The morning was freaking gorgeous! It was dry, about 75 degrees, no clouds in the sky, Mike and Bone headed out into the Inner Harbor which was crawling like Maryland crabs with soldiers everywhere!
Copping Out in the Inner Harbor
Baltimore's Inner Harbor is the spiritual center of the city. B-More has always been a significant seaport, most of the Yankee Clippers that sailed in the 1800's called Baltimore its port. Unfortunately by the late 1970's other cities (such as Washington) had taken much of what made Baltimore special. B-More looking to kick the urban decay put a big focus on redoing the Inner Harbor into the very cool place it is today with museums colonial warships (the USS Constellation!) and great restaurants. But with the but-head rioters, there were more National Guard, State Troopers, and City Police, than tourist!
Really!?! A Police State in Baltimore!
The Boys headed over to one of the best breakfast joints on the East Coast, Miss Shirley's Cafe ! It is a very good American diner that typically has a line out the door on a Saturday Morning. But not this day. Mike and Bone ordered and had their food in about 5 minutes (typically 20) and chatted with the waitress. She was a college student that uses her tips to attend school, since the riots started, they were down to less than a quarter of what they typically were.
She also shared with Mike and Bone that she was working when the Riot started. People were running up and down Pratt Street (The Main Street in Inner Harbor) throwing things and stealing. Apparently Miss Shirley's closed early and got all their employees out of the area for safety's sake. After a good breakfast and a ad story the Boys continued on into venerable Fells Point !
Bonecello Two from Inner Harbor
Passing through Little Italy!
Fells Point is about mile and a half from Inner Harbor, one of the cool neighborhoods the Boys got to walk through was Little Italy, which has restaurants which are every bit as good as the Little Italy in New York!
Mike and Bone ready to Party in Fells Point
Fell's Point is a historic waterfront neighborhood, established in about 1763, in the southeastern area of the City of Baltimore, in Maryland, along the north shore of the Baltimore Harbor and the Northwest Branch of the Patapsco River. There are many shops, including antique stores, restaurants, coffee bars, music stores, a municipal market house with individual stalls, and over 120 pubs. It is located just east of Inner Harbor and the Jones Falls stream (which splits the city, running from northern Baltimore County), Fell's Point has a maritime past and the air of a seafaring town. Also to the Boys great pleasure (for later on!), it also has the greatest concentration of drinking establishments and restaurants in the city!
Wandering around, Mike and Bone got two cups of the freshest coffee ever made in a Gelato Shop and kibitzed with the store owner about what happened on the day of Riot. Apparently as the day went on and the looted booze took effect, the natives became much more restless and bold. People were smashing windows and pretty much performing social justice shopping of whatever they wanted!
Wandering around the Broadway Market in Fells Point, they chatted with the locals on their thoughts on the Riot and living in Baltimore. While wandering around, they saw a pretty cool local artist shop, where Bone ended up buying a painting of the Water Taxi in the Fell Point Dock. Mike, wanting to catch the Protest Rally rallied Bone to book back to Downtown/Inner Harbor to find out when the Rally would occur. Finding out that it would be at City Hall at 1:00, the Boys knew they have time for lunch, now being in Baltimore on a gorgeous day what could be better than eating crab outside with a beer!
Getting Crabby Outside at Captain Jims Landing !
Mike and Bone walked down AliceAnna Street to a bizarre looking building shaped like a Ship, Captain Jims Landing, a B-More classic !
On an sunny beautiful May day, there really ain't' nottin betta then a table of steamin' crabs, covered with Old Bay seasoning, and a bucket of Corona's! Its a lot of work, with a rich reward to smack and snap the crab meat out of the shell, followed by icy cold beers. After the awesome lunch, the boys had just enough time to grab a cab and head to City Hall for the Freddie Gray Protest Rally.
Protest Politics !
The Boys showed up at Coty Hall with hundreds of Baltimore residents and a lot of outsiders protesting the Police despite the arrest a day earlier of six police officers in the death of Freddie Gray. Marchers converged on City Hall after walking from the Gilmore Homes housing project, where Gray was arrested. Demonstrators, some carrying signs with messages like "Justice for Freddie Gray" and "It is right to rebel," moved through the streets of Baltimore to War Memorial Plaza outside City Hall, where hundreds of others gathered for the rally, which had the atmosphere of a block party.
A biracial couple, Devan Sutherland and Joe Savage, attended the rally with their 7-year-old son, Liam. "It means everything to me and my family," Sutherland said. "I was born and raised here. I care a lot about my city. I love my city." The rally, organized by the Washington-based Black Lawyers for Justice, came after a week of demonstrations, some marred by arson and looting.
Some protesters were arrested a short time later. "What really touched me was hearing the youth speak and telling America that they are not thugs," demonstrator Daudi Henderson said. "We can't demonize the victim."
Protesting the "Man" at City Hall!
Mike and Bone at their first Racial Protest!
Not wanting to make a seen Mike and Bone, listened to the spectrum of real and perceived complaints, against the Baltimore Police, City of Baltimore, White People, and the USA, from institutional racism, organized oppression, and slavery reparations.
Organized Bitchin' and Moaning
Police and Military Helicopters Monitoring the Tense Protest Rally at City Hall !!
With each speaker there were chants and "yes sirs," while in the air there were Police Helicopters and across the street on the Federal Building, they had clearly seen snipers on the rooftops.
All this tension of racial strife, hatred for their fellowman, made Mike and Bone think long and hard - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
That all this strife and social injustice made them thirsty, time for a beer at the many pub in B-More !!!!. So to start the tour, the boys went back to Inner Harbor to have a grog at Ti Na Nog!
It was all Tranquil at Tir Na Nog with some old fashioned Grog!
