Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Target makes all things better

      This morning I dropped mom off at the airport. I was sad to see her go, not only because I will miss her, but she also is a great city driver and superb parallel parker. After dropping mom off Angela and I headed to city hall to get my parking permit for my neighborhood. This is where my day when from pretty good to the 7th level of Hades. So like any big city parking downtown near a governmental building in the morning is a pain in the tuches (butt in Yiddish, I want this to be an educational blog too J). Knowing that I figured I would have to pay a bit to park, especially if I could not find a place to parallel park. So I found the parking garage and parked. So we walk across the street where the lovely lady guard informed me that it has been several years since they sold the permits at city hall. Awesome. I paid the city of Baltimore 6 dollars to tell me I had the wrong place and the right place was a bit of a walk. So I went back to apartment to look up the correct information. Luckily, I called the girl in the apartment who has a permit. Here comes the second level. I first have to go to the DMV to register my car in the state of Baltimore. Nice. Well how bad could it be, I mean it is a city so they should be able to push these people thorough right. I know I did not believe it either. After getting the lucky number 60 (they were on 42) I waited in line with the others at the DMV. Number 59 had just left the window, when they skipped my number and when to H55. NOOOOOOOOO!!! At this point, I was afraid I was going to be stuck there the whole day. Finally I made it to the window. Then we get to the third level. After looking over my paper work, the lady to my letter saying that I was interning this summer. She looks at me and says, “I don’t think this letter is going to work.” WHHHAATTT, dear lord if I had to get back in line I was going to cry. thankfully after asking around they accepted my letter because it had the start date and the amount of weeks I would be here. If they had not I would have had to come back again the next day. On top of this, there is a unusual hot spell over the north so its as hot or hotter here than it is in TN. The coffee in a plastic cup in my car had started to melt. Eeewww, I hate hot weather there are only so many clothes so can take off before they arrest you.
     So then, it was a hop skip and about 20 minutes later I had picked up my sublease agreement to take to the Public Transit. So now it was on PT. once getting there I had to wait in line again, not a big deal. However, once I was at the counter levels 4 through 7 happened. So on my contract it says to write the address OR the apartment building name, well the girl I am renting from just wrote the apartment name. unfortunately, as the man explained they could not give me the permit because I could be a crazy person looking for a permit. I know I should not have take offence to this, but it was hot and a complete stranger just said I could be a crazy person. So all I need was for my address to be on the paper, but I could not write it down on the paper right then and there, because I could be making up an address. Sweet Jesus, who would have thought getting a parking permit would be like getting an audience with Obama. So after being informed that I would have to come back tomorrow, we headed back to my car.
     Right now, Baltimore and I are not on speaking terms, we shall see what the morning brings. But the Charmed City is looking more like the tarnished city tonight. What could make my day better. Well that is where Target stepped in. I needed a few things (ink for printer, sun block, etc) that I had forgotten. After pulling my self together, we drove to Target. It was lovely. Air-conditioned, shiny floors, end cap clearance racks, heaven. I was good and only bought what was on my list a very hard thing to do let me tell you! It was nice to go to my favorite store. We got back to my apartment and chilled out. We picked up Angela’s boyfriend Nathan at Penn Station and went out for dinner. Nathan is very nice and dinner was fun. We ate at Iggies, which is a pizza place over near Angela. It was ok. I like pizza but this was over priced and the sauce was weird. But, I should point out that I am fussy about my pizza sauce. It was a cool little restaurant. You can bring your own beer or wine to have with your dinner for not extra charge. Its now late and I have to get up early so I can get over to the apartment place to get my address added and then over to the PT. so fingers crossed I can get my parking permit and make it to my internship on time! Tomorrow is the first day of my internship so we shall see what happens. 

Monday, May 30, 2011

Sun Burns, Animals, and Pubs.... OH MY!

