Harbor crush charms some, repels others


January 01, 1993|By Rafael Alvarez | Rafael Alvarez,Staff Writer

Emerson Resh sat on a bench at the Inner Harbor during the last evening rush hour of 1992, feeding goodies to his miniature poodle and planning his escape from the New Year's Eve celebration about to descend on downtown.

"I've been coming down here for the fireworks every year, but not this year," said Mr. Resh, a retired Martin Marietta employee from Essex. "Its gets terrible down here -- terrible. You can't even move, and if you want to go to the rest room or get something to eat, forget it. I used to sit and watch the people fight their way through the crowd and shake my head. Even if you come early to get a good spot, you're out of luck if you didn't bring someone to save your place."

So instead of holding onto his bench -- a fine seat near the bandstand that come midnight folks would die for -- Mr. Resh and his poodle left Harborplace for home about 4:30 p.m.

"I'm just going to watch New Year's on TV," he said. "I'll go over my sister's place. She's making a nice meal of spare ribs and sauerkraut."

Nearby, Boston teen-agers Ben Jacobson and Wendy Stein sat on the grass, as a warm breeze reminiscent of April blew gently off the harbor, and thought about a New Year that would come on a moving northbound train.

In Baltimore for the first time as part of a convention of 1,000 Jewish teen-agers, the young couple didn't like the idea of being mobile as 1992 turned to 1993, but said they'd make the best of it.

Said Ben Jacobson: "I hope we'll be kissing at midnight."

As they do, Dave Jacobson [no relation] will be playing Auld Lang Syne on an electric guitar.

He is a member of the Marge Calhoun Band, a country-western combo hired to ring in the New Year at the harbor as Mayor Kurt L. Schmoke counts down the last seconds of 1992.

"I've never had a New Year's Eve off since I became a musician," said Mr. Jacobson as the sun began to dip behind the Hyatt Hotel. "It's the best paying gig of the year, the biggest party."

Scott Glick and his wife came to the Maryland Science Center tshow their young son the dinosaur exhibit and were intent on getting back home to Bethesda before the revelers had gone too far.

RF "I don't like to drive too close to midnight on New Year's Eve," hesaid. "There's so many drunks on the road."

Angie Benedict and her friends from York, Pa., didn't knoexactly where they would wind up at midnight -- when the cruise ship Lady Baltimore would be idling near the Domino Sugar sign to give passengers a good view of the fireworks -- but she figured anywhere near the water would be better than the scene back home.

@4 "Not much happens in York," said Ms. Benedict, 18.

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