A travel journal
to Baltimore by Eve Carr
Quote: Baltimore offers a kaleidoscope of enjoyable activities for everyone. With its festive water setting, the Harborplace and Gallery is a natural starting place to enjoy shopping, entertainment—and food to write home about. But, let me show you that there’s a lot more to see and do in Baltimore.
All the food treats (Italian ice, homemade ice cream, hot steamy crabs, just to name a few) available at the food courts and restaurants here makes the visit even more tempting.
But, do plan on having some extra time to enjoy the many other attractions in Baltimore such as the Maryland Science Center—with numerous hands-on exhibits; the National Aquarium in Baltimore—where kids and adults will be fascinated with the up-close and personal views they have of fish and mammals and plant life; and the numerous attractions (Little Italy, the Star Spangled Banner House, Fells Point, and others) that are within easy distance of the Harborplace.
There's even more learning fun at the National Aquarium at Pier 3 and Pratt Street. Soothing sounds of the sea surround you as you literally walk with sharks, dolphins, rays, and exotic tropical fish. Stepping into the steamy tropical rain forest is a definite highlight, and, at the Marine Mammal Pavilion, there are whale and dolphin presentations.
The newest exhibit, the Amazon River Forest, lets you wander along a 57-foot stretch of riverbank and spot anaconda, piranhas, and dwarf caimans, as well as turtles, reptiles, amphibians, tropical birds and thousands of fish. Particularly fascinating is the side-by-side display that shows the forest when it's dry and when it is flooded.
At Pier 1 and Pratt Street, dip back into history by boarding the U.S. Frigate Constellation, the first commissioned ship of the Navy (1797) and the oldest American warship continuously afloat.
At the World Trade Center, at Pier 2 and Pratt Street, the tallest pentagonal building in the country, you can enjoy a dramatic panoramic view of Baltimore from the observatory at 27th floor, as well as an interesting display of Baltimore's past.
And these are just the highlights.
Nearby, at the Star-Spangled Banner Flag House and 1812 Museum at 844 East Pratt Street, you can visit the 1793 home of Mary Pickersgill, who made the 30- by 42-foot Star-Spangled Banner which flew over Ft. McHenry and inspired Francis Scott Key to write the words to our national anthem.
The Baltimore & Ohio Railroad Museum at 901 Pratt Street, with its steam, diesel and electric locomotives, and 19th century passenger and freight equipment is interesting even if you aren't into trains. The dramatic Roundhouse was built in 1884 by an architect who always wanted to construct a cathedral, and it shows.
Fell's Point, the oldest working maritime district in the U.S., is also a great place to dine, shop, and just sit outside and enjoy the busy harbor atmosphere.
Charles Street - Hop on and off the Trolley which runs from the Inner Harbor to Pennsylvania Station to shop at fine galleries and antique shops, as well as savor an assortment of international cuisine.
You could spend days at the Walters Art Gallery, at 600 North Charles Street, to see everything from Egyptian mummies, and armor and weaponry from prehistoric times to the 19th century, to masterpieces by Raphael and El Greco.
Baltimore has something fascinating for every member of your family.
FOR MORE INFORMATION: Baltimore Area Convention and Visitors Bureau 101 Light Street - 12th Floor
Here, away from the modern architecture and glitzy displays of Charles Street and the Inner Harbor, you’ll be able to get a close-up look at this Italian enclave. The main attraction here in Little Italy are the many authentic Italian restaurants, but the area is mainly a residential area, and it's fun to capture the flavor of everyday Italian-American life as you linger at the outdoor Bocce (bowling) court or appreciate the splendor of St. Leo's Church. Wander down Albermarle, Fawn, High, President and Exeter Streets, and you will probably see residents sitting in on their immaculately clean marble steps in front of their brick and brownstone row houses. Many have been in the same family for generations.
In Baltimore’s Little Italy you will find a treasure trove of authentic Italian food just waiting for you to sink your fork in and start twirling. Spaghetti, of course, is only the beginning. All the Italian classics--from massive antipasti planners--to frothy cappuccino are here.