          These last two days have been a whirlwind of adventure in Charm City.  On my first night in Baltimore I looked up free things to do in the city because I am poor and free is always better! Did you know there is a free bookstore in Baltimore?!?! That is right FREE (you are allowed to take no more than 15,000 books at day, I checked) and it is about a five-minute drive from my apartment! Its only open Saturday and Sunday, so we had to check it out. It was awesome. You go in and look through about four or five big rooms of books. They are laid out by subject, so you do not have to dig (which may be fun). I found a couple of nice cookbooks and some novels. Bonus there is a big section of trashy romance novels. After hitting up the bookstore and taking out a box, each we headed to the Baltimore Farmers Market. It is under the expressway, which is a little odd, but it was cool. They were packing up by the time we got there. However, we did score some great strawberries and the best chocolate milk I have ever tasted. I also got a pretty button bracelet from a woman there.
            Now there are many museums in Baltimore (nice to know, if say you are a Public History major) so we had to pick one. We decided on the American Visionary Art Museum. The museum is home to art by people who have little or no trainning in art. Some very cool folk art. Their big exhibit now is on laughter, so all the pieces tie into that theme. One section is all about fart art. There is a whoopee cushion bench for patrons to sit on. It was funny to watch the kids sit on the bench but even funnier to see an elderly man go around the whole bench making farting noises (he was laughing the whole time). It was a great way to get people to laugh, which was the theme! After the museum, we went to the Rusty Scupper for dinner. It was yummy. The view was beautiful of the harbor. In addition, Baltimore’s state cake (who know there was such a thing) is  six layer yellow cake with chocolate frosting called the St John cake (I think).  I am thinking Tennessee needs to pick a state cake because I may have to move to Maryland just for the cake. While we were eating, I noticed this little boat sitting in the water. The man was wearing a weird hat, so being the natural born snooper I took a picture. He was wearing a pirate hat. Well that was weird, but hey if that is what he likes cool. But then he pulls out a sward. I thought oh lord, I am about to see a man reenact Pirates of the Caribbean. That is when we noticed the pirate tour boat coming towards the little boat. Yup that’s right they had a mini battle in the harbor. I want to take this tour! After dinner, we got tickets to take the Seadog speedboat tour of the harbor. It was nice, our captain was Captain Jake (not Jack, but just as cute!). Our tour was ok, but more bad jokes than history. The tour guide opened with the two muffins in an oven joke. After this, we headed back to the apartment. Unfortunately, my clothes had not put themselves up and I still need to clean up.
            Today, got up and headed out to Fell’s Point. Fell’s Point is one of the oldest sections in Baltimore, it reminds me a lot of Charleston. It was very pretty and there are 120 pubs in the area. We did a little shopping. I picked up the best hat, which is a crab hat (I know you are jealous). I think I will come back to Fell’s Point later on, there are lots of new places to try out. Plus there is a good coffee shop called The Daily Grind. After looking around, we went and picked up my good friend Angela, who is living in Baltimore. I love, love going to zoos so we went to the Baltimore Zoo. It was cool. I almost got to feed a giraffe but it walked away and would not come back, much to my sadness. But we did see a baby elephant and a baby lemur (sooo cute and fuzzy). We stopped to have a coke and a pretzel and there was the fattest squirrel I have ever seen watching people at the concession stand. It was eyeing my pretzel like a southern eyes sweet tea. I was a little afraid it was going to attack and get my pretzel but it just left to go sit in the shade.  There are also lots of statues and things to take pictures with so we had to take some good pictures while there. Mom and Angela said to act normal, but apparently, we are on two different wavelengths on what normal is J. I unfortunately forgot sun block for the trip and I now have two lovely burned shoulders. I did mange to pack aloe vera, thank the heavens. After the zoo we were all pretty beat so we came back to my apartment. There is a little restaurant called Donna’s across the street so we had a late lunch there. It was quite good. A little pricey, but good. After that, we came back up and played some card games for a bit. We just got one called Spot It. Its super fun, and I am good at it. Then we played Scrabble Slam and Angela kicked our butts. We decided to go get some drinks in Fells’ Point to end the night. We decided to go to Riptide by the Bay for drinks. It was good and the service was super nice. Our waitress and the other waitress both stopped by and talked to us about Baltimore. They were nice and the food and drinks were good and fairly cheap. I think I have found a good place to go on the weekends! Well it is getting late and I have a ton to do tomorrow. First is to get a parking permit for my neighborhood. I don’t want to have to pay to park everyday all day! More to come tomorrow!
View from the dinning room

Ship in the Harbor

Domino Sugar Factory (It smells like melted sugar near the factory.)

At the harbor

The mirror beside the bathroom at the AVAM

Good Place to eat and drink and the have a cool sign.

At the zoo. Just acting normal.

Mom said act natural....

Could not resist the temptation to climb in the nest.

New hat, I know you want one too. 

