Saturday, February 28, 2009

My Day Out

I took the day off from my regular grind yesterday and spent most of the day as a tourist in my hometown. It was FAB-U-LOUS!

I started the day at the Woman's Exchange, where I am trying to go as often as possible (even though I live in boonfargle) because it's such a cheerful place. I took my camera with me and totally dorked up all manner of tourist cred taking pictures of random buildings and people. Somehow I managed not to take a picture of the Woman's Exchange, even though i love the black and white tiled floor in the entrance way.

I did, however, take the obligatory picture of the Washington Monument:

I'm glad my eyes aren't that good in real life, because it would probably irk me if I could see the lightning rod every single time I looked at him.

After a few more random pictures on and around Charles Street, including this one, of the wall between 310 and 312:

. . . where you can just make out the old advertising painted on the wall of Number 310. What was it? What used to be housed there? and what took out the roof of the old building?

. . . I wandered on down to the Convention Center for the ACC Show. Unwilling to pay $20 for event parking for a couple of hours, I parked on the street by Camden Yards for a buck an hour at the meters. This gave me a chance to nip into the Comic Museum and pick up a couple of postcards for my cousin, which I totally forgot to do the day I went with my mother. (By the way, Geppi's is still offering half-price admission on Thursdays)

I took my camera into the show and then was so busy talking I didn't manage to snap a photo of anybody, but they know who they are and I was glad to meet them. Some of the best of the Baltimore Etsy team were there, as well as some glorious artists from the rest of the country.

After an hour of being totally overwhelmed by the size of the place and repeatedly tripping outrageously fashionable women as I stopped in mid-stride to stare at the banners and regain my bearings, I fled into the equally crowded, but intensely less nerve-wracking streets of downtown Baltimore.

I did not take a picture of the clock at camden yards, because I was loathe to get run over by a train, which is what it would have taken to get far enough away to see over the UPS truck.

After moving my car to fells point, well S. Caroline, where they have four hour meters, I happily snapped my way about the waterfront.

And then it was time for lunch!

I checked out Nanami's menu in the window, but somehow, for some reason the gods cannot explain I was not in the mood for sushi.

I was to discover, over on Thames Street, the reason. There's a tiny little restaurant with a posh look called Meli's. I was about to walk right by, because it looks like the kind of place that 'ladies who lunch' go to, and I'm kind of scruffy. Not Bill Simmonite scruffy, but I tend to make toffs uncomfortable when I wander in with my big boots, big coat and exuding the idea that I belong anywhere I happen to be, and by the way so do my gian bag, books, hat, etc.

Then I saw the sign on the door emblazoned with that magic word: patisserie.

There was, of course, no holding me back at that point.

Walking in the door all I saw was the baked goods case and didn't even remember there was a restaurant behind until the sweet girl at the counter asked if I'd like to sit in the bar. Well, of course I'd like to sit in the bar!

The restaurant is tasteful, with patterned swirls on the carpet living contentedly in muted harmony with the stars on the walls; the lighting is subdued but you can still see what your eating, the music is light jazz at a good volume.

The bar is bright, with a faux-marble painted backwall, and a large window on to the street. The bar's tiny, and the drinks must cost a fortune because I didn't see anything that could be considered rail, unless we're calculating whosesale cost-per-bottle. In that case the cheapest things I could see were the Bushmill's and the bitters.

And then she brought me my lunch:

At $8 it was all I wanted to spend on lunch, and it certainly had enough calories to make up for lunch and dinner, and it was totally worth every molecule!

The picture does not do the raspberries justice. The mascarpone was just right - custardy smooth and just tart enough. The glaze on the berries was sweet but not that cloying sweet you find so often.

Needless to say, I was pleased. I didn't even look at my book while I ate, to be distracted from the deliciousness would be a blasphemy.

There were another couple of hours of snap-happy touristing, but I'm tired of writing now, and I'll bet a dollar you are tired of reading, so those will just have to wait for another day. I got some great shots of architectural anchors that I cannot wait to upload.

Oh, and for Debby who wanted to see my bookbag:

It's got elastic at the sides, two pockets within and a flap to hide the contents. When I get around to it, I'll have the rest in the 'renew' section of my shop.

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