1201 S. Charles http://1201scharles.com/ The One Place to Live Mon, 28 Nov 2016 20:14:40 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://1201scharles.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/11/1201-icon-66x66.png 1201 S. Charles http://1201scharles.com/ 32 32 Maintenance Repairs Bring Charles Street Traffic to a Halt http://1201scharles.com/maintenance-repairs-modern-city-living/ Mon, 28 Nov 2016 20:12:31 +0000 http://1201scharles.com/?p=1546 A large sinkhole opened up in the vicinity of Charles Street recently, bringing downtown traffic to a standstill. The ensuing maintenance repairs took teams of engineers several weeks to complete, but it afforded passers by a rare glimpse of what goes on beneath our city streets. The complex systems that are right under our feet [...]

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A large sinkhole opened up in the vicinity of Charles Street recently, bringing downtown traffic to a standstill. The ensuing maintenance repairs took teams of engineers several weeks to complete, but it afforded passers by a rare glimpse of what goes on beneath our city streets.

The complex systems that are right under our feet
Most of us go about our daily business, blissfully unaware of the complex utility services literally under our feet. Huge pipes, and a multitude of service cables snake across from side to side beneath the paving. From the pipes carrying water to the TV cables, and gas mains, the range is enormous. The largest of all are the gigantic sewer pipes, that carry away enormous amounts of liquid waste each day. These monstrous sewage pipes can be eight feet or more in diameter. Modern city life would be completely untenable without these massive drainage systems that keep our homes and streets free of sewage. The maintenance repairs required to keep these systems functioning is mind boggling. In some European cities there is a veritable underground labyrinth of tunnels which make up the sewerage disposal system.

The cobbled streets of old Europe
Turn back the clock a few hundred years and you’ll be confronted with an entirely different scene. One can still get an idea of how different conditions were when visiting some of the historic areas of many old European cities.  The cobbled streets all had a shallow channel running down the middle of the road. The roadways were constructed so that they sloped from the buildings downwards towards this channel, which served as an open sewer. The town residents would simply pour their waste and effluent out into the roadway, whether from the doorways or from overhead windows and balconies, from where it would eventually be washed by the rain, down the channel, discharging eventually into the rivers that flowed past most built-up areas. Towns and cities were usually built next to rivers. These served as ready supply of water, which would have to be boiled before it was fit for human consumption, and as natural sewers to carry away the effluent that was constantly dumped into them. Maintenance repairs were unknown, and unthought of by our ancestors!

The miracle of modern plumbing
The concept of covered sewers was a much later invention, but even those originally depended on rain to flush them clean. The idea of water piped into and out of homes, was a modern invention that our forefathers of a few hundred years ago, never remotely dreamed of, and even the palaces of kings had no faucets supplying running water. All household drinking and cooking water had to be purchased from the village water carrier or lugged home from a nearby well. Indoor plumbing did not yet exist, and a hot bath usually meant a trip to the closest public bathhouse. For a fee, an attendant filled a tub with heated water and one waited one’s turn to take a bath. A far cry from the lovely hot shower we take so for granted today!

The little house in the back yard
The generation of our grandparents can probably still remember the visit to the little house in the yard that had to be undertaken, rain or shine, whenever nature called. Horrifying as it sounds to our modern generation, those were the bathroom facilities that everyone accepted as the norm. Imagine putting on your overcoat and trekking out in the middle of the night, in a freezing downpour, to get to the bathroom! Of course the alternative was a chamber pot that you stowed under the high-rise bed until the morning! Hygiene was, of necessity, very different in those days!

Did you pull the chain?
The earliest flushing toilets were very different to the ones we know today. Water was piped high up the wall into an overhead cistern from which a long chain dangled. A pull on the chain released the water down another larger diameter pipe and into the toilet bowl, from where it did its job of flushing away the waste, and maintenance repairs were much simpler than today. The low level cisterns which are found in today’s homes are a much newer innovation. Today’s young children would be mystified by grandparents asking them if they had “pulled the chain”, the original version of asking: “have you flushed the toilet?”

How grateful we should be today for the facilities that are commonplace to us, but were an undreamed of luxury to our great-grandparents. The only time we are reminded of this is when the toilet backs up or some other plumbing mishap occurs. Fortunately we have the local plumber to call on our cell phones to carry out our maintenance repairs, should such an eventuality arise!

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The Iconic Orange and Black Baltimore Orioles http://1201scharles.com/iconic-orange-black-baltimore-orioles/ Mon, 14 Nov 2016 18:55:26 +0000 http://1201scharles.com/?p=1518 Ask people to name a bird associated with Baltimore, and the answer will quite probably be: Baltimore Orioles. While the sporting image is the one  best known, the real bird is itself quite a fascinating subject. This iconic symbol of Baltimore’s baseball fame, is actually one of nine separate varieties of Orioles found across the [...]

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Ask people to name a bird associated with Baltimore, and the answer will quite probably be: Baltimore Orioles. While the sporting image is the one  best known, the real bird is itself quite a fascinating subject.

This iconic symbol of Baltimore’s baseball fame, is actually one of nine separate varieties of Orioles found across the United States.

Like most birds, the male is the more colorful of the species, and its bright orange and black plumage  can be quite stunning when seen up close, at the right season of the year.

Long distance travelers visiting us each summer
The Baltimore Orioles are migratory birds, spending the winter in the warmer climes of Central America, and returning to their breeding grounds in the Eastern parts of the United States, in the spring.

