This is a great town to get lost in!

Baltimore Glimpses

July 20, 1993|By GILBERT SANDLER

THE TUMULT and the shouting have died. The thousands of visitors here for the All-Star Game have departed. Let's hope that while they were here they saw more than Oriole Park at Camden Yards and nearby hotels. If they'd poked around a little, they might have gone home shaking their heads.

In South Baltimore, for example, they might have come across a West Street and an East West Street. Traveling north and south,

they would have found a Charles Street, but they could have found, too, a Charles Avenue, Charles Lane and Charles Road.

You think that might have confused them? Try this: there's a Center Avenue, Center Road, Center Place and Center Street. But there's also Centre Avenue, Centre Place and Centre Street.

To get to Bel Air (two words), they had to take Belair Road (one word). East Street, they realized, runs easterly, West Street runs westerly and South Street southerly -- but North Avenue runs east and west. That is why they found an East North Avenue and a West North Avenue.

It must have been bewildering to find that Edgar Allan Poe's house is not on Poe Street, but on Amity Street. What did they think when, right there in East Baltimore, they ran upon a street sign that makes it perfectly clear that High Street meets Low Street?

They surely noticed that there is York Avenue, York Drive, York Road and Old York Road. The area improvement associations has changed the street signs on York Road to read "New York Road." So what about the Old York Road in the same area? Is it still old?

Did they wonder about a small street called "Hendler Lane" near the Druid Park Reservoir? It was named after the man who lived there and manufactured Hendler's ice cream. And what about "Horseradish Court"? It was named for the neighborhood where the Tulkoff family bottled horseradish.

They may have expected a street named "President Street" to be a wide, flag-draped boulevard with a flowered median strip leading to City Hall. It isn't. It's a tiny, curvy, cobblestoned street that winds unobtrusively around Little Italy. (By the way, Rome Avenue doesn't run through Little Italy. It's in Arbutus.)

And pity the visitor on his way east on Monument Street. The street runs two ways from Howard Street to St. Paul Street, then one-way west from St. Paul to Calvert Street, then one-way east from there on. All that craziness within a half-dozen city blocks!

They may also have seen why Baltimore has been called "Sacrilege City" -- it makes "Light" of St. Paul.

Still, we hope our visitors left Baltimore with a good impression -- even if we are a little quirky.

Baltimore Sun Articles
Please note the green-lined linked article text has been applied commercially without any involvement from our newsroom editors, reporters or any other editorial staff.