What differentiates Canton from the rest of the downtown core is a lack of directional signs on its main street. The ones that listed how far you are from various attractions (“Korean Memorial – 3 blocks; O’Donnell Square – 2 blocks”), and if they were there, I completely missed them (like the ones for the Streetcar Museum in Station North).
Anyway, it was after 1pm by the time I finally reached O’Donnell Square , and I stopped at the first non-pub that I could find – a Quiznos on the southwest corner of the square. I sat in the store for about 20 minutes eating my lunch and savoring every second of not being on my feet.
I wish I could tell you more about O’Donnell Square , but, honestly after spending nearly 2 hours trying to get there; I too exhausted to make any more than a rudimentary walkthrough. Not only that, but I spent the entirety of said walkthrough worrying about how I was going to get back to Bolton Hill without my feet revolting against me.
It was also why I didn’t take the time to go the extra 2 blocks south to see the Korean War Memorial near the disastrously incomplete Canton Crossings development now stands. I could see all of those areas later anyway as I’d be returning to the area in the coming weeks on business (i.e. researching a future article).
I made my way back up towards Aliceanna St silently cursing the “NO SURFACE RED LINE ON BOSTON STREET” sign as I passed. I briefly considered stopping at the Starbucks at The Can Company, but I had more important things to think about – like how I was getting across Boston St in one piece.
Once back on Aliceanna St, the walk became much easier and as the street became more and more cobbled I knew I was heading in the right direction. I took a brief rest in the same park I had originally contemplated lunch in only 90 minutes beforehand, and as I sat on the bench overlooking the water I could see the blue canopied (non-free) water taxi pulling into the dock and cursing my own impatience.
It was just 12:15pm, and I was standing in the middle of the park on Broadway St trying to come up with a new game plan for the day. I decided I’d try to find something to eat in Fells Point, but, sadly, I wasn’t in the mood for pizza or bar food so I was basically out of luck.
It’s about 12 blocks from Broadway Market in Fells Point to The Can Company on Boston St. Unfortunately, I forgot that I was starting from the docks on Thames St and that both eastern forks dead-end at the water. The second time I retraced my steps I took the northern road up Wolfe St until it intersected with Aliceanna St which I could follow all the way to Canton.
Boston isn’t the easiest street to cross. Yes, it has traffic lights, but the one at Aliceanna and Boston Sts never actually turns red. I may have had the pedestrian light, but drivers on Aliceanna had a green arrow – guess who wins that fight.
Having somehow managed to make it to The Can Company alive, but, like the dock at Fells Point, the place was almost deserted. The only restaurants that appeared to be open were Starbucks and Subway so I decided to take follow the road at the complex to O’Donnell Square . Surely they had some place quick to eat.
However, Essex St dead-ends just after it passes Safeway. If I turned left, I was back on Boston St; if I made a slight right (which I mistakenly thought was south) I would end up in O’Donnell Square , right?
…And, that’s how I ended up going six blocks in the wrong direction. But I did manage to find my way there… eventually (and by complete accident).
The city’s visitor’s bureau likes to say that Baltimore is a “city of neighborhoods” and encourages visitors to explore what the city has to offer. This is one of those explorations, and like most such adventures things didn’t quite go as planned.
I left the apartment around 11am, and proceeded towards the light rail on Howard St . I took said train southbound to Convention Center stop where I hoped to catch the newly launched Charm City Circulator.
So I got off the train and waited on the corner as several circulators passed right by me without stopping even though I KNOW they have a stop at the Convention Center. I make my way towards Harbor Place , and midway there come across an orange\green sign with the circulator logo on it.
The Charm City Circulator is a free, city sponsored bus\water taxi service designed to connect the various transit options together while providing better access to hotels\tourist attractions in the downtown area. The bus I got on was clean, comfortable and not overly crowded (especially for a Saturday).
My destination was the Harbor Connector in Fells Point, but their only operating bus line only went as far as Harbor East. Fortunately, it’s not that bad of a walk (it’s just not as convenient).
I arrived at Broadway and Thames Streets to find that the docks were completely deserted. No boats, no ticket agents and no tourists – just the usual cadre of panhandlers. I walked out to the end of the pier, but I didn’t see any boats coming. I recheck my map – no connector service on Saturdays (of course not).
This was going to be a longer day than I thought.