Thursday, February 26, 2009

Baltimore

is in Maryland and Maryland is only three hours from NYC. Why didn't this ever occur to me before? The northeast is so cramped together, very similar to Europe. Cities and states that you figured were so far apart are just a bus or train ride away. Why didn't I pay attention in 7th grade geography? Hmm. I guess this is what growing up in really suburban, sprawled out areas like south Florida does to you; it inhibits your ability to judge distances on maps!

I really enjoyed Baltimore. It was a bit different from what I expected, however I immediately loved it and felt at home there. The neatest thing about that city is that there is a real sense of history there and I think its residents embrace that. Many of the streets are cobblestone and there are mostly original architecture lining the roads. You don't find a lot of newly developed office and apartment buildings and cathedrals and churches are on every other street corner. Mike drove me through many of the neighborhoods and we walked quite a bit around the downtown area.




The best part about exploring a new city was exploring it with people I care about. Mike was so sweet to have me stay with him for the weekend and he was the perfect tour guide! He is so knowledgeable about the history of the city buildings, where everything is located, the different kinds of neighborhoods. He spent a lot of time trying to show me places that I would really enjoy and tried hard to make the city feel like home for me. While he worked during the day on Monday, I was able to do a little exploring with Arya. We spent our time driving around running important errands to take care of before his departure for the peace corp. It was a different point of view of the city from the windows of a car. We ventured out into more suburban neighborhoods and more so along the outskirts of the city while having great conversation about the past and the next years of our lives. At some point we returned to Arya's apartment to begin the duty of packing all of his important possessions into just two suitcases. It was very reminiscent of when I had to pack most of my things into just four boxes while I was preparing to move to NYC. I remembered how difficult it was to give away and throwout all of my "stuff". Little things like nicknacks, do-dads that i've been collecting for years, ceramics....it all had to go and it was heartbreaking. Seriously debating for hours on what possesions must make a presence in my life for the next however many years and going back and forth about whether that ceramic orange poodle toothbrush holder that I found in a vintage shop in 7th grade was an epic part of my life or not (which I decided HAD to accompany me to NYC....)
...wasn't really an issue for Arya. The peace corp gives extremely specific directions on what to take with him : "One windbreaker", "One Belt", "Two weeks worth of underwear", "Five t-shirts." That last one was pretty difficult to dwindle down...I think we narrowed it to 29.


I'm thankful that I had a meaningful amount of time to spend with both of them, even if the trip was entirely too short. I am going to go back in a couple of weeks to visit and can't wait to explore the city a little more.

Off to work!

1 comment:

chris walker said...

I've been craving a departure from the city to explore our neighboring states.

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