I planned on leaving my apartment around 10am, but didn’t end up leaving for over an hour later. I had a full itinerary, and something was going to have to get cut from it.
I head down to the Light Rail and get to the station exactly as the train pulls in. By the time I have my ticket, it’s already gone. The next train to come by was a short one, but it was going north so I boarded it anyway. I took a seat near an old woman who scowled at me when I sat down and then went back to her furious knitting. Another woman was ranting about her boss making her see clients on a weekend. Your merriness may vary, but I was determined to make the most of my day.
My first destination was “Winterfest” at Baltimore Clayworks. It’s a showcase of various ceramic items in different colors and sizes, each helpfully enough, marked with a price tag so you could purchase them if you wanted. They were interesting to look at, but they obviously weren’t meant as “museum pieces.”
Meanwhile, the Occupiers are having an art show of their own at Baltimore Clay Pots (a Christian coffeehouse in West Baltimore), odd how all the interesting programs they hold are hosted off site by different groups.
The first thing I did when I got back downtown was get a quick lunch before moving onto my next festivity (remember, I’m a full hour behind schedule). In fact, I already missed the “Holiday Laser Show” at the Maryland Science Center (noon) so I took the Circulator west to see the model train displays at the B&O Railroad Museum.
I arrived at the railroad museum at 1:14pm, and spent the next half hour or so taking pictures of the various model layouts. Some of them were quite elaborate and well-constructed; others looked like they were slapped together five minutes before the museum opened that morning. They also had ballet dancers, Santa photos and an indoor carousel.
The Circulator between the museum and Harbor East was more crowded than I had expected, but the people on board seemed somewhat merrier than the woman on the light rail earlier. The bus pulled into the circle around 2:14pm, and I spent the next 90 seconds perusing the four vendors who had set up around the stage on Aliceanna St for the neighborhood’s “Joy-Jingle-Jam.”
It was a less than 5 minute walk to my next destination: “An Old Tyme Christmas” in Fells Point. This event was a lot larger with numerous vendors selling food, clothing and jewelry and a large stage with strolling Victorian carolers and other roaming entertainers wandering around the narrow square.
Unfortunately, my camera battery died shortly after 3pm, and my phone wasn’t far behind it, so I didn’t get too many pictures of the event. I considered going all the way back to my apartment to charge it, but that would give me a maximum of 40 minutes in my apartment (nowhere near enough time for either) before I’d have to leave to come back for the tree lighting at 5pm.
Meanwhile, my hometown of Shamokin, Pa hosted, a very well attended, “A Downtown Christmas” on Eighth and Independence Streets in the former Masonic Lodge. Food and carolers were on site and 20 trees decorated by local merchants and organizations were on display until 6pm and then donated to those in need.
By the time the mayor arrived at 5:17pm, I was wishing I had gone back to the apartment just for a heavier jacket. Fortunately, the program started almost immediately upon her arrival and within ten minutes everyone was filing off to the end of Broadway pier (or in my case, the stone steps behind Bond Street Wharf) for the annual “Parade of Lighted Boats.”
Unlike the tree lighting, the parade started more or less on time with about than 50 boats sailing from Fells Point to the Inner Harbor and back again decked out in “festive holiday lights.” I was initially disappointed about the camera, but it wasn’t that great of a loss as most of the boats weren’t really decorated that well… but they were still festive in their own way!
The Occupiers were preparing for their seminar “Reflections on a Growing Movement” in honor of Sunday’s 2 month anniversary…held at a church in Charles Village. Oh well, at least their “General Assembly” will be held on site, but, frankly, I was too cold to stand outside for another 3 hours (even though it’s been nearly four weeks since I wrote anything about them).
I stopped into the Starbucks in Harbor East on my way back to the apartment, and I was waiting I could see the Circulator pull into the circle. Another arrived as I was picking up my order, but it was already after 7pm so my chances of making it to “Underneath the Moon” in Station North were next to impossible. I took a seat next to a young man who looked (and sounded) like Cullen from Occupy Baltimore and we sat there in silence until I finished my coffee and disappeared merrily into the night.