Residents Have Made Fells Point an AttractionI would like...


March 25, 1995

Residents Have Made Fells Point an Attraction

I would like to respond to Charles Weinstein's letter of March 10, in which he suggested that "we turn our backs on" the community boards of Fells Point and Canton and provided only negative images about an area that seems to be attracting new bars and restaurants.

If it were not for the residents who have remained to revitalize the residential sections of the area, there would be no attraction for new bars and restaurants in the first place.

The community opposition to the bar-restaurant that Mr. Weinstein mentions was much less about its "non-historic" look and more about the precedent of an open-air bar adjacent to the brick-paved public promenade and across the street from a residential neighborhood.

As far as providing more downtown attractions, this area provides more than its share of bar activity. Monitoring the balance of residential and commercial uses is what active community boards are all about.

I invite Mr. Weinstein to move to Fells Point or Canton and get involved in the community revitalization of downtown Baltimore, if he feels so inclined.

Has Mr. Weinstein ever lived in Canton or Fells Point and experienced the difference between a Wednesday evening stroll along the waterfront and a Saturday evening stroll? A weeknight stroll along the promenade is very calming, peaceful and regenerative. Because of the gradual change in the clientele of the many local pubs in Fells Point and Canton, a Saturday evening stroll is very unpredictable and sometimes very unpleasant.

The residents are only trying to curb the trend of disrespect that occurs from the many weekend visitors who come only to drink, with no regard whatsoever for the community residents and businesses.

Second, I ask if he has ever walked along the developed areas of the waterfront promenade in Canton and Fells Point that he berated so.

There is a public park where families regularly congregate in warmer weather, hanging out and fishing; residential developments where pedestrians actually promenade; and commercial establishments, retail and restaurant, where constant activity can be found until late in the evening.

In short, the community residents who speak out about developments in these neighborhoods are not doing it to oppose change. We do it because we have invested part or all of our lives to the area.

We understand and wish to maintain the subtle balance between residential and commercial, old and new, that makes these neighborhoods a vibrant part of the city.

This is a very old section of Baltimore that has survived many changes, and we want to keep it healthy and vibrant by not only attracting new business and development but also keeping the residents we have and attracting new ones.

Timothy Duke


The writer is the vice president of the Fells Point Homeowner's


Who does Charles Weinstein think he is, telling the residents of Fells Point and Canton what to do with their neighborhood? I bet he doesn't live there.

He says that the city should turn its back on the people of Canton and Fells Point "because their only contribution to Baltimore is to sit in a stagnant pool of mediocrity."

I say this is the neighborhood of proud, hard-working but not affluent residents who love their neighborhood, who have lived there for many generations and who do the best they can to maintain and improve their community.

Mr. Weinstein says, "Let's stop listening to the worthless ranting of people who find pleasure in denouncing anything that doesn't cater to their needs." I say that the proud residents of Canton and Fells Point have every right to defend their neighborhood from becoming a mecca for tourist buses and suburbanites. If they don't do it, no one else will.

The residents of Fells Point and Canton know that with the proposed developments, they will get noise, traffic, loss of community and some minimum wage jobs. The developers and owners will take the profits with them to their affluent suburban neighborhoods.

I suspect that Mr. Weinstein wouldn't much like it if developers came into his neighborhood and wanted to build restaurants, bars and shops for tourists (local or otherwise) within spitting (or worse) distance of his bedroom window.

I wouldn't blame him, and I bet the hard-working residents of Fells Point and Canton wouldn't blame him for wanting to maintain the soul of his community, either.

Anita Heygster


Stand by Your Man

President Clinton was wise to nominate Dr. Henry Foster, and courageous to stand by his choice for surgeon general.

The issue of national importance is not the abortion count or sterilizations performed decades ago, but the president's right to choose a distinguished educator and physician to lead an urgently needed campaign to stem teen-age pregnancy.

The true folly for our nation is to delay such a campaign when the risks of AIDS, increased poverty and added burdens on social services are so clearly linked to the rising rates of children having children.

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