Wednesday, November 02, 2005

Farewell, Locust Point

Towson Street, looking North

Or, This One's for Mr. Afflerbach
Or, Where Was I?

We lived in Locust Point for 13 months. Didn't even scratch the surface in a neighborhood where you have to be able to point to your great-grandmother's house from your porch to be considered a long-time resident. In the days before our move we did manage to have a few conversations with neigbors we had never spoken to--the odd freedom of near leave-taking...
There was the hairy guy who walked his scruffy dog past the church every morning and evening. He paused as I came down the moving truck ramp.
"Y'movin', huh?"
"To the County?"
By which he means Baltimore County. The County is where you move to when you are fed up with city life. The County is where you go to when you've made it. The County--the east part of it, anyway--is where you go is you if you are white and you want more white neighbors. This last thing surely my hairy neighbor didn't mean, since Locust Pint is one of the whitest neighborhoods I have ever seen, much less lived in. When he said that about moving to the County, I felt a little indignance rise up:
"No, we're staying in the city--up Belair Road"
"So, almost the County, then"
Whatever. He was pleasant, though, when I explained that we were moving away precisely because we have not "made it", that we would love to stay in Locust Point but we couldn't afford to buy a house in it. He said:
"Yeah, if I told you how much I paid for my place 15 years ago, you'd cry--an' then a few months ago the guy buys the house next to me for four hundred fifty grand. Four hundred fifty grand! To get a neighbor like me!"
He shook his head. He wouldn't pay $450,000 for house next door to himself. I mean, with cash like that, move to the County!

We will miss the place. The photograph above is of a cargo ship at the end of our street one cool Saturday morning. I will miss seeing ships at the end of the street.

This back-ward looking toward the old neighborhood will be in several parts. Part Two will include some of the grit that makes Baltimore gritty.


Anonymous Afflerbach said...

Thank you Gammon. I appreciate the Portipont continuance. More comments later. By the way, do they still have any Luskins left in the Balmore area? You are my ambassador from the home city, hon.

3:37 PM  
Blogger Portipont said...

Sorry, no Luskins. The Metros are now all Shopper's Food Warehouses--but they aren't Warehouses any more, they're just "Shopper's" now, or maybe "Shopper's Food" or--a la Kentucky Fried Chicken--"SFW".

Graul's down in Annapolis and environs still goes strong--but it makes me think about grocery stores named after people versus stores with other names. Or rather, the difference in tone (?) between a store named "Luskins" and one named "Giant".
Food Lion
Giant Eagle
what else?

10:40 PM  

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