a feeling we would have ended up with a townhouse (with 2 kids living in it!)

Teri said...

AND...Balmer misses you too!

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