Tuesday, August 31, 2010

The Last of August

(flickr photo credit, phluff70)

The end of August signifies the conclusion of another summer. Students are back in school, hurricane season is in full force, the days aren't as long, and Labor Day this weekend serves as the unofficial wrap up. Football is right around the corner, and it's return means one thing...Fall. Before you know it the 90 degree weather and humidity will dip, the evenings will be more bearable, and the leaves will begin to change color. Althought, ff you still have your grillin' pants on, there will always be time for that well into the Fall!

Fall brings us a lot of great things to look forward to in Baltimore (other than the Ravens), Fells Point Fun Fest, the Book Festival, and the Baltimore Marathon, just to name a few. So fear not, Baltimore but if all else fails, there's always a bar open on Sunday for football.

Right now the Maryland State Fair is a great way to send off the summer, and runs through September 6th at the Timonium Fairgrounds. For others, it's one last trip down the shore this weekend, although Hurricane Earl might put a damper on that. For those of you who don't have to worry about sending kids to school, the shore is still a great destination well into September, when the weather is still hot and the water is warm. Don't give up on it yet!

For all of the rest out there, so long summer! Only a short 9 months until you return!

Saturday, August 28, 2010

No Water

(photo by me)
I noticed a few weeks back that really nice hanging baskets were hung along the sidewalk on the upper part of St. Paul Place. With the new planters, everything looked great! Unfortunately, no one thought to water the hanging baskets and now they're dead. Basically, what's the point of spending the money if you aren't going to follow through and maintain? Sure, it's been hot, but watering the plants would have preserved them! By not watering them, and letting the plants die only shows anyone walking around that we apparently don't care about aesthetics in this city.

Now, I'm not sure whose responsibility it is. The planters are owned by the Downtown Partnership, and Preston Gardens is also maintained by them, so maybe it's their responsibility. If anyone out there who reads this blog has any insight let me know!

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Power Failure on Penn Line

Good Luck to everyone trying to get to work today along the Northeast Corridor. MARC trains on the Penn Line are currently suspended due to a power failure that Amtrak is working on trying to fix. To our North, Philadelphia's SEPTA regional rail trains are also suspended.

Last updated: August 24, 8:18 AM

Tuesday August 24, 2010

as of 8:00 am Per Amtrak, Due to a system wide catenary power failure all Penn Line service is currently suspended. updates will follow as information is made available.

Check in at http://www.mta.maryland.gov/ for updates!

UPDATE: Power has been restored and service is getting back to normal. Most trains are running 30-45 minutes off normal schedule.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Downtown Mess

With construction on Pratt and Light Streets, you can imagine the mess that is occurring downtown during the morning and evening rush. Two lanes of Pratt Street are closed between Green and Calvert Street pushing traffic down to just two lanes the entire distance. Northbound on Light Street between Key Highway and the intersection with Calvert and Pratt will have two left lanes closed for the next 90 days! This huge funnel brings traffic almost to a standstill at some times during the day.

Light Street has three of its right lanes closed between Lombard and Pratt which has had the biggest impact on traffic flow. The turn lanes on Lombard are backed up more than usual since there now is barely enough room to turn onto Light. Traffic coming down Light/St. Paul Street is routinely backed up all the way to Saratoga Street on both the upper and lower sections of the road around Preston Gardens.

All of this is worth it right? All the road improvements for the Baltimore Grand Prix will make the drive a lot smoother over the next year, and the economic impact to the city is estimated at $60 million. For drivers whose patience has been tested with the seemingly never ending downtown road construction, the timing could not be any worse. The road reconstruction along Lombard Street that snarled traffic for nearly the last year, has just been finished, and now a whole new set of roads are getting torn up for the next 2 weeks to three months. Thanks?

Thursday, August 12, 2010

AM Thunderstorm

(photo by me)

That was some wicked storm that came through this morning huh? The rains were coming down mighty fierce around 7:30 right when the early commuters were hitting the downtown streets. From my vantage point high above, I could see a lot of the streets took on the form of creeks and rivers, and many intersections were pooling with run-off.  I took this from my window looking down onto Saratoga St; the intersection in front of the Hollywood Diner (Crema Coffee Co.) was completely flooded. Some commuters bravely idiotically attempted to plow their way through until two cars got stuck. Unfortunately, I didn't get a picture of those goons. Most cars had to turn around (smart) and cut across the parking lots under I-83.

Thankfully we need the rain, on the downside most of this didn't even have the time to seep into the ground. My garden (i.e. couple of plants on the balcony) got a good drenching, which it sorely needed.

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Bourbon Street Craziness

It was one of those Sunday nights when the crowd at Bourbon Street empties onto the streets in downtown Baltimore. Now this doesn't happen every week, but it's hard to miss it when they do. Civil order goes to the wind for the better part of half an hour as former club goers flow into the street. Invariably the BCPD arrives to shuffle people along, and eventually all goes back to normal. Tonight there was nothing less than civil disorder as a group of 10 or so kids threw punches at each other in the middle of Guilford Ave, sending streams of people running up and down the street, and police officers running with flashlights drawn.

For us residents down here in this part of town, it's somewhat entertaining watching the disorder from a few stories above the street. On the other hand, something's got to give here. It is intolerable that this scene plays out on a Sunday night as many downtown residents are trying to live their normal peaceful lives, or go to bed. Traffic comes to a stand still as hundreds of younger people fan out in clumps down the streets, crossing in the middle of traffic, and causing a public nuisance.

Should the clubs be liable for this? Some would say yes, and I could definitely understand, but then again the clubs cannot control the mob once its out the door. In this blogger's opinion, it should be the mutual responsibility of the police and club owners/security to maintain order outside, move traffic along, and keep people out of the streets.

Lastly, it sets a terrible example for current and potential downtown residents when things get routinely out of hand. How is this city supposed to encourage downtown growth, visitation, or market its "Happy Place" brand with scenes like this playing out?