Sure, it's plenty of fun hanging out in the hotel bar with my fellow authors during Bouchercon. And the panels, well, they're pretty entertaining, and the bookroom is a grand place to sit around and talk to booksellers, who are, after all, on the front lines of this business. But it is all too rare that anyone manages to get out of the hotel and wander around town and that is a terrible shame.
Especially here, because Baltimore is a town well worth wandering.
My first night here I went with a friend to Obrycki's Crab House where we ate astoundingly good steamed, peppered crabs. They cover the table with paper, give you a hammer and a smallish knife, and a bib, and away you go. Great eating.
Mostly though you end up eating in the hotel coffee shop or bar because it's convenient. And most of the time the hotel coffee shop and bar are overpriced and undergood.
Today, however, I ventured out for a walk rather than going to a couple of the big publishing company parties. Somehow I was able to resist the allure of free booze, for a long walk along Baltimore's beautiful waterfront and into some of its great neighborhoods. I have long said that if anyone were to hold a gun to my head and tell me that I had to move to the East Coast of the U.S., I would happily comply by moving here to Baltimore. My walk today simply further convinced me of that.
Here's some photographic evidence:
Baltimore's Inner Harbor.
The Inner Harbor development.
Barnes & Nobel in the Inner Harbor.
The National Aquarium.
Condos in an old warehouse / factory building near the Inner Harbor.
The Can Co. Building.
A perch on top of an old row house.
Neighborhood diner somewhere north and east of Fells Point.
The monument to the Katyn martyrs - Polish victims of Stalinism.
Some sort of Eastern European church in the distance.
Waterfront condo development.
In spite of Baltimore being the site of the National Aquarium, I took this jellyfish picture off of a jetty along the waterfront.
It's an excellent drinking town. But I'm not sure these guys are why.