10 Best Baltimore, MD

02/16/10 – Keep in mind this was written in 2007 for a school project. The idea was to ‘disagree’ with an article and then rewrite the article with your own suggestions.

Ok, I have a metaphorical bone to pick with the editors who wrote this review of Baltimore. That 10Best list of things to do is kind of silly.

Who comes to Baltimore to see an aquarium???? No, I do realize that the aquarium is considered one of the best, if not the best, aquarium in the country, but still… A fish is a fish. You can look at them anytime. (Super broad generalization – sorry aquatic life people..)

The first place I would take and out-of-towner would be the Inner Harbor. First of all, there’s the beauty of the harbor and its surroundings. Dining at sunset on the water and being able to see Federal Hill and Domino Sugar is just beautiful. Did the editors even VISIT the harbor? Or was this some mindless review that they glued together on their Mac Book while sipping lattés in the Hamptons? Where else can you dine at a fine restaurant on the water and have historical features (boats, buildings, a giant historical HILL) at every angle you turn. (Now that I think about it, Annapolis immediately comes to mind… Shucks… But still!) With so much culture, you come to Baltimore City to be indoors looking at giant fish tanks!?!

And this one REALLY churns my butter… The 6th best thing to do while in Baltimore is visit the Rec Room!? Okay, now I just think this is a sick joke that the editors are playing on Marylanders. Heck, it’s not even in Baltimore. It might qualify for the 10Best things in TOWSON. Last time I checked, the Rec Room was bar and pool hall w/ an attached concert hall for locals to watch their favorite indie bands rock out. Not that there is anything wrong with that. I’ve been to a few concerts there. But it would not be on my list of places to take my friends from out of state.

Here’s my partial “10 6Best” incorporating some of the editors picks as well as a few of my own that I feel should take priority. After the first 6 places, it’s really up to the visitor where you want to go. As far as food, shopping, and sights you really can’t go wrong.

1.    Inner Harbor. Why? Shopping, dining, history, interesting people, family friendly, paddle boats, boat rides, boat tours, beautiful… Need I say more? Go grab some crabs, add plenty of Old Bay, and BELIEVE hun!

2.    Fort McHenry. It is the birthplace of the Star-Spangled Banner (Americans national anthem) It saved Baltimore from British invasion during the War of 1812. Without it, who knows what Baltimore would be like today.

3.    Federal Hill. Why? Best view in the city. Bar none. Here’s a high-res view of the city from atop Federal Hill. I think that clearly speaks for the beauty that is available via Federal Hill. The history and stories of the hill including the Baltimore Riot and its occupation by Union Troops before and during the Civil War is extremely interesting.

4.    Camden Yards – Revered as one of the greatest cathedrals of the game, it’s a must visit destination in Baltimore City. Catch a game and grab some BBQ or pit beef from Boog’s and you won’t be disappointed. (I take that back… for obvious reasons.) But if you want some action, come to a game when the Yankees, Red Sox, or Barry Bonds are in town. You are sure to be entertained.)

5.    Mt. Vernon – Like the arts? Go there. Seriously, it’s THE art cultural district. In fact it’s a National Landmark Historic District and a city Cultural District. It’s home to the Peabody Conservatory of the Johns Hopkins University, Walters Art Museum, University of Baltimore, Maryland Historical Society, Maryland Institute College of Art, Joseph Meyerhoff Symphony Hall, Baltimore School for the Arts, Lyric Opera House, Center Stage, Enoch Pratt Free Library Central Branch, Contemporary Museum, Spotlighters Theatre, Eubie Blake National Jazz Institute, and Theatre Project. WOW, that was a mouthful… Check out the Washington monument as well (It’s a massive pillar commenced in 1815 to commemorate the first president of the United States.

6.    Baltimore Symphony Orchestra. I’m not big into orchestra music, but apparently it’s internationally recognized so they must be doing something right.
Reading this, I realized how angry it must sound. I’ll confess, I’m actually laughing at this review for how pathetic some of their picks are. The editors really flipped my light switch with their reviews. It may just be that I’ve grown up in Maryland, lived in the same house all my life, and been all over the state to see what else Maryland has to offer. I never take living in this area for granted. Every time I visit the city I’m awed by its beauty and charm. (I also fear for my life in some parts…)