Tuesday, September 7, 2010

The Warehouse at Camden Yards

Last week I had the good fortune to be at an Orioles game. I haven’t been there in years and years. In fact, the last time I was there was when Brady Anderson was our great power hitter. I had forgotten that such great views were accessible from the top levels of the ballpark. Here, this shot looks south over that end of the city, bordered by the warehouse on the left. Unfortunately, the north side view is now ruined by an ugly modern building. (It was more fun when we could see the Bromo Seltzer Tower.)

I actually used to work at Camden Yards during the mid 1990s. I had a lot of good times with the people I worked with and it yielded plenty of crazy stories. But, the crowds, like the one on my recent visit, tend to be cheerful. I worked there in the days when it was still newly opened. Then, some considered it the ultimate ballpark and I would often meet people from far away who were simply astounded by it. Early one morning some guys arrived in a beat up old car and told me that they drove for three days only to go to Camden Yards.

This old warehouse was always the most interesting thing about the ballpark. It was built for the B&O Railroad in 1905, back in the days when this area was all rail yards. According to baseballpilgrimages.com the warehouse is 1,016 feet long and 51 feet wide. In the days when I worked there it was not fully occupied. I remember during one of the first games of the season I wanted a restroom and my supervisor suggested that I go in the warehouse and find one. Well, a guard gave me a third degree and sent me to an upper floor, which was unfinished but had working bathrooms. It was pretty interesting up there so I took some time to admire the view. When I came back down the guard was annoyed that I spent so much time up there and indicated that she was watching me on closed circuit TV the entire time. Well, let’s just say I made a real effort to know the locations of handy public bathrooms after that.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Trees and Buildings

A couple of weeks ago I read an article in The Sun about Station North, that area around North Avenue and Charles Street. I think the article talked about how the area was not moving forward as it should. It included some hyperbolic statement about trees growing out of building windows. Well, what did I find on a recent sweltering summer day, but that very thing? They seem to be rooted in the surrounding architecture and not coming out of the window, but that is city life for you. I can’t remember correctly, but I believe this is in the 1800 block of Charles Street, down from Pearson’s and the corner of North Avenue.

Monday, July 5, 2010

A Fell’s Point Pier

I was in Fell’s Point the other week and noticed that this old pier is still there. It is cut off from land, but there is a fence around the general area and has been for some time. I don’t know what is up with it but every time I go there I expect it to be gone. There used to be 2 piers in this spot. One, I believe maybe this one, belonged to something maritime related, like the Navy or Coast guard. It wasn’t used much and it was fenced off from the public. The other one, which was next to it, was just rotting.

I'm a bit nostalgic about these piers. Back in the early ‘90s a friend and I used to take a lot of walks around here and explore the area. There were still a lot of those warehouses too and they had not been torn down or renovated. Since my friend was a guy I felt comfortable going around these areas and he even convinced me to walk out on some of these old piers. We also used to poke around the one in front of the old coffee warehouse, which is not part of the Frederick Douglas-Isaac Meyers Maritime Park.

It was fun but scary to go out on them as they were unstable but it was like being on a part of history. In those days we mostly saw local fishermen out on those docks and they were usually friendly. Towards the end, before the spot was sold and developed, I began to avoid the area as it became a gathering place for homeless people. The new pier by the coffee warehouse is pretty and functional but I wish I had photographed the spot in the old days.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

An Old White Coffee Pot

I just like this decaying White Coffee pot restaurant and I believe it is on the corner of Howard and Franklin. I’ve been watching it fall apart over the years because I sometimes pass it while going back and forth to the library. I have some dim memory of it being open, and then a phase where I wasn’t sure if it was open or closed. I also believe that in college a friend went to look at renting one of the places above the restaurant and was frightened away by the general decay of the area.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

New Gaps in the Cityscape

This was going to be a Wordless Wednesday but it didn’t quite make it. If I find a building being torn down I always stop to photograph it, even if I don’t quite remember what was there before.

The one above was on Eastern Avenue and Broadway but it fell down a couple of months ago. I happened by on the day when they were tearing down the remains. I’m sure it was an auto parts store as the person with me was reminiscing about how he used to buy car parts there. I don’t know the age of the building but it was one of the typical three story brick buildings you see all around Fell’s Point.

I photographed the remains above last summer, so it isn’t recent but I always like three pictures for Wordless Wednesday. It is on North Avenue and Charles. (I think?) This was some old Victorian thing and I believe a carryout at some point? This one really puzzled me as I’ve walked by it a thousand times and had no idea what was once there, except it was in bad shape and boarded up towards the end.

I was wandering down Park Avenue a couple of weeks ago (as you can see in last week’s Wordless Wednesday) and noticed that they were knocking down parts of Lexington Mall. That spurred me on to a photo expedition in the area as now I bet they’ll be knocking down everything around there. Again, I don’t remember what was here but I am not often on this street anymore. Actually, almost nobody is and during the past few years it’s been a bit of a ghost town. People only seem to use it as a shortcut to the light rail.

Friday, June 11, 2010

Stormy Sky

I actually took this photograph in January but it seems to fit the stormy summer mood of today. This should be on Cathedral Street somewhere, not far from the library.

I'm thinking of just turning this into a photo blog because I have so many other writing projects that I don't have time for more research. I'll research when I can, but I just love taking photos of things in Baltimore City. In the back of my mind I have a coal chute article planned but not researched yet. I'm suddenly seeing so many coal chutes around here. You never know whan something odd like that will preoccupy you.