national aquarium

Earth Day 2013: part 2

I had the misfortune of arriving at the platform just as the southbound train was pulling out. That means I was waiting there for a long time – a really long time. In fact, I probably could have made it downtown by 3pm if it wasn’t for the single tracking thing.

“Day ain’t doin’ no ‘single trackin,’” said a young black woman either in her teens or early twenties, her words sounding more like a demand than a statement. “You down know what the fuck you talkin ‘bout, fuckin’ moron.”

However, 15 minutes later – yes, fifteen – an announcement came on saying: “On April 19th – June 30th MTA will be operating on a single track between State Center and West Cold Spring stations for track maintenance starting at 10pm on weekdays and all day on weekends. MTA apologizes for any inconvenience.”

I know being RIGHT is its own reward, but I get the distinct feeling that a certain “fuckin’ moron” isn’t going to get an apology anytime soon (from the rude girl). Five minutes later two trains come in succession, and, of course, both are going in the opposite direction of where I want to go.

As I tried to say above: If it wasn’t for the single tracking, I would have gotten downtown before the chimpanzee chat, but as it as was, I arrived at the National Aquarium shortly after 3pm.I had the added fortune of getting the slower cashier, but I was able to walk straight into the aquarium without its trademark timestamp or legendary lines.

The only reason I came to the aquarium was to see that new “4-D Immersion” show, but that wasn’t until 4:15pm. That meant I had a full hour to browse through the various Earth Day displays and activities…that they were packing up because said festivities ended at 3pm. 😦

Also, the new Black Tip Reef wasn’t open yet so visitors had to make our way around the construction area to the original escalator leading to the back of the existing 2nd level. It took me about 25 minutes to get through the rest of Pier 3.

The only thing of interest on the tour was talking to the old man acting as the exhibit guide on level 4. I told him last time I visited the aquarium someone got extremely mad at me in this very spot I was standing in for “misidentifying myself” by wearing a navy blue polo shirt with the aquarium’s logo on it (aquarium staff wear cobalt blue polos with the institution’s name written across them in large letters) even though I told upfront that I couldn’t help him as I didn’t work there and that I bought it in the gift shop (in case you’re curious, said gift shop no longer sells navy blue polo shirts, possibly for this reason).

Then I quickly transitioned to explaining how I’ve applied a few times to work for the aquarium, and even considered volunteering to get my foot in the door. The problem was I wasn’t sure about the full year commitment, but he assured me that “there is no commitment; it’s just 4 hours a week.”


I still had about 30 minutes so I went upstairs to the “Animal Planet presents Australia: Wild Extremes.” By the time I came back downstairs, it was close enough to enter the Lyn P. Myerhoff Auditorium for my show.

The most interesting thing about the 4-D show wasn’t the spawning behavior of the salmon or the bears catching them with their gaping mouths, but that all of the preshow ads were for the aquarium itself – more specifically: their Australian exhibit, their restaurant, their gift shop and their membership program, but no mention of their famous dolphin show.

It was too early to go to the restaurant, and too late to see a dolphin show (the aquarium closes at 5pm on Sundays) so I simply went downstairs and began walking back towards the light rail which was a lot further away than the subway, but a lot less wait as well. I may be a “fuckin moron,” but I’m not an idiot.

Categories: adventures, attractions, Baltimore, Inner Harbor, metro subway, national aquarium | Leave a comment

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