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In Exile From Home

Updated on January 9, 2018
Eric Seidel profile image

I was born in Baltimore Maryland, in 1988, during a time when the world was working it's way toward peace. At least for 12 years...

A section of the North Tower from the NYC World Trade Center
A section of the North Tower from the NYC World Trade Center

A Day Out For Relative Reasons

We all have family or in-laws that we try to avoid for various reasons. I know it sounds horrible but I’m sure you have a good reason. Perhaps they are loud and annoying, or perhaps they have a flatulence problem, or maybe they just have a mental disorder that causes them to flip out at the slightest thing or saying. You ever find yourself in a situation where you’re talking to someone bipolar and you don’t know where the conversation will go? Or maybe your relative just can’t keep hold of a conversation and has a really sarcastic personality that gets annoying. I know that I should have patience for my fellow human beings, especially family members, but my sanity has to draw a line somewhere. My mother on the other hand, being of a much stronger will than I do, faces the situation head-on and entertains them. This was my queue to get the hell out of the house for a few hours.

My neighborhood of Hampden, except it's missing a blood stain and a crack rock. That green mark is a park, not a "tobacci" splat, though it would fit.
My neighborhood of Hampden, except it's missing a blood stain and a crack rock. That green mark is a park, not a "tobacci" splat, though it would fit.
The location of the Baltimore World Trade Center.
The location of the Baltimore World Trade Center.

A Different Perspective of Baltimore

When I go to get the Light Rail I make it a habit of walking on the left side of the street, just in case I miss the train. This way when I get to the station I won’t worry about the wait or get pissed if the train leaves without me. Not much happened while waiting at the station, at Woodberry nothing ever does thank God. I wasn’t aware there was a game on but I did know about the airshow and ships being at the harbor for the bicentennial of the star spangled banner.

A big event always seems to bring the weirdos out of the woodwork. Baltimore doesn’t have a shortage on those as it is, but when something big is going down at the inner harbor they will flock there. As soon as you get down the block from the Lexington Market Light Rail station someone’s going to ask you for money. Most of the time it looks like they really need it, but some times you get a crack addict or wino. In my case it was wino who practically tried to mug me. Some of these fuckers are pretty brazen and no I didn’t give him more than a pissed off look and a defensive push.

There is a McDonald’s right at the corner of Howard and Lexington. Sitting by the window, eating my meal, I was watching all kinds of activity. I know it’s wrong to make fun of people on drugs, but I really have no remorse what-so-ever for them. They are thieves, liars, and didn’t have the sense to say “no” the first time. So sitting there I saw this one woman, high out of her mind, try to sit down on air. I don’t know if she was soiling herself or trying to sit on an invisible chair. I don’t care how bad things are, sticking a needle in your arm or lighting up a meth pipe is NOT going to solve anything. I’m going to move on now, it’s getting depressing.

To get to the Inner Harbor from the Convention Center Light Rail station you have to walk three blocks, but one route you can take is the Sky Walk. The Sky Walk, with it’s signs and architecture looks like a bi-product of the 1990s (and it is) but it’s a short cut to Harbor Place. For about half a decade the water in the fountain part of the Sky Walk had been turned off and looked dreary. This time however there were tourists coming in out of town so the mayor [$tephanie Rawlins Blake] had to do her best to try to make Baltimore look pretty. Something she’s great at actually. Making things look pretty, not making things work…

A couple of years ago there was a big hoopla about the Phillips Seafood Restaurant leaving Harbor Place, something to do with a contract or whatever. I never use to go, but I did like eating at the NY Deli and that pizza shop next to it upstairs. Seriously some of the best food in the entire building. The first time I ever ate a gyro was there, and it was the kind of gyro where you had to be hungry before you ate it or else you would never be able to finish it. Luckily Broadway Market over at Fells Point has replicated their cheesesteak subs, but I like the ones over at Cross Street better, Philly style without actually having to go to Philly! The pizza shop use to have these big slices for $2. Christ I miss these places. These days the entire second floor is just walled off and owned by Ripley's Believe It Or Not. It’s been like that for almost two years now. "Would you believe there use to be good places to eat in Harbor Place? Believe It". Give me back my god damn Stromboli Dean Cain!

