Monday, April 13, 2009

Midweek in Mobtown

Does the lack of response to yesterday's pop quiz means that identifying the photo turned out to be harder than I expected or is it just a reflection of the fact that traffic here at MFWT tends to plummet like a rock on holidays? The above question is more or less a moot point, as I'm about to reveal the answer to yesterday's puzzle; stop reading (at least for now) if you'd still like to go back and take a stab at it.

Yesterday's mystery photo is of the police station located on Thames Street in Baltimore's Fells Point neighborhood. The station acted as the central setting for my favorite cop drama series of all time, Homicide: Life on the Street, which originally aired on NBC from 1993-1999.

Just across the street from the station, The Daily Grind was once among the progenitors of coffee/cafe culture in Baltimore and was also a regular stop for the cast of HLOTS. It's far less crunchy, far more corporate today than in its early days. But at least it's still not Starbucks.

In spite of all the development that's gone into the Inner Harbor commercial district and Camden Yards over the last couple of decades, the view from most points across Baltimore's harbor still reveals the city's industrial heartbeat.

Though I'd planned my midweek trip to Mobtown just to spend a little time with family, my timing turned out to coincide with my brother-in-law Mark's group art opening at Roman's Place, a tiny little locals' bar at the intersection of the Patterson Park, Canton and Highlandtown neighborhoods in East Baltimore.

That's Mark's entry, "Fool in the Mirror," in the foreground above.

Some of the other entries in the group show, including a typically freaky photo from Sam Holden (who's been mentioned here before).

My nephew Axel, grooving on the artful energy at Roman's.

It may have been a cold and blustery day but Spring was still clearly in force around the pagoda in Patterson Park.

Yep, there was even a little wine junket built into the trip. I hit Chesapeake Wine Company on the way out of town. The shop, which also includes a wine and snack bar, is located on the site of the old American Can Company facility on Boston Street in Canton. They carry a fairly diverse selection with a solid percentage of interesting stuff from good importers such as Rosenthal, Potomac Selections and Domaine Select. They also passed at least one customer service test with flying colors, not even batting an eye when I returned the corked bottle of R. Lopez de Heredia's 2002 Rioja "Viña Cubillo" I'd picked up on my last visit.

There was food too, but for that we'll have to wait....


Tom Hudson said...

What a wonderful world it would be if all states allowed the retail store/restaurant option for liquor licenses.

I've mentioned this a LOT of times to my Delaware representatives. I'm still banging my head against my wood cellar door for someone to listen.

At least Maryland gets it.

Joseph Logan said...

Hey Tom. Hope you're doing well.

Dave, I want to make clear that my guess came before I saw this post! So, you liked "Homicide" more than "The Wire"?

David McDuff said...

Agreed, Tom, at least in free market states. It's a sticky issue here in PA though, where the PLCB is currently working to open retail shops inside a "select" group of gourmet stores and cafés owned by private restaurateurs (who, at least in the first case with José Garces, are also PLCB licensees in their other ventures).

Hey Joe,
Good guess! I liked the episodes of that other Baltimore cop show (aka "The Wire") that I saw but never was hooked by it and still have never taken in the series from start to finish. So yeah, at least for now, "Homicide" is my #1.

Do Bianchi said...

Avalon could have been about my family if it had been set in South Bend Indiana...

Joe Manekin said...

David -

It's always fun to read your posts about my hometown. Dan Simon was a big Daily Grind fan in the early days, very cool of you to mention it.

I'm glad that you got to Chesapeake. Mitchell does a very solid job and I'm sure you had some good choices, often times not the case in the Maryland wine shop scene.

Oh, and back to Dan Simon. You need to give The Wire some time to sink in, not a few episodes here and there, but one a night several nights a week through the duration of the first season. Then you'll either be obsessed or not.

Nancy Deprez said...

Very nice pics! Thanks for sharing!

David McDuff said...

South Bend, huh? Never would have pegged you for a central stater. I don't think I've seen Avalon since shortly after its original release but your comment, given that we're of very much the same generation, still paints a clear picture.

Joe M,
Old college friends of mine worked at Daily Grind back in its infancy so, along with its place in Simon's work, it's always held a spot in my memory.

Chesapeake is definitely a cool shop. In addition to the Lopez de Heredia, I picked up bottles from Tissot, Bruno Verdi and Puffeney. Could have kept going but exercised economic control....

I'll definitely have to sit down for a marathon viewing of The Wire one of these days.

Thanks. I enjoy taking pics and sharing them, even if they're rarely artful.

Blog Widget by LinkWithin