My wife and I were strolling around Federal Hill, Baltimore, showing the sights to a couple of good friends, who had come over to visit from South Africa. Walking down the street, they remarked on an interesting phenomenon that is a familiar part of the scene in the downtown areas of many American cities. They were amazed at the variety of brand new Federal Hill apartments that were available on all sides, something unfamiliar in South Africa today, where the city center areas are not places where people would choose to live.
They were absolutely fascinated by the vibrant street scene and the sight of people busily going about their everyday lives in a major center city locale, far from the outlying suburban life they were used to back home. Something that we Americans take as almost commonplace, is an eye-opener to many foreigners visiting large American cities for the first time.
The Historic Cross Street Market
They remarked on the proximity of so many amenities and on the ambiance of the “viby” lifestyle that was so obviously the norm in this area.
We spent a while looking into the variety of different food emporiums in the Cross Street market, a popular venue by day and night for many locals. The historic feel of the Federal Hill environs is everywhere evident, and conjures up visions of what the original old markets must have been like in past times, when fresh produce was on daily sale.
Charles Street Apartments – A Great Place To Live
The Federal Hill apartments in the Charles Street area are a great example of the amazing variety of modern, up market accommodation in the area. Luxurious apartments of all sizes and layouts abound. Our friends kept remarking that if they were to move to a city like Baltimore, this would be the area of choice, when it came to finding a place to live.
Baltimore Weekend Events
Of all the events that were on offer that weekend, our friends were determined to take in a ball game at Oriole Park in Camden Yards. The fascination that American sport has for foreigners is an interesting study in its own right. Being a perfect summer day, it was an ideal opportunity to walk to the ball park. Many tourists are amazed at the reluctance we Americans have to walking, when we can rather take the car! My favorite story is one told by good friends of ours who lived on 7 Mile Lane in Pikesville, Baltimore. Their neighbors from two doors away were coming over for a Sunday barbecue, and the kids were in the yard grilling the chops. Right on time, the neighbors pulled in to the drive and climbed out of their minivan. Instead of taking a nice relaxing stroll down the quiet leafy road, they had climbed into their vehicle and driven the 50 yards to their friends home! When one of the kids asked why they hadn’t simply strolled the one minute walk, they were dumbfounded at the question! Why walk when it is so easy to drive? So much for healthy American lifestyles!
The Diversity of Sports – Baseball and Cricket
England was the cradle of many of the popular sporting activities of today. It is fascinating, though, how these games evolved in completely different ways when they were transported to far flung lands. In America today it is assumed that a ball game involves throwing a speeding ball at a batter, whereas with cricket, the major ball game played in most other parts of the world, it is completely illegal to throw the ball, it has to be “bowled”, in an over the shoulder arc! That is just one of the major differences between baseball and cricket! There are many other differences of course, and neither game is easily recognizable when compared to the other.
Football and Rugby
Another example is American football as opposed to the game of rugby, played in the rest of the world. Both are played by running a pointed ball, but in America the ball is always thrown forward, whereas with rugby this is a complete foul and is absolutely illegal. The ball can only be passed backwards and then carried forward toward the opposing team’s goal line.
The Five Day Test Match
One thing that absolutely fascinates us Americans, is that a single international cricket “test” match, lasts for up to five days, with at least six hours of play each day! Imagine how many beers are drunk over just one game!
Luxury Apartments in Baltimore
Weary, but happy after seeing the razzmatazz, of a real American ball game, with the O’s pulling off a great win, we left the park and started the walk to the parking garage , before heading back home. During the 7 inning stretch, we had noticed our foreign friends intently tapping away at their smart phone, and glancing over their shoulder, we saw Google searching for “luxury Federal Hill apartments to rent in Baltimore”. We couldn’t help smiling!