Baltimore – Crabs, Old Bay and Beer

When I think of Baltimore I instantly start singing in my head ‘good morning Baltimore’ from Hairspray. It’s funny how something we read in a book or watch on tv then impacts how we view a certain place. From watching Hairspray years ago I’ve always had this vision of Baltimore being very classic and full of women with beehive hairdos and constant dancing and singing. Baltimore is very trendy and everyone I encountered there was very proud of being a Baltimorean (or Marylander?). It was nice to meet people who were so happy about their city. The three things I found that ‘sum up’ Baltimore are crabs, Old Bay andsurprisinglystill the ‘hon’ culture.

From arriving on the bus I walked over to the train station and saw this statue of a man who once I got to a certain angle actually turned into a woman. I’ve since googled this statue and apparently it has caused an uproar and is very controversial? I thought it was pretty cool but I guess I’ll just leave my opinion.

I spent the day catching up and meeting people but in the evening we headed down to the harbour. I had never heard of Old Bay before to the extreme shock of my friends. There was a whole store dedicated to this seasoning and a collection of different products and merchandise available. It is essentially a spice that people put on their crab but it now goes as far to be putting in crisps, pretzels, ice-cream and more. I apologise for the hideous photos but it was dark and I was completely baffled by the whole situation to retake them. It kind of tastes like spicy paprika but really it’s in own unique thing and I’d recommend trying it yourself.

More bad photos but you get the idea… This is the Inner Harbour and considering it was a Friday night was completely dead. I’m not sure if people were scared of me or just didn’t want to brave the cold weather but no one was around. You can kind of make out the Aquarium, Hard Rock cafe and the Baltimore Maritime Museum (which is full of historical ships). We just walked around and it was very peaceful and beautiful but frightfully cold.

Here is just a token blurry photo of a crab pretzel with Old Bay spice. It felt very ‘Baltimorean’ so I wanted to include it haha. The crisp/chip band Utz were initially based in or around Baltimore I think but are now based in PA. Other foods to check out if you ever go are Berger Cookies. They are so delicious and essentially very moorish and rich chocolate chip cookies. Because of their appeal they are also incredibly hard to track down and find so definitely do research before you venture out there.

Last thing I checked out was Union Brewery in the Hampden area. I feel like every hipster neighbourhood has an organic restaurant, thrift shops and a brewery. Union was really nice though and their tour was interesting and short which meant more time for drinking and less time standing which I liked. Their Duckpin pale ale was definitely my favourite but I’m not a strong/dark ale drinker. That whole neighbourhood was really fun and also features lots of Hon culture and shops/cafes.

That pretty much sums up my trip to Baltimore. We also spent a day driving around Virginia and West Virginia but I didn’t want to include that in here. Regarding those states all I can say is lots ofcamo, accents that I couldn’t really understand and that Arlington Cemetery was very moving and fascinating. If you get the chance you should definitely check them out.


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