A moody tavern. An extraordinary cocktail. The easy lapping of bay water against the banks of the Inner Harbor. Duckpin lanes. Old Bay. Art in an otherwise empty storefront. For all of these things, and for so many more, people love Baltimore. People feel how they feel about this place for their own reasons. It's personal and not necessarily explainable. Something between them and the city. But in the spirit of sharing the love, we asked some of the city's best-known personalities to reveal something that makes them fall for Baltimore. Take this list as personal suggestions, from one neighbor to another.
Oriole Park at Camden Yards
Cal Ripken Jr., former Oriole star and Hall of Fame shortstop
"The field has aged so well. It set a standard for new ballparks everywhere, and it is still one of the best places in the world to watch a game. The idea of preserving the warehouse and incorporating it into the ballpark really gave it character, the sight lines are terrific, and there aren't many better places around to spend a summer day." 333 W. Camden St. | 410-685-9800 | baltimore.orioles.mlb.com
The Downtown Farmers Market
Jayne Miller, WBAL-TV investigative reporter
"You know you live in a good city when someone asks, 'What's your favorite thing?' and you have to pick from multiple choices that pop in your head. One of mine is the Downtown Farmers Market. It's a treasure of diversity, and only Baltimore could turn the underside of a highway into a Sunday-morning gem. If only we could take the dog!" Open Sundays April through November | Saratoga Street between Holliday and Gay streets
Walking the Fells Point waterfront
Andres Alonso, city schools CEO
"I like to walk the stretch of the harbor walk from Shuckers to the Douglass Museum in Fells Point very early in the morning most days.
I have always loved to be next to water. Maybe because I was born on an island. And for some reason, I love it especially if I'm in a city. It awakens the impulse to dream. And it reminds of how the city once looked outward rather than inward, as it seems to do now."
One-stop beer-and-shop on Eastern Avenue
John Waters, filmmaker, performer and man of letters
"A great extreme bar enthusiast told me about the place that became my new favorite watering hole in Baltimore - the amazingly eccentric bar on Eastern Avenue that is in the woman's house. Not only does she serve drinks, it is also a hardware store! You can buy tools, nails, household cleaning products right along with your beer. A dream set that could have come from one of my old movies. But the exact address has to remain a secret to not muddy its defiantly uncommercial appeal. (Hint hint - it's located somewhere between South Broadway and South Patterson Park Avenue.)"
Domonique Foxworth, Baltimore Ravens cornerback
"Harbor East is the Inner Harbor for Baltimoreans. It takes the fun and excitement of our Inner Harbor and runs it through a car wash, rinsing away the commotion of tourists and the attractions that locals frankly consider cheesy. You can choose to dress up or down and grab and delicious meal before hitting the shops or catching a movie at the Landmark Theatres. Don't forget to cap the night with two scoops of Haagen-Dazs."
Rebecca Hoffberger, founder and director of the American Visionary Art Museum
"A combination of glass and asphalt used on the surface of some streets around Charles Center - it twinkles in the street lights, patches seamlessly and uses recycled glass. What could be better? Sadly, currently discontinued. Red brick looks great against it."
Kevin Plank, founder and CEO of Under Armour
"It's hard to beat the sights, sounds and raw emotions of a Ravens Sunday. Football is part of our DNA, and the team is a true reflection of our community's resilience and work ethic. I look forward to sharing those Sunday experiences - and navigating the highs and lows of each season - with the same familiar faces, week after week, year after year." M&T Bank Stadium, 1101 Russell St. | 410-244-8154 | baltimoreravens.com
David Simon, television writer and producer and creator of 'The Wire' and 'Treme'
"It's dying and we need a local Marshall Plan to save the remaining alleys, but never take for granted that we had duckpin when the rest of the world only knew from tenpin. My New York cousins only wanted to duckpin bowl when they came south; they thought it primitive cool, even exotic."
Jennifer Gilbert, anchorwoman at WBFF-TV, Channel 45