Thursday, April 27, 2006

More for the SLA Knitters

Knitter's Review just published an article with reviews of Baltimore area local yarn shops. It includes pictures and contact information.

Amy Gavin Glasgow. "On the Road: Yarn Shops in the Baltimore Region." (accessed 4/27/2006).

Tuesday, April 25, 2006

Baltimore B&Bs?

We've received questions about local Bed & Breakfast Inns and this is how we answered:

We started with this list online:

And these are the experiences we've heard about:
-"One of my colleagues at work has personal experience with one of the B&B's listed---the Wayside Inn in Ellicott City. She has stayed there twice and thinks it is a great place."
-"While I haven't stayed in either, I get the sense that both Celie's Waterfront and Scarborough Fair are nice B&B's. I have been to Gramercy Mansion--it's beautiful (and a great spot for a wedding), but a good 25-minute ride from downtown. Abacrombie in Mt Vernon seems
very nice and I would imagine the others in this neighborhood are nice as well (4 East Madison, Aunt Rebecca's, Glenda's). The others around the Fell's Point area are Ann Street and Inn at 2920. "
-Also, Federal Hill is a nice place to visit and is fairly close the convention center, but we have no direct experience with the B&Bs listed there

Baltimore trivia: The Duchess of Windsor

Contributed by Cheryl D.

What was the name of the Baltimore-born and raised Duchess of Windsor?


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?

Update 5/2/06: Answers
Wallis Warfield Simpson
the Belvedere

Wednesday, April 19, 2006

Side trips: Maryland's Eastern Shore


Contributed by Cathy Jordan

Life on Maryland’s Eastern Shore ranges from active rural farms to manufacturing plants to the beaches at Ocean City and the ponies at Assateague Island State Park. Separated from the rest of Maryland (except at the north end) by the Chesapeake Bay, this peninsula has much to see and do. To get here, follow the directions to get to Annapolis (see the entry for Annapolis on this blog), but instead of getting off Route 50, stay on Route 50 crossing the 4.5 mile long Chesapeake Bay Bridge (toll).

Here are a few places to check out on the western part of the Eastern Shore:

EASTON (located just off Route 50)

This small, historic town (founded in 1711) has been named the “8th Best Small Town in America”. It has many great examples of colonial and Victorian architecture, unique shopping, and fine restaurants. One way to see Easton is to take their self-guided walking tour – you will see such historic buildings as Christ Church (built 1840-44) (, the Third Haven Friends Meeting House (this Quaker church was built in 1682, and is considered to be the oldest documented building in Maryland) (, the Talbot County Courthouse (originally built in 1712) (, the James Neall House (1810) and the Joseph Neall House (1795).

Restaurants to try out are:

Inn at Easton 28 S. Harrison (

Mason’s 22 S. Harrison (a restaurant and gourmet deli)

Restaurant Columbia 28 S. Washington (located in a 1795 house)

Legal Spirits Tavern 42 E. Dover St. (“a must stop for the soup”, “the local’s favorite”)

Chez LaFitte 13 S. Washington (a cafe and piano bar) – they have psychic readings on Sunday evenings. (

Bed & Breakfasts:

Bishop’s House Bed & Breakfast, 214 Goldsborough St. This is an 1880 Victorian home; 2-night minimum required.

Chaffinch House 132 S. Harrison St. This is an 1893 Queen Anne Victorian.

Inn at Easton 28 S. Harrison. Restaurant and Inn.

Unique shopping opportunities abound! In addition to many antique shops, the choices include the Wood Duck Shoppe & Gallery (waterfowl decoys, carvings, etc.), Yarns (yarn and needlecraft), M. Randall & Co. (sweaters), and Crackerjacks (unique toys & games for all ages).


Turn off Route 50 just prior to reaching the main part of Easton onto Route 33 and you’ll come to this quaint (and very popular), waterfront village along the Miles River. This town was founded in 1631 and held off the British during the War of 1812 by devising a blackout in the town. James Michener lived here while he was writing his novel, Chesapeake.

