Tuesday, May 09, 2006

Greetings from Charm City, part one - the fun

...Baltimore! Yes, fabulous, genteel, skeezy Baltimore, home of Edgar Allen Poe and Divine and the fried soft shell crab sandwich. I spent a wonderful weekend in Charm City with four of my oldest and closest friends. It was a blast - and here's the evidence of a late-night toast to our arrival by the world's most fantastic host, LaddieO: Yes, Maria, Aushra, Laddie and I all make those faces when someone points a camera at us. Baltimore is indeed Charm City, but its charms are somewhat dilapidated and blowsy - like a somewhat plain but decidedly vivacious floozy. It's no wonder that this is the home of John Waters. Everywhere we went, it felt as if we were in the center of Polyester - the little row houses, the sense of vague criminality, the cuteness and horror of it all. We stayed in Pigtown, where we encountered both wonderful things (grafitti that declared "Fat Chicks Rock", lovingly restored townhouses) and, late at night, the sound of semi-automatic gunfire in the darkness. We had only a sampling of what Baltimore has to offer, but what we did catch was great. Nothing quite made our day like catching the Baltimore Kinetic Sculpture Race - which we were lucky enough to do last Saturday. Sponsored by the amazing American Visionary Art Museum - one of the finest museums I have ever had the pleasure to visit - the race pits amphibious, man-powered vehicles against each other on a course that includes an obstacle course, a water segment in the harbor, and several damn steep hills. Here are a few pics of our own: After the race, we headed on down to the Maryland Sheep and Wool Festival. All I can say is that it was paradise for yarn freaks and knittyheads. Imagine, if you will, a state fair type environs but devoted entirely to yarn and the beasties it comes from: It came as a bit of a shock to all of us that such a thing even existed. (I suppose none of us quite knew what to expect when we went.) But Maria caught yarn fever and started knitting over the weekend. One of us! One of us! - ahem. Another convert to my dearest addiction. It lends a new understanding to my fiber-lust, knowing where the yarn ultimately comes from, being close to the animals and even to bags and bags of fleece (witness Maria, above, encountering roving for the first time.) Here's Maria and Aushra, taking turns holding a wee baby lamb: They are so outrageously cute that they make you want to run home and put sheep in the backyard. We wouldn't have to mow the lawn then, would we now? The next day, after what seemed like several thousand pounds of food (including remarkably fresh sushi, several ill-fated live crabs, and the most amazing grits with marscapone and bacon at a place named Miss Shirley's), we headed over to our friend Michelle's art exhibit at the Garrett family manse. Michelle's piece was really fantastic - incorporating a set of rubber bulbs, bird call reeds, and gramophone horns into a pair of gorgeous wallpapered duck blinds. Here's Laddie and Amy enjoying the quack of it all: Here's a lovely pic of the bunch of us in front of Michelle's piece: Tomorrow: on to the good stuff - yarn porn a g0-g0!


Blogger alimum said...

When do we get to read part two?

5/19/2006 4:14 PM  

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