True Baltimoreans know you don't picnic at the Point

This Just In ...

October 14, 1998|By Dan Rodricks

YOU KNOW YOU'RE from Baltimore if you hear the word "drape" and don't necessarily think of window treatments. . . . You hear the Temptations sing "My Girl" and think of Bob Turk. . . . You know you're from Baltimore if you always make a beeline for the tube socks table at discount stores. . . . If you remember Aloma's Ruler, "one hell of a horse." . . . If the phrase "going to watch the submarine races at Loch Raven Reservoir" has a romantic connotation. . . . If you know that, despite its bucolic sound, Sparrows Point isn't necessarily a great place for a picnic. . . . If you appreciate that Kent's of Broadway was in that business long before Victoria's Secret was. . . . If you know how excited a person in this town can get from winning a bottle of King Syrup as a door prize at a bull roast. . . . If you know enough to order your ravioli carry-out at the annual St. Leo's dinner in Little Italy. . . . If you remember when Turkey Joe's and The Horse You Came In On were two of the few new bars in Fells Point. . . . If someone says "Agnes" and you suddenly feel damp. . . . If you remember John Waters' battles with the Censor Lady, Mary Avara. . . . If you miss amateur night at the old Pimlico Hotel. . . . And you know you're from Baltimore if you go for gravy on fries.

Now, more from TJI readers:

Frank Lhotsky: "You know you're from Baltimore if you remember the smell of steamed crabs wafting down Orleans Street from Gordon's."

Frank Fahey: "If you remember the lighting of the 'real' Christmas tree, in front of the old McCormick's building. . . . If you still have a spoon from a banana split from Arundel Ice Cream."

Jari Villanueva: "You're from Baltimore if you know city schools not by their names but by their numbers. I went to No. 231, Brehms Lane Elementary; No. 77, Herring Run Junior High; No. 407, Patterson High. . . . And you're a true Baltimorean if you remember watching the Fourth of July fireworks and attending sunrise services at Memorial Stadium."

Greg Furst: "If you call adults as Mr./Miss, followed by their first name, as in Mr. Dan or Miss Mary Beth."

Beverly Wiseman: "You know you're from Baltimore if you remember when Avalon was a neighborhood movie house on Park Heights Avenue, not a huge housing development on Reisterstown Road. . . . If you remember going to Emerson's Farm or Price's Dairy for great ice cream on a Sunday afternoon."

More later, kids.

In his own world

The other day on the No. 27 bus, southbound on Howard Street, a middle-aged man told a fellow passenger and the driver that his new house, on Maryland Avenue, was "three blocks north and a world away from the trashy, no-tax-payin' rent scum." He also said this: "I wasn't gonna vote until I happened to see that ad on TV by the governor that says that Ellen Sauerbrey was for the National Rifle Association. I'll vote now -- for her!"

'Liberty Heights'

Barry Levinson's "Liberty Heights" was on location in southwest Baltimore County last week, using Jay Patel's Country Store on Oella Avenue for a 1950s gas station, according to Ellicott City's neat weekly newspaper, 21043. Saturday, the crew shot another scene at the old Luby Chevrolet, Monument Street, East Baltimore. The set designers had the car dealership duded in pink, with lots of art deco touches, evoking a northwest Baltimore car dealership from Levinson's memory. Each fall, on or about the Jewish New Year, Levinson's relatives and friends would stop by to ogle the new Caddies, and that was the scene shot over the weekend, we're told. Joe Mantegna was there, not Michael Douglas. (Joe apparently ended up with the lead in the film. He made a movie here once, "Homicide," 1991, written and directed by David Mamet.) The Baltimore School For The Arts is also being used as a set; space there has been transformed into the interior of a Block strip club. More later. Watch this space.

Apple applications

So my colleague Rob "The Happy Eater" Kasper's new book, "Raising Kids and Tomatoes," starts with an argument for more pie baking in America, and it's a good argument. So convinced was I by Kasper's essay, originally published in The Sun on Dec. 12, 1993, that I set out Sunday afternoon to bake an apple pie while watching the Ravens-Oilers game. I gathered the children. They peeled the apples. I mixed the pastry. The pastry was a disaster, dead on arrival.

Maybe the game distracted me. Maybe bad football means bad pie. Maybe Giant-brand shortening isn't as good as Crisco. Whatever. I threw the big glob of pastry dough in the waste basket from across the room. Swish!

And then I improvised.

I put the peeled apple slices in a Pyrex bowl, see. Then I added two handfuls of leftover Animal Crackers. I covered the mixture with white grape juice, see. I poured in a cup of sugar. I dashed in a big ole dash of cinnamon. I covered the top of the mixture with more Animal Crackers. I covered the whole thing and put it in the oven, set at 350 degrees, for 30 minutes. I watched the rest of the Ravens game. The Ravens were awful. But my cobbler-like concoction was good. I called it Apple Zoo. I spooned it out in gobs, topped it with whipped cream. The kids loved it. They went to bed happy.

Pub Date: 10/14/98

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