I had planned to leave the apartment by 10am, but I overslept, not waking up until after 11am. By the time I got showered and dressed it was almost noon. I didn’t like doing it, but I had to split my “festival gauntlet” into two days.
I arrived at Cultural Center station just as the city graduation ceremony was letting out of the Meyerhoff Symphony Hall. People were streaming everywhere and traffic was terrible, but the light rail station remained relatively quiet. The train, however, was packed, but still managed to get me to Convention Center without any major issues.
I get to the McKeldin Park for the Festival of India, but it was empty (save for some tourists taking pictures at the fountain). I cross the street into Harbor Place and watch the ribbon dancer for a few seconds before following the music down the promenade until I could see the tents rising from the park around Sondheim Fountain.
But it’s not the “Festival of India” – it’s the “LAX World!”
Apparently, Baltimore.org put the wrong date on their calendar of events, the woman at the visitors’ center told me to “write them a letter” because the web administrators “don’t listen to her.”
I’ve been to LAX so I know they generally frown on people brandishing sticks around their terminals. Sorry, this LAX World was a collection of booths selling shirts, shoes and sticks\laces in a variety of colors. They even had a place giving haircuts.
Personally, I don’t know very about this “lacrosse” thing – especially since it was one of the few sports that the University of Miami didn’t offer (along with curling and ice hockey).
I stopped by the New Balance tent where they were giving away “free shoes” to participants in their mini course. I’ve needed new shoes for months so this was perfect (especially since NB is the only company to make my size). I wait in the line and the guy in the tent eventually invites me in with some cocky nod.
“So, what size you need?”
Knocked the swagger right out of him, and he gave me that same vacant expression that I’ve gotten from every shoe salesperson in the last 10 years. He then asks his colleague who tells me that I can go to their online store where my “free shoes” will cost me $59.95 (shipping costs waived over Memorial Weekend) and would take about a week to get here because of the holiday.
Adjacent to the NB booth was a clothing vendor with a Hurricane Orange tent with dark green text. I complement them on their color scheme, but he apparently didn’t notice the UM logo on my shirt as he just explains to me that he sells shirts at the prices marked. Now that that was cleared up, I could move on.
There was no food at LAX World so I went back up the promenade to Harbor Place . I couldn’t get anywhere close to the food court so I tried the pavilion on Pratt St before finally crossing the bridge into the nearly deserted Gallery.
I finished my late lunch and made my way over to the “real” LAXperience” over on Hamburg St . I arrived at the stadium around 2pm and after dodging a series of stray Lacrosse balls I finally made it to the large LAXperience tent. I didn’t feel like checking my bag just so I could browse hats and T-shirts that I could easily have picked up at HarborLAX. Besides, there was a series of other tents selling team shirts\hats, but more importantly there was also a lone food stand.
I see a bunch of tents on the other side of the fence so I make my way back around, pass the scalpers and into what turned out to be a standard issue tailgate party (with less make-up and more sticks). Food as far as the eye could see, but little else of interest, so hot and exhausted from my day’s travels, I made my way to the light rail station and began my trek back to the air conditioned comfort of my apt.