Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Baltimore


'Just stay by the Inner Harbor'. When this is the advice you get from nearly everyone who lives and/or works in the area, you listen. The Inner Harbor is a beautiful little area of Baltimore that reminds me of Boston. It even has a little US Constitution-like ship. It's called the Constellation. You can see it in the above picture. Little more cozy than the Boston harbor area, but the similarities are striking.

A rundown of the city by category:


People

Positives: In a total upset, I actually like the people here. They have a touch of the southern hospitality without the reverb of thumping Bibles. Very friendly and helpful.

Negatives: The startling number of homeless people walking the streets. This is supposedly a tourist area, but it looked like dawn of the dead at times. Only these zombies chant 'Spaarree change...spare change...' while they stagger around. Very disturbing.


Accomodations

Positives: When you wake up every morning to the view in the picture above, there isn't much to complain about. One great new innovation in my room - there are speakers everywhere in the ceiling which pipe in the TV sound. I happily realized this when I jumped in the shower and could still hear SportsCenter highlights loud and clear. How great is that?

Negatives: Beers in the lobby bar were too expensive. $5 for a Miller Lite? No thanks. Well, I mean, thanks, but what the hell?


Camden Yards

Positives: Way too many to count. Let's break this down, shall we?

- Tickets were $8 and we bought them five minutes before the game started

- Got to sit where ever we wanted. The place was half empty. Below is the first place we stopped to watch the game. This was the center field bleachers.


Next we strolled over to the left field side where we had this view:



- Seats were great! No, not the view, but the actual seats. Comfortable and enough leg and arm room for a normal male to move around.

- Highlight was seeing a 3 year old black boy dressed in an exact copy of Miguel Tejada's uniform. It was like a mini-Tejada. Then, out of the blues, Jay Gibbons runs over before the start of an inning to give the boy a game ball. Kid was in his glory.

- Full picnic area behind center field complete with small trees. Of course, this apparently turns into the make shift smoking area for the park so it was a cloud of haze. Good idea, though.

- Watching Sox - Yankee highlights on the huge screen and having nearly everyone in attendance cheer when they show Manny cranking a three run homer. Yankee hating seems to be a national past time.

- Actual beer guys. No kidding. I sat in my seat and ordered bottled beer from a guy running up and down the aisles. When I was low he was right back with more. Love the beer guy.

Negatives: Two here. First being the realization that Fenway is a pit. A complete internal renovation is needed to make the seats more comfortable and facing in the right direction. Being in a real ballpark makes you realize what an abomination of comfort and style Fenway really is.

Second was eating one of the worst hot dogs ever. And I mean in the history of mankind. It may have been horsemeat for all I know. Awful doesn't begin to describe it. I will never complain about Fenway Franks again.


Women

Positives: Another shock, they are beautiful here. We have an office of 15 people and there are three legitimately hot women there. Remarkable percentage. Even the general population turned my head quite a few times.

Negatives: My marital status.


Sports

Positives: Ravens and Orioles are it and the O's rule by A LOT. I'm guessing the history behind the team makes the baseball team more of a city institution than the fairly new Ravens. There are street signs and posters hanging from street lights every other block. Tejada appears to be the face of the franchise now that Ripken's gone, but good ole Cal is still showing up on TV ads here on an hourly basis.

Negatives: The Orioles suck! And have for a while. There is a built in depression about the team that seems imbedded in the natives. Example: I asked if I would just walk up and get seats at the game that night and was greeted with laughter, eye rolls and 'Yeah, there will be A LOT of seats still available'. One guy morosely followed that up with 'We haven't been good for a looonnng time' while staring at his shoes. I feel bad for O's fans.


Boston Sports

Positives: Sox - Yankees series. Love that everyone overreacted to the Yankees winning the first game of the series with 'Here they come!' and 'They have that look about them' only to get destroyed the very next night. It was one game. Calm down. Just like it's only May. Long way to go folks. Sox aren't unbeatable and everyone is still in it. Take a breath.

Negatives: Celtics and the lottery. What the FUCK!?? It literally could not have been a worse outcome. Yeah, they still have the fifth pick, but everyone that knows Danny Ainge just knows he'll blow it on some unknown Chinese or European guy. I can't explain the shock when I found out. I'm just speechless. Fucking ping pong balls. The topper being Portland getting the first pick while being represented by the fucking guy we could have had in last year's draft. Did I mention he won Rookie of the Year? What a disaster.


Today's distraction: Run your own mock draft. I would but couldn't figure out how to trade every player on the Celtics for the first pick. Too depressing otherwise.

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