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The SLA Maryland Chapter Blog
Getting around Charm City by local special librarians.
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Parking in Baltimore is an interesting challenge on a number of levels.Update: Sally R. has some additions to Kevin's comments:
First, let me observe that the map provided here is a bit misleading.
One-way streets are more pervasive in the downtown area than your map suggests.
For the sake of context let me outline:
First the East-West bits-
The important parts: Pratt is one-way going East from at least Route 1(far more westerly than you want to think about going)to at least Patterson Park (quite interesting but far more east than you want to consider unless you're going to Greektown); Lombard is one-way going west with the same parameters as Pratt. Baltimore - Eastward, Fayette - westward, after that comes Route 40/Franklin Street which is another story altogether and then you are too far for practical purposes.
From 395 moving east: 395/Howard is two-way up to Lombard and then one-way north. Park (the next one west and not well marked on your map) goes south, Charles goes north, Light goes south, Calvert - north, south is, I believe, two-way, Gay street - north, after that is President street which is an esplanade. Moving east: Eutaw is two-way, Paca goes north, Greene goes south.
OK, with this grid lets talk about the specifics...the garages first- All day rates at the hotels average $15/day. Elsewhere the average is $10-$12 for the garages and lots. Mariner Arena parking (just north of lombard and Howard) is at the lower price range and is handy coming in.
The walk to the convention site isn't too bad. The spot just before it (just south of Lombard and Howard) is a bit more expensive, but easier to get into and out of. On Baltimore just east of Howard and on the north side is another garage (shown only as a "P" above the arena on the map). I park there most so there is my bias. $10/day and the walk is about the same as the arena. Turning on Pratt and then on Charles brings one to the Hopkins/Federal offices area. Just left on Lombard or just north of lombard on the left will both get one to this garage. They charge $15 - hey it's the feds...The good part is that the exit-also on lombard-will help with the leaving-the-city part. Further up Charles is Charles center parking. Usually some there, but getting there is slow.
The IBM garage is available, but also at the higher end. To get there - go further on Pratt to South (where the convention is centered), turn left, go to Lombard, turn left and go back to Light. Turn left and it is immediately on the left. Advantage here is that it is close. Continuing on Pratt to Market, turning left brings on to two more: left on Lombard to the Baltimore Community College area or further up to Cider and left to the Power Plant parking. Both of these are fairly close to the site and less favored by commuters and non-college folks. At the outer eastern edge for practicality is the parking garage near Pratt and President street. There is also lots of parking at the foot of President street, but that is a little far unless really pressed.
Lots: My experience is that the lot across from the hotel is mostly full, but is always fun to try. Heh. The Lots by Camden yards often have spaces, but getting longer term coverage (like for the day) can be a bit tricky. Also, if there is a ball game run while you can still save yourself.
I should mention the area from the Convention center south: The parking garage and Lot (yes, there are two) just off Conway are possibilities. Conway is an esplanade running right from 395/Howard as one is coming in (the west lane is just on the other side). Heavy commuter traffic here means plan your turn ahead if you wish to try this one. Continuing on Conway and turning on Light street will take one south and to a couple more garages and lots. The walk is very nice. If you decide to try this and change your mind you can always right on Lee or Hughes, go to Charles, turn right and head back into town.
This is a longish posting, I know, but it is intel you need for dealing with parking in this town.
I haven't really responded to the "recommend or warn" part. Parking, itself, is largely what one can find and how much one wants to pay. Traffic in Baltimore deserves a warn. The one way streets are infuriating at times around the usual commute schedule. I guess I would recommend being willing to walk a bit with respect to parking choices.
Your options, in general, increase and the relative price decreases with distance from the harbor. Even the parking near the courthouse area on South is not too bad in this respect. If one really doesn't mind the walk there is lots of cheap parking around Lexington Market (the eutaw/paca/lexington area) but the section of town is a little 'rough'. Also lots of parking around Enoch Pratt Library - but that too pushes the distance so I guess I'd suggest hesitation there. Downtown Baltimore pretty much empties out by about 7PM....
OK, that is probably enough. There is/will be parking spaces (that's why you will see lots of signs in Baltimore saying "Believe"). You now have enough information to search knowledgeably and with some hope of success.