Mom and baby Lemur

Fat squirrel 

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Star Spangled Crab Cakes

    So this morning I finally made it to the big city of Baltimore! I could see the sky line in the distance as we drove and I started to get hot and my heart was racing. I thought I was having a panic attack, but it was really just the fact that my ac is broken in my car, good to know!
    My first stop today was to see my Amiga Angela, who is calling Baltimore her home for now. After seeing her cute studio apartment, we found our way to my apartment. Luckily, I did not over pack and unloading did not take too long. I am living on the 7th floor of an old apartment building in Charles Village. I have a really nice view of the neighborhood (pictures soon). I was able to met my new roommate. She seems really nice and is a Southern too! We found the laundry room at the bottom of the apartment and both agreed that it was a bit like dungeon.
    After unpacking, mom and I decided to look around the city. We drove to my museum so I could see how to get there and then headed to Fort McHenry. It is a nice place, but it was crowed and we were hungry. I did get to see the original Star Spangled Banner that was written by Frances Scott Key. SO COOL! The lady at the gift shop told us to go to L.P. Steamers. It looked a bit sketchy, but we went inside to try it out. I have found that most places that look rundown and a bit shady usually have great food. Being in Baltimore I had to have a crab cake. I got one and was not disappointed,  it was so good. After eating it was time to get some food for the new place. There is a Giant foods near my place which seems to be pretty nice. I cant wait to start cooking. I brought my new cookbook with me. After shopping, we went back to my apartment and unpacked a little. Pretty boring stuff. But we then decided to look around my neighborhood.
   So across my street is a little strip if shops which include, a Starbucks, coldstone, pizza, bagel shop, and chines take out. Oh bless my diet this summer! I do have the option to walk up the seven flights of steps, so that my help if I feel inclined to get some pizza or ice cream. There is also the JHU Barnes and Nobel bookstore two blocks way. So excited about that! We deiced to get try out the pizza place which was quite yummy! So it has been a pretty good first day. Now I just have to finish unpacking (right about now I am wishing that I had a magic wand to make my clothes fill my closet).

I am leaving this post with a few highlights of the day:

  • At a stop light the man in the car next to us started to talk to us. It was too funny! 
  • People are always honking at someone or something.
  • I have found that people in the city like to yell at one another for no real reason.
  • Listen to the people at NPS sites, they know some of the best places to eat.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

From Grits to Crab Cakes

            As I look around me and see the pile of stuff still to be packed it hits me, I am really leaving Nashville for the big city of Baltimore. I know Nashville is a big city (well at least there is a lot of big hair.), but Baltimore is a bigger city with bigger hair and Yankees. I love Yankees, not just the team, but they can be a little scary. But before I get to that, I guess I should say something about my self. I love love love history! I mean I go complete geek at museums. I think I embarrass my family sometimes when I start to drool in front of something old. I graduated from Converse College, which is not a convent, no matter what the rumors say. It was the furthest place I have lived for an extended period of time. Converse, even though I would never have said this before graduation, my years at Converse were the best four years of my life. I met some incredible people there. They also have the best cookies, creepy library mannequin, and you can be a Pink Panther or a Red Devil. I was a Pink Panther, which is of course the best thing to be. After graduation, I thought I would put off being an adult for a while and go to graduate school. So far, it has been an interesting ride. After two semesters, I never want to see a book again and I have a newfound hatred for parking lots. But back to the reason for this blog…..
            This adventure to Baltimore all started with an email from a beloved Converse professor, Dr. Walker. Dr. Walker sends out an email with potential internships and jobs to former students. I saw the internship at the Jewish Museum of Maryland and thought it sounded interesting. I however did not apply right away. Then the email reappeared on an email sent by the list serve I am on. It was fate. Could I not send in an application?!?! The answer is yes, yes I could ignore this and work with my lovely children this summer. I work at a daycare with some of the coolest, sweetest, funniest, and best kids on the planet. They say the best things and give the best hugs! It was hard to leave them for the summer.  If it had not been for my mom and her persistence, I might never have applied for the internship. So with 45 minutes until the deadline I applied. After lots of consideration, I decided to go and work with JMM. I think that it is going to be a great summer! I will be working with the educational programming department, which is what I want to do after graduation! I love museums and working with kids and this would cover both bases!
            I will also be in the same city as one of my oldest friends! We are going to paint the town red in July! However, even with my friend being there, I am so nervous for this new opportunity. I mean what if they don’t like me or I get lost and end up in New York???? My mind has raced with all the bad things that could happen in the last week.  I was reminded tonight by a good friend that I could do anything I set my mind to. So I am left to ponder the famous words of my Oma, “Suffering builds character!” I hope I don’t suffer, but I think this experience will hopefully build my character (or at least slim me down, its going to be a LOT of walking in the big city!).
            I am writing this blog so that my friends and family can keep up with me as I travel through Baltimore and hopefully many more places. So since I still have a looming pile of things to pack I think I will stop with this last quote
            "You have brains in your head. You have feet in your shoes. You can steer yourself any direction you choose. You're on your own. And you know what you know. And YOU are the one who'll decide where to go..." - Dr. Seuss