In restaurants such as Da Mimmo’s, Vellegia’s, Boccaccio’s and Ristorante Della Notte, you’ll find a vast array of authentic Italian dishes. From Antipasti to whet your appetite to creamy, layered Zuppa Inglese (similar to an English trifle) for dessert, the restaurants in Little Italy can temporarily transport your taste buds back to the old country. Reservations are highly recommended for these popular places. The ice cream creations and Italian pastries such as creamy cannoli at Vaccarro’s are spectacular, so be certain to save some room to really treat your sweet tooth.
Throughout history, of course, it has been the "important people" who have been remembered and honored—The George Washingtons, the Abrahaham Lincolns. Presidents, princesses and movie stars, all seem to have their place in history and Maryland certainly has its share of these as well. It’s only appropriate that their history should be remembered at this museum.
Yet, all too often, the people who made up everyday life have been forgotten. But, now, with their new spotlight exhibit, An Extraordinary, Ordinary Life: The Life and Times of Miss Treva K. Walkling, the Maryland Historical Society is recognizing the vital role of people who were not rich or famous, but played a very important role in their times.
"Miss Treva," as she was called by her customers, was a working woman who embodies the spirit of 20th-century Baltimore. At this display, you will be able to view objects and photographs that bring to life her 47-year career as a waitress and her love of travel, horse racing, and dogs.
Although Treva Katherina Phillipena Wilhelmina Walkling led what many people would consider a very ordinary life, she was definitely not an ordinary, but extraordinary woman. As anyone who knew Treva will tell you, she always had a ready smile for everyone, a sweet, yet mischievous, twinkle in her eyes, and a happy chuckle that bubbled like fine Champagne.
Treva had the wisdom of an experienced Zen master, and, in addition to being my aunt, was a profound role model for me. She enjoyed the here and now and found great pleasure in simple little things like smelling the earthy fresh aroma of a newly plowed field, laughing at the antics of a beguiling beagle, discovering a dime on the pavement – or outsmarting the age-guessing men at carnivals.
Treva was her own person.
Treva had discovered early on that the true secret of life is being yourself and you didn’t have to know her long to realize that she definitely was always her own person. As so many of her friends have put it, "Treva had a mind of her own." While still being her pleasant self, she quickly and firmly let everyone who tried to help her or pay her way know that she preferred to do things for herself.
One time, I secretly tried to give her a book of postage stamps and thought I had succeeded and left the room for a few minutes. When I returned home later that evening I discovered that, when I wasn’t looking, she had slipped the stamps back into my handbag. When I looked back on it, that explained the mischievous look on her face after I had returned to the room.
Treva was always willing to learn new things. Well into her 80’s, she willingly sat before a laptop computer as the magic of the Internet was demonstrated to her. Whether it was asking about the health of a friend or being impressed with daredevil kyackers challenging the rapids at Great Falls,Virginia, Treva was always interested in others.
But her interest was more than passive. She had a caring concern and she reached out to help others all throughout her life. Treva not only knew the meaning of a happy life, but lived it in out in her every day actions.
Treva was always young at heart.
Even at 88, Treva still was far from being old. In each new day, each new hour, she always found new zest to enjoy the here and now. My husband and I still laugh about the time she was in the hospital for cataracts and literally fell upon and consumed the pasticcio ice cream we brought her. She was as happy as a kid at an all-you-can eat ice cream bar. Why pasticcio? Because that’s the flavor she always remembered scooping out for me when I used to visit her at her job at the Purity Creamery.
It’s easy to be happy when you are have a life of luxury. But, as a self-supporting waitress – a profession that has never paid its employee what they are worth -- for almost 50 years, Treva knew what hard work was. Her feet had corns and her legs and back ached, but she never complained. It takes a special person to maintain a happy, young-at-heart attitude all throughout life and, even when stricken with the excruciating pain of arthritis, Treva Walkling was as positive and upbeat as she must have been at 17.
Most of all, Treva reached out to help others. Even when she was in poor health herself, she would drive others to their medical appointments, take them to church, shop for them, and, in general, be there, doing whatever was needed, without any thought of ever being repaid. She set an incredible example for all of us on how to live our lives.
Maryland Historical Society
201 West Monument Street
This Spotlight Exhibit will open at 6 p.m. on March 7 and continue until June 16, 2002.