Good luck to us all.
I just read Kevin's recommendations on parking. They are quite good, and generally I would agree.
However, I would add that the one-way streets alternate directions north-south and east-west. So that Lombard is one-way west, but the street one block north, Baltimore St., and one block south, Pratt St., are each one-way east. This was done purposely, to make it easy to "drive around the block," which you can do a lot, looking for parking. Public transportation in the area around the Inner Harbor / Convention Center area is quite good. If you are coming from the south (Anne Arundel, Montgomery or PG County or DC) or the north (northern Baltimore County, Carroll County, York / Harrisburg / Hershey PA), you might consider parking in one of the Light Rail stations (south - North Linthicum or Cromwell Station) (north - Hunt Valley Towne Center is about 1/4 mile east of I-83 and Shawan Road) and taking the light rail into Downtown Baltimore. There is a light rail stop at the west side of the Convention Center and the fare is about $3.50 for a full day pass. Monday - Saturday it runs from 6am to 11pm. Parking at most of the stations in the suburbs is free and quite safe. Schedule and map of the stations may be found at http://www.mtamaryland.com/services/lightrail/schedule/.
Also, folks should be wary of where they might consider all-day parking. Try to stay in the Inner Harbor / Convention Center area. There are some sections of downtown Baltimore, not too far from the Inner Harbor, which are usually quite safe by day, but not too great, especially for the feminine gender, after dusk. I would avoid parking in those areas if you are going to be returning to your car after dark. Specifically, the area around the Lexington market.
1 W Pratt St, Baltimore, MD 21201, United States
Fort McHenry Guard - Defenders Return to the FortUnfortunately, this park now has an entry fee:
Summer Weekends - Beginning June 3-4, 1:00 p.m. - 5:00 p.m.
Experience the daily life of the War of 1812 soldier, sailor and citizen through presentations by the Fort McHenry Guard. Dressed in replica clothing of the early Nineteenth Century, the Guard conducts drills, barracks activities, artillery and musket firing demonstrations, civilian activities, and children's programs.
Flag Day - Pause for the Pledge of Allegiance
Wednesday, June 14, 6:30 p.m.
An event sponsored by the National Flag Day Foundation to foster patriotism. This annual event encourages citizens all over the United States to pause at 7:00 p.m. (EDT) and say the Pledge of Allegiance. A concert of patriotic music and fireworks follows.
Resolved, that the Flag of the thirteen United States shall be thirteen stripes, alternate red and white; that the Union be thirteen stars, white on a blue field, representing a new constellation.See the page in the Journals of the Continental Congress. A Century of Lawmaking for a New Nation, 1774-1875 from the Library of Congress. The June 14 "Today in History" page from LOC has more.
"Maryland, My Maryland" was adopted as the State song in 1939 (Chapter 451, Acts of 1939; Code State Government Article, sec. 13-307).
The nine-stanza poem, "Maryland, My Maryland," was written by James Ryder Randall in April 1861. A native of Maryland, Randall was teaching in Louisiana in the early days of the Civil War, and he was outraged at the news of Union troops being marched through Baltimore. The poem articulated Randall's Confederate sympathies. Set to the traditional tune of "Lauriger Horatius" ("O, Tannenbaum"), the song achieved wide popularity in Maryland and throughout the South.
The B&O Train Museum in Baltimore is at 901 West Pratt St., about 6 blocks west of the U Maryland Med Center. Admission is $14 adult, $12 over 60. Saturday 10 June there are special events:
Saturday, June 10, 2006
Demonstration begins at 11:30 a.m.
Ever wonder how the Museum moves locomotives and cars in and out of the
1884 Roundhouse? Watch Museum staff use the turntable to move an
historic railcar. Free train rides included in the price of admission.