St. Michael’s also has a self-guided walking tour – among the sites you will see are St. Mary’s Square (founded in 1778), the Cannonball House (the only house struck in St. Michael’s in the War of 1812), Christ Episcopal Church (the original building went up in 1677), and many historic homes.

One of the main attractions in St. Michael’s is the Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum (at the end of Mill Street). The museum has 10 exhibit buildings, the historic Hooper Strait Lighthouse (yes, you can climb all over it), and a working boat yard. It is open from 10AM-6PM daily and costs $10. ( You may also want to consider a boat ride on the Miles River – Patriot Cruises (berthed at the Maritime Museum) offers 60 minute or 90 minute narrated tours – you may see waterfront mansions, osprey nests, and more. (

Restaurants to try:

The Crab Claw – very popular restaurant on the waterfront. It has both indoor and outdoor seating, but is well known for their “table full of crabs to crack open”! Located at the end of Mill Street near the Maritime Museum. (

Town Dock Restaurant (125 Mulberry St.) – this is also a waterfront restaurant a bit more upscale than the Crab Claw. (

Bistro St. Michael’s, “a re-creation of a classic French bistro” (403 S. Talbot – the main street through town). (

Bed &Breakfasts:

Cherry Street Inn , 103 Cherry Street (

The Snuggery, 203 Cherry St.. Original log house was built in 1665; logs recently revealed in a renovation.

Wades Point Inn on the Bay, Wades Point Road. Waterfront inn on the road to Tilghman Island. (

Shops in St. Michael’s include:

A Wish Called Wanda (110 N. Talbot) has handcrafted Blue Crab pottery, jewelry & giftware,

Flamingo Flats (100 Talbot) is a specialty food store,

Sign O’the Whale (108 S. Talbot) has an unusual selection of tableware, garden & kitchen items, and Harbor Sweet chocolates; one of my favorite stores!,

Simpatico (104 Railroad Ave) has Italian ceramics, linens, etc.,

Mind’s Eye Gallery (205 S Talbot) has handcrafted items from over 200 artisans – another of my favorite stores!


Tilghman Island, 12 miles South of St. Michael’s on Route 33, is separated from the mainland by Knapps Narrows and is accessed by drawbridge. This working watermen’s village, surrounded by the Chesapeake Bay, is home to the last commercial sailing fleet in North America – the skipjacks. The skipjacks are on display at Dogwood Harbor. Tilghman Island was founded as a land grant in 1659 – it was then called Great Choptank Island, and is only 3 square miles. There are several historic homes here as well as the historic St. John’s Chapel, built in 1891.

There are 2 boat tours you may be interested in taking:

Skipjack Tours ( provides a 2 hour cruise on the working skipjack, the Rebecca T. Ruark,

Lighthouse Cruise Tours ( – this company has 3 Chesapeake Bay lighthouse tours, all leaving from Dogwood Harbor on Tilghman Island – they include 10 lighthouses, 5 lighthouses, and a sunset cruise with 2 lighthouses.

Restaurants to try:

Bridge Restaurant, 6136 Tilghman Island Road – waterfront (

Harrison’s Chesapeake House Country Inn, 21555 Chesapeake House Drive (this is also a B&B) (

Tilghman Island Inn, 21384 Coopertown Road – waterfront. (

Bed & Breakfasts:

Black Walnut Point Inn, Black Walnut Point Road (

Sinclair House Bed & Breakfast, 5718 Black Walnut Point Rd, (

Lazyjack Inn, 6907 Tilghman Island Road (


Oxford, Maryland, founded in 1683, is on the Tred Avon River near the Choptank River where it enters the Chesapeake Bay. Oxford today is still a watermen’s town, but is enjoying a new resurgence based on tourism and leisure activities. Its quiet charm, fresh air, summer breezes, and clean water provide a haven from the hustle and bustle of city life for boaters, weekend visitors, and summer residents. Homes proudly display when they were built. Walk along The Strand, a waterfront walkway, or have a picnic at Town Park.

Some things to see or do:

Oxford Custom House (next to the ferry landing) is a replica of the original that served during colonial times. Open on weekends.