Ti Na Nog is an Guinness-owned Pub Chain with locations throughout North America, despite being a chain, it is a wonderful pub, and the Guinness is first-rate! The Pub is on the second floor of a series a shops in Inner Harbor that had a phalanx of soldiers surrounding it. Sitting near a group of them, Bone exclaimed out loud "Let them loot the city and burn City Hall, but for God sakes, save the Guinness!!" To which one solider retorted "can't we save all the beer !?" This answer gave Mike and Bone great satisfaction that the fate of the Nation was on track and in good hands. It was time to move on, plus Bone wanted to dump his picture at the Condo. So the Boys headed for the Taxi, the Water Taxi that is !
Waking Out on the Inner Harbor Water Taxi!
Baltimore has had a Water Taxi Service for over 35 years. It takes passengers all over the Inner Harbor and Fort McHenry during the warm months and with limited services on the weekend during the Fall. The Water Taxi has a straight shot from the Inner Harbor to Bone's place in Harbor Place.
Slanting for Slaintes in Fells Point !
The Boys remembering that Fells Point had the greatest concentration of pubs next took the Water Taxi to continue the pub crawl sitting outside at a Fells Point favorite, Slaintes!
More Guiney's at Slaintes,
With a Detroit Cop!
Located at 1700 Thames Street on the waterfront in Fellís Point, Slainte is a traditional Irish Pub with a great view of the Harbor from their outdoor seating. Due to the diminished crowds because of the Riot and curfew, the seating was wide open for Mike and Bone. Sitting there the Boys dickered with an off-duty oyster shucker that was sent home early due to the reduced business. They then struck up a conversation with the Manager of Slaintes who was in fact a good Polish Boy from Hamtramck, still loves the Polish Cafe, and was an ex-Detroit Cop!!!
He regaled the Boys with stories of his Detroit Gangland connections through his Uncle, that ran with the Purple Gang. Talking about gangsters the conversation came to Kwame Kilpatrick, ex-mayor, and his excellent fraudulency! His in fact knew all about the infamous Gangsta Party at the Manoogian Mansion. The afternoon passed pleasantly at the outdoor Bar with several more rounds of the Brown Creature, when Bone realized, it wouldn't be a trip to Baltimore without a visit to Patrick's of Pratt Street!!!!
Patrick's on Pratt !!
Mike and Bone have taken every opportunity over the past 15 year to hit every Irish possible. The Ed Sheehy Memorial Tour was all about hitting all the Irish Bars just on 3rd Avenue in New York. So how could the Boys miss the oldest one of all in these fair states?!?
Patrick's of Pratt Street is the oldest Irish Pub in the United States. It was founded in 1847, by Patrick Rowley and in its present location since 1862. It has been owned by his great grand nephew the current Patrick Rowley and his Wife Anne since 1999. Patrick and Bone have become buddies and Bone takes every opportunity when in B-More to stop by at least once a week.
Patrick, the Patrician !!
Not only is Patrick's a fine Irish Pub, it is a very good restaurant. Patrick's wife Anne is a gourmet cook, and she makes the BEST pan-fried steak (all in the seasonings) in the world. While waiting for their dinner, Mike and Bone were getting into a rarified state. By now the Guinney's had begun to take their toll so it was obviously time for a few shots of the Bushmills!
Post Steak Ardor !
Mike thought the Steak was every bit as good as advertised. Good Guinness, great food, gracious hosts; that's Patrick's on Pratt Street!!! After faring adieu to Patrick and his regulars, the Boys walked woozily back to Inner Harbor to catch a cab back to Fells Point to hit yet another Irish Bar, the Blarney Stone ?!?
Blarney Stone, Baltimore !?!
Bone had taken Mike to his local bar in Berkley the Blarney Stone many times. It is not really a full Irish Pub, but it is walking (staggering) distance to Bone's House. The Blarney Stone in Baltimore is much closer to a full Irish Pub, and is considered one of the favorite bars by the locals in Fells Point. Grabbing (yet!) a few more Guinness, the Boys enjoyed the easy going ambience. However, even in the B-more Blarney, the Bartender told the Boys that the Saturday Night crowd was only a third of its typical size, due to the silliness. Checking out the clock, the Boys noticed it was already 8:30, so with more bars to hit in Federal Hill, Mike and Bone once again took advantage of that daylong Water Taxi pass and zipped back to Bone's in time to walk up the hill and hit MaGerks!
Drinkin' at MaGerk's !
MaGerks is a Irish/Sports Bar in Federal Hill that is famous for having the best Philly Cheese Steak this side of Passyunk in South Philly! Mike and Bone got there about 9:10 just in time for a one round of Guiney's just to check the place out. However with time running out to curfew, the headed back down for a nightcap at Porters!
Drinkin' Porters, at Porters!!!
Aint' no better nightcap than having a couple of porters at Porters ! Porters is your typical Federal Hill Neighborhood Bar. It has great pub food and a good array of micro-brews on tap. Being one block from Bone's doesn't hurt, especially with the rapidly approaching asinine curfew! So the Boy dickered with the Bartender and few other locals at the Bar just about to 9:55, when the Boys scurried like wharf rats across the streets in time to be safely off the streets by 10:00. Which didn't really matter because the 10 hours of steady drinkin' had taken their toll and the Boys were whooped, which explained their early exit from consciousness!
The next morning, the Boys rose early since Mike had a 8:00 AM flight directly back to GR. It was a fun trip with national events, lotsa crab, and Guinness. Soon after Mike's flight had left the Mayor of Baltimore announced that the Curfew, would be lifted. Ironic?!? Maybe not, the locals may not have scared the City more that the depredations of Mike and Bone!