To see a working turntable is rare. Thomas
To that, I add that if you map in Windows Live Local, and zoom in, and then click on "birds eye view" you can get a 3-D view. So you can tell, for example, that a hotel that is 3 blocks away from the water still has a water view from the rooftop restaurant.Regarding dining on the water...there are SO many options...too many to list. There are 3 pavillions that border the Inner Harbor. The Light St and Pratt St Pavillions offer many outside and/or water view dining options. They range from very upscale seafood and steak house restaurants to more clubby/bistro offerings to carry out options. It can be great fun to grab something from one of the vendors or carry out restaurants and seat on one of the many benches directly on the piers of the Harbor.Another option and a great example of local flavor is Fells Point...very close to the Harbor. It offers many bars, bistros and cafes most with outdoor seating and many are on the inlet of Fells Point. It's a trendy and busy locals hangout especially on the weekends. There are also some restaurants there that can offer great brunch options as well.The following website is an excellent interactive guide to the Inner Harbor and all of the surrounding areas....www.baltimore.to
One of a number of tools to track planes (both commercial and private) as they travel across Canadian and U.S. airspace. It's also possible (although sometimes unreliable) to track international flights either coming or going from the U.S or Canada. Many similar services exist (expect coverage of them soon). We like FlightAware because:
+ Track my tail number, airline/flight #, or airport
+ See all flights coming/going from a specific airport
+ If you register (free and easy) pages will autorefresh
+ Archive of past flight info
+ Near real-time location info (example)
+++ Amtrak Real-Time Train Status
I just took Greyhound last weekend back from NY to Baltimore. My advice on getting from the either the Baltimore Travel Plaza (first Baltimore stop) or the Baltimore Greyhound Station to the convention area is to call a cab. The actual GH station is located in quite a remote area south of the football stadium and has VERY limited bus service.
I've not yet travelled on Amtrack in or out of Baltimore. But since Amtrack runs to Penn Station, one could take the light rail from Penn Station to the UNIV. OF BALTIMORE/ MT. ROYAL stop, swith trains and continue on down to the Convention Center stop (http://www.mtamaryland.com/services/lightrail/schedule/)
What was the name of the Baltimore-born and raised Duchess of Windsor?And
What is the name of the building in Mount Vernon[the area of Baltimore - ed. where the Duke and Duchess of Windsor would stay when visiting Baltimore?
Contributed by Cheryl D.
What was the name of the coffee shop in Fell’s Point where “Homicide” detectives got their daily caffeine?
Update: Answer: the Daily Grind
What is the name of the hill in Patterson Park where American troops held off the British in the War of 1812?AND
Other than cannons, what architecture sits on that same hill?
Answers in the comments, please. We'll update this post with the answer.
Enoch Pratt Library Tour
Thurs June 15, 2006
9:45am to 12pm
Take a tour of the Enoch Pratt Free Library Central Library/State Library Resource Center. Participants will be introduced to the unusual role that Pratt plays as public library, state library agency, and as an accessible research level collection to serious library users. The tour will focus on departments that provide a unique role to customers from all age groups across Maryland and a "behind the scenes" look at the treasures one will find in the Pratt collections. In addition, the beautiful and important architectural appointments of the magnificent Central Building and the new Annex will be noted and discussed. The cost of the tour covers round trip bus transportation to and from the library. A continental breakfast will also be provided. Lunch not included. Bus starts boarding at 9:30 am at the Baltimore Convention Center, Pratt St entrance, departing at 9:45 am. To purchase tickets, complete a Tour registration form found on the Conference website.
Jeff Korman, Manager, Maryland Collection, Enoch Pratt Free Library
Wesley Williams, Chief, Central Library/State Library Resource Center, Enoch Pratt Free Library
The central Enoch Pratt Free Library/State Library Resource Center, approximately 6 blocks north of the Convention Center in Baltimore, was built in 1932 and takes up the entire 400 block of Cathedral Street from Mulberry to Franklin. Coming into the grand, 3-story central hall from the main entrance, you should see a couple of smiling faces at the General Information desk in the center of the hall. They will be able to direct you to the area of your interest: poetry; Marylandia; military history; or the goldfish pond in the Children's Dept (to name a few).
If you ask nicely, you might be able to get a tour of the stacks. There are real treasures in this building that hardly anyone gets to see. You might have heard about the lock of Poe's hair, but did you know that we have the original contest-winning poem submitted by Tupac Shakur?
"Hey citizens of Baltimore the Enoch Pratt Library/ is an open door to life and pleasures of all kind/ for people of our world to develop our minds."
Don't hold your breath about seeing it, though. I've been here over 6 years and still haven't seen it in person!