Oxford Museum (100 S. Morris St) contains arrowheads, duck carvings, ancient ship logs, lighthouse lamps, a 1950s ice cream parlor, and gift shop. (

Cutts & Case Shipyard (306 S. Tilghman) – this company makes wooden boats the old-fashioned way and offers tours of their shipyard. (

Channel Charters offers historical cruises on the Satisfaction; the cruises highlight the town’s history, celebrated citizens, and notable structures.

Restaurants to try:

Latitude 38 (26342 Oxford Rd) – highly recommended (

Oxford Market & Deli (203 S. Morris) – home of the Oxford pies.

Robert Morris Inn, (310 N. Morris), built in 1710. This is highly recommended by one of my coworkers.

Shops –

Americana Antiques (111 S. Morris) includes wood-carved carousel horses

Oxford Mews (105 S. Morris) is like an old general store; it carries “necessities, gifts, and non-essentials”

Pope’s Treasures (506 S. Morris) carries local artwork and nautical gifts.

Bed & Breakfasts –

Oxford Inn (506 S. Morris) , built in 1900, has harbor views. (

The Nichols House (217 N. Morris) has a private cottage and Victorian garden (

The Combsberry (4837 Evergreen Rd) is in the style of an English country mansion; built in the 1730s. (

Ruffled Duck Inn (110 N. Morris) is a Victorian B&B (

To get to this small town, turn left off Route 33 (on your way to St. Michael’s) onto Bellevue Road. At the end, you will reach the Oxford-Bellevue Ferry, which crosses the Tred Avon River from Bellevue to Oxford. This is the oldest continuously operating ferry in the United States, starting in 1683; the route is ¾ mile and takes 10 minutes one-way, hold 9 cars plus walk-on passengers. (

Updated 5/2/06: The original text had codes copied from wordprocessing software that broke the feed. Formatting removed.

Tuesday, April 18, 2006

Baltimore Trivia: "Homicide: Life on the Street"

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

Wednesday, April 12, 2006

Side trips: Annapolis

This is the first in a series providing information on interesting side trips from the conference, enjoy!- ed.

Contributed by Cathy Jordan

Just 30 miles South of Baltimore, this historic state capital, situated on the Severn River and the Chesapeake Bay, has wonderful restaurants and shops along Main Street, Maryland Avenue, and the City Dock (the harbor).

You MUST visit the United States Naval Academy ( – it is open to the public from 9AM-5PM with picture ID (there is a free parking lot just as you enter; you cannot drive on the grounds). Visit the Academy Chapel with its famous copper dome and stained glass windows; the lower level of the Chapel also holds the remains of John Paul Jones. The campus is wonderful to walk through with lots of trees, wide walkways, and water views of the Severn River. On the bluff across the river from the Naval Academy (take the Old Severn River Bridge(also called the Academy Bridge) on Route 450), you will find a wonderful monument to the Maryland soldiers who died in WWII – well worth the visit!

Annapolis is also known for St. John’s College (across the street from the Naval Academy), which is known for its distinctive Great Books curriculum (

Some restaurants/music venues include Rams Head Tavern/Fordham Brewing Co. (33 West St), Galway Bay Irish Restaurant & Pub (63 Maryland Avenue), the Treaty of Paris Restaurant/King of France Tavern (58 State Circle - I’m told it has a great Sunday brunch), Aromi D’Italia Annapolis (8 Dock St), Carrol’s Creek Cafe (410 Severn Ave, Eastport – just a short walk from City Dock), Lemongrass (167 West St -Thai), and Les Folies Brassiere (2552 Riva Rd – French Regional Cuisine, need a car to get to)..

Some of the shops you will find are Annapolis Pottery, a working pottery (58 State Circle), Avoca Handweavers, Irish clothing & gifts (141 Main St., Paws Pet Boutique (64 State Circle,, Plat du Jour, items for your home imported from Europe – owned by a former librarian (220 Main St –, and Stevens Hardware – here since 1880, it carries brassware and other gifts in addition to hardware items (142 Dock St.).

