DEAR Messrs. Tsongas, Clinton, Kerrey, Buchanan, Harkin, Bush, Quayle, Rather, Donaldson, Brokaw, Jennings, Shaw and whoever else happens by between now and the Maryland primary next Tuesday:
We heard you were coming to Maryland.
So welcome to Baltimore! We're not Maryland, but we're the largest city in the state. That means it's very hard to win Maryland without winning Baltimore.
Glimpses knows a little about this town, and we think we can help you out by suggesting where in Baltimore you can meet the real Baltimore -- all the voting breakouts you'll want: rich and poor, black and white, white-collar and blue.
Here's where you should see and be seen:
Saturday night especially, stand on the corner of High and Fawn streets in Little Italy. Everything that's going on here is happening at that intersection. In the restaurants you'll find the Charles Street banker sitting next to the union man from Sparrows Point. You can learn a lot about what's in the minds of Baltimoreans by eavesdropping on Little Italy conversations. Why not try Sabatino's? That's where Spiro Agnew went the night he resigned as vice president.
Next day, go to church. Baltimore is a splendidly woven fabric of churches, high and low, black and white, cathedral and storefront. Here, you'll really get your finger on the pulse two days before the primary. And after church is a good time to press the flesh.
If hanging with the tony set is important to you, wangle an invitation to the Center Club or the Maryland Club. To meet the thinkers, try the Hopkins Club or the Hamilton Street Club.
Likewise if getting to know the the downtown white-collar establishment is a priority, try lunching at the Horn and Horn cafeteria on the 10th floor of the First National Bank building. There, for about $3.50, you'll enjoy a terrific lunch and you can catch the patter of a CEO on one side and a secretary on the other.
Don't forget to spend time should in our older East and West Baltimore neighborhoods. In these pockets of poverty you will see quite clearly the intractable problems of race, unemployment and shrunken entitlement programs come together in harsh focus. A word to the wise: Don't go in a limousine.
One last piece of advice: If you really want to cut it with us, don't eat a crab cake and drink beer at Harborplace for the TV cameras. We're on to that one.