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Camden Yards. Home of the Orioles.M&T Bank stadium. Home of the Ravens. This is Federal Hill. No like the literal Hill that neighborhood is named after. The Maryland Science Center.Upper view of the Skywalk that leads to Harbor Place. Also the water fountain is actually running this time. It was pretty much turned off during the O'Malley years. Gee I wonder why?
Camden Yards. Home of the Orioles.
Camden Yards. Home of the Orioles.
M&T Bank stadium. Home of the Ravens.
M&T Bank stadium. Home of the Ravens.
This is Federal Hill. No like the literal Hill that neighborhood is named after.
This is Federal Hill. No like the literal Hill that neighborhood is named after.
The Maryland Science Center.
The Maryland Science Center.
Upper view of the Skywalk that leads to Harbor Place. Also the water fountain is actually running this time. It was pretty much turned off during the O'Malley years. Gee I wonder why?
Upper view of the Skywalk that leads to Harbor Place. Also the water fountain is actually running this time. It was pretty much turned off during the O'Malley years. Gee I wonder why?
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The National Aquarium of Baltimore.The old Powerplant turned into a major tourist attraction. Speaking of recycling old things and turning them into million dollar cash cows... This is Harbor East. About 12 years ago this place was just dock-land. Now it's an over-priced hang out for the high classed.Shot Tower... where... shot used to be made... you know... for muskets...
The National Aquarium of Baltimore.
The National Aquarium of Baltimore.
The old Powerplant turned into a major tourist attraction.
The old Powerplant turned into a major tourist attraction.
Speaking of recycling old things and turning them into million dollar cash cows... This is Harbor East. About 12 years ago this place was just dock-land. Now it's an over-priced hang out for the high classed.
Speaking of recycling old things and turning them into million dollar cash cows... This is Harbor East. About 12 years ago this place was just dock-land. Now it's an over-priced hang out for the high classed.
Shot Tower... where... shot used to be made... you know... for muskets...
Shot Tower... where... shot used to be made... you know... for muskets...
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The Baltimore World Trade Center, from below. Hey look! It's that place where the mayor was sending the dead infected people to be burned, in the season finale of The Last Ship. Yes I ended up watching it. Overhead view of the U.S.S. Constellation.Overhead view of the USS "Hell Yeah! Fireworks Barge!"
The Baltimore World Trade Center, from below.
The Baltimore World Trade Center, from below.
Hey look! It's that place where the mayor was sending the dead infected people to be burned, in the season finale of The Last Ship. Yes I ended up watching it.
Hey look! It's that place where the mayor was sending the dead infected people to be burned, in the season finale of The Last Ship. Yes I ended up watching it.
Overhead view of the U.S.S. Constellation.
Overhead view of the U.S.S. Constellation.
Overhead view of the USS "Hell Yeah! Fireworks Barge!"
Overhead view of the USS "Hell Yeah! Fireworks Barge!"

It Got Too Nostalgic

For the bicentennial of Francis Scott Key’s Star Spangled Banner, a song some singers have butchered at the beginning of many a ball game, there were a lot of old ships in the Inner Harbor. By this point it was almost 3PM so I didn’t feel like waiting in the massive lines that had formed leading to the gang planks of the ships. There were also overpriced food vendors, which because this is Maryland, is over taxed as well. Can’t wait for us to get a new governor… Like the old saying goes “Give an Irishman a drink he’s your best friend, give him your safe combination and he’s your worse enemy.” Perhaps we will get a governor that likes weed?

Anyway I digress, dodging hundreds of people I made my way up to the Baltimore World Trade Center. At the time I was writing this article it was September 12th 2014. I figured since I was already downtown I would go to the top of it and take some high res pics of my hometown. The last time I was at the “top of the world” I was taking pictures of Baltimore for this girl, who lives in England, that I use to know. I can’t remember what happened with her, but I have not talked to her in a couple of years.

Then there was the 9/11 memorial. Along the North observation window are the names of everyone who died on that day. Near that is a piece of ground from where United 93 crashed in Pennsylvania, a piece of cement from the Pentagon, and a piece of the North tower from the New York City World Trade Center. It was a bit too much for me. I won’t bore you by saying what has already been said a thousand times before since that fateful day. I won’t point fingers or write an essay about the politics of it all. It was at this time I remembered the importance of family. No matter how annoying you might find them, no matter how much you argue, and no matter how cynical they may be, you should take the time to be with them. Before some jerk decides to take their life because they took a religious book out of context. Yeah I said it.

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The point

Family is family and we have no control over that. Even when they are annoying we should put our best foot forward. That doesn't mean you can't get the hell out of the house afterward... What I mean to say is; keep your family members in your prayers, even if they are not your favorite, even if they are annoying, and even if they get on your nerves. Because if something horrible happens, you're going to wish you could have given them that last hug.

I should have taken my own advice that day.

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