A Different Easter

April 06, 2011|By Kathy Hudson

This year we spent Easter in a different way: we went to the Inner Harbor. Relatives by marriage were in town from Charlottesville helping their son find an apartment to rent during his summer internship with the Orioles.

When we sat down for brunch, I couldn’t quite remember how long it had been since I’d been down there for a meal. Perhaps it was 18 months ago, when another Charlottesville friend came to speak at a convention about her book on sharing philosophy with children.

In the early days of Harbor Place, we went down for dinner at least once every two weeks. We ate from the food stalls in the Light Street pavilion, and it was an inexpensive getaway.  Now parking in a garage for two hours costs about $20. The surroundings are more cluttered with signage and buildings. More are built into the water too. Some of the vista has been lost, and things feel more honky-tonk.

Still, it is wonderful to see so many people enjoying the city and a view of the water. We couldn’t help think how the late William Donald Schaefer would have loved seeing all of these people spending Easter at the harbor he turned into a destination.

By 11 a.m. the crowds, including swarms of New York Yankee fans, were filling up the walkways and eateries. By noon Easter churchgoers streamed in in colorful hats, bows, jackets and ties. Joggers pushed strollers. A young brother-sister team juggled between the two pavilions. Someone sang into a microphone across the promenade.

As has always been our habit, we walked to Rash Field. As we passed, the carousel the late Mayor Schaefer brought to the harbor played “Dixie.” The gardens nearby have been replaced by grass, but paths, benches and pergolas remain. A new brick walkway goes south around the Ritz Carlton Residences. We fantasized about owning a small getaway there.

Most people with second homes have them more than an hour away. We’d do better with one in town on the water. That way the drive would be shorter, and during extended stays downtown, we could easily check on the house. Roland Park houses, with cranky pipes on ancient sewer lines, can’t be left alone too long.

But this was an Easter reverie born of a warm spring day. What is most likely to happen is that we’ll return to the harbor more often this summer, after our young friend Gabe starts his internship with the O’s.

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