In case you decide to stay a day or two, Annapolis has many bed & breakfasts, many in historic homes. Here are a few:
Annapolis Inn, 144 Prince George St.,
Annapolis Royal Folly, 65 College Ave,
Ark & Dove Bed & Breakfast, 149 Prince George St.
Scotlaur Inn, 165 Main St. (Located above the Chick & Ruth’s Delly)

You may wish to take advantage of some boat or land tours as well – here are some to consider:
Spa Creek Tour (40 minutes) tours the residential areas of Old Annapolis and along the banks of the Naval Academy. Cost $10.00
Annapolis Harbor and Naval Academy Tour (40 minutes) tours the historic Annapolis harbor, the banks of the Naval Academy and the scenic Severn River/Bay Bridge. Cost $10.00.
Scenic Severn River Cruise (90 minutes) takes you on a 6-mile cruise along the Severn River. Cost $18.00.
Chesapeake Bay Bridges Cruise (90 minutes) gives you a breathtaking panoramic view of the Chesapeake Bay bridges that link Maryland’s Eastern and Western shores.
Cost $18.00.
Thomas Point Lighthouse Cruise (90 minutes) takes you out to this lighthouse in the Chesapeake Bay; it is a National Historic Landmark, built in 1875. Cost $18.00.
WEBSITE for above tours:
Discover Annapolis tour (1 hour) is a trolley tour that takes you through the charming streets of Old Annapolis. You will see colonial and Victorian mansions, sailboats, the State House, the City Dock, the Naval Academy and more! Cost is $15.00. If you happen to be a resident of Anne Arundel County, show your ID and the tour is FREE!
WEBSITE for this tour:

Are you interested in an archeological dig? If so, you should head to Historic London Town. This active dig, historic homes and 8 acre woodland garden is located in Edgewater MD just 15 minutes south of downtown Annapolis; there is also a gorgeous water view of the South River. Cost is $7.00, or $4.00 for just the house or garden tour.

WEBSITES: (shopping and restaurants on Maryland Avenue)


Now you ask, how do I get to Annapolis from Baltimore?
Take I95 South to I695 (Baltimore Beltway) to Exit 4 (I97-S). I97 ends at State Route 50 – take Route 50 EAST to Exit 24 (Rowe Blvd), turn RIGHT and follow the signs.

updated for formatting - ckp

Monday, April 10, 2006

Baltimore Trivia: Patterson Park and the War of 1812

Contributed by Cheryl D.

What is the name of the hill in Patterson Park where American troops held off the British in the War of 1812?


Other than cannons, what architecture sits on that same hill?

(Bonus Question: what Quoth the Raven blogger was married across the street from Patterson Park? -ed.)

Answers in the comments, please. We'll update this post with the answer.

Update: Answers
The hill is Hampstead Hill and there's a really cool Pagoda. The bonus question you have to figure out for yourself!

Friday, April 07, 2006

Bookstore Recommentation: American Institute of Architects, Baltimore Chapter Bookstore

Contributed by Anna Cole.

There's a small bookstore at the American Institute of Architects, Baltimore Chapter office at 11 1/2 West Chase Street. It's accessible by bus due north on Charles Street. Not far from downtown. It has a selection of books about Baltimore history and architecture and walking tours and Maryland history too. Also pretty note cards.

It's marked on the Wayfaring Map

Wednesday, April 05, 2006

Looking for a good LYS?

To many of you, the abbreviation LYS might not mean anything -- but for knitters and crocheters, it may be the first thing you look for in a new city. In Baltimore, the LYSes are mostly in the suburbs, but there is a very nice one in the Fells Point area. To the north of the city, there are yarn shops in Reisterstown. To the south, there are yarn shops in Catonsville and Ellicott City. Ellicott City also makes a very nice side trip, especially if you're into antiques. You'll probably need a rental car for any of these but the one in Fells Point. Follow this link to a map of LYS around Baltimore (or type in this shortened version: Please note: map point H, in Laurel, is no longer open.

Monday, April 03, 2006

Proposing the tag for the Annual Conference

I'm not sure if anyone really has the say on this. Jill proposes and that sounds good to me. Let's go with sla2006 (lowercase!).