They are birds that prefer open wooded country rather than dense forests, and they like to spend most of their time fairly high up in leafy tree tops. They have, however, become very accustomed to town life, and frequent back yards, gardens and parks with regularity. They are most likely to be seen when they come lower down, to search for food in garden trees, bushes and shrubs.

Favorite foods and eating habits
The favorite food of Baltimore Orioles consists of a variety of  insects, fruit, and flower nectar.  During the warm summer breeding season, they tend to feed more on insects, as the high protein content is beneficial for feeding their chicks. In the fall they feed largely on fruits and sip and the nectar from blossoms. Presumably the sugary content of these food sources is beneficial in preparing them for the long flight back to their winter roosting ground in Central America.

The protein rich diet they favor is made up of a wide variety of insect life.  They are known to eat beetles, moths, grasshoppers, spiders, caterpillars, grubs and larvae, and even snails. Their love of fruit of all types, though, hasn’t endeared them to fruit farmers, whose crops of ripening berries are likely to be raided by these feathered feasters whenever the fancy takes them.

An interesting feeding habit that Baltimore Orioles have, is that they prefer only darker colored fruits, ignoring lighter colored grapes or berries, even if they are ripe. They are able to hang upside down while foraging for food in the tree tops, and are acrobatic climbers and feeders. They are quick enough and agile enough, to be able to fly off a branch and catch a flying insect in mid air.

While the female does all the work, the male keeps guard
When the breeding season arrives, female Baltimore Orioles weave amazing, hanging nests, stitched together from a variety of leaves and fibers. The nest is  a closed structure, usually around 3 to 4 inches deep, with a small opening, a couple of inches wide at the top of the nest, and a larger bottom chamber, around 3 to 4 inches across where the eggs will be laid and the chicks raised.

The nest is always situated high up in a tree out of harms way, and is quite an intricate ‘sock-shaped’ design, usually hanging from under a suitable branch. The breeding pair will both bring materials to fashion the nest, although with Orioles, unlike some other species, it is mainly the female that builds the nest, weaving it skillfully with her beak, while the male takes no part whatsoever in the actual construction process.

Although natural plant materials usually form the major part of the structure, Orioles are not averse to using any convenient strips and pieces of artificial materials they may find lying around.

A comfortable safe home for the next generation
The nest building usually takes upward of a week. When it is finished, it is finally lined with soft materials and feathers, to provide a warm cushioned surface for the eggs she will lay, and the young that will hatch from them.

The male birds often sing perched high up at the tops of trees, but unlike many other birds, they tolerate other Orioles feeding nearby, and only defend the space immediately around their nest.

Next time you see a flash of orange amongst the leaves, spend a few moments marvelling at these lovely feathered creatures that bring so much beauty to our every-day surroundings.

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Charles Street Baltimore Public Transport http://1201scharles.com/charles-street-baltimore-public-transport/ Tue, 27 Sep 2016 10:11:06 +0000 http://1201scharles.com/?p=1507 Since the early decades of the 20th century, the motor car has become one of society’s indispensable and most widely sought after necessities. Probably more so in America than in most other countries, a home without a car is regarded as a home lacking in one of life’s basic conveniences. Just getting most large cities [...]

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Since the early decades of the 20th century, the motor car has become one of society’s indispensable and most widely sought after necessities. Probably more so in America than in most other countries, a home without a car is regarded as a home lacking in one of life’s basic conveniences. Just getting most large cities without a car can be quite a challenge. Can you imagine Charles street Baltimore without cars?

While transport has always been one of mankind’s main needs, it is the growth of large industrial cities that has made the automobile what it is today. Travelling to work, school or play, on foot, is no longer an option for very many people. The reasons are twofold: larger cities mean longer distances to travel, and the pace of modern life means that there is less time available to get there.

Public transport in the modern age
Of course, there is public transport, but the convenience and practicality of such means of travel are often insufficient for most people’s needs. In very large and congested urban areas, such as Manhattan, the lack of space and extreme crowding, has forced people to seek other means of reaching their destinations, and it is here that public transport comes into its own.  Downtown, in the vicinity of Charles street Baltimore, there are numerous parking garages, but this is not the case in many other large cities, and people are forced to leave their cars at home.

New York through the eyes of the BBC
A recent BBC documentary focused amongst other things, on the massive changes that are being put in place right now for New York’s public transportation systems. Unknown to most people, there is frenetic activity taking place right below the streets of downtown Manhattan, where massive multi-level tunnels have been dug. Because of the strength and thickness of the natural rock that underlies the city, the roof of these tunnels doesn’t require artificial props or supports. These tunnels will feed commuter rail traffic efficiently into New York, after crossing the massive new multi-lane bridges that are being built across the rivers.

At ground level, changes that were undreamt of several years ago, are also taking place. The ubiquitous yellow cabs that ply the street grids of New York in their thousands, are having to face a new challenge. The smartphone apps that enable people to summon a taxi virtually instantly, are forcing changes to the old system. Statistics show that there has seen a major drop off in the number of journeys undertaken by yellow cabs. Uber has changed the way people travel, and has forced the yellow cabs to follow suit by allowing passengers to hail cabs, and pay using their phones.

Early IBM mainframe computers of 60 years ago
What brought this about? Sixty years ago, IBM mainframe computers, required large, sealed, air-conditioned areas, to function. The cost of providing the services they offered the large companies that could afford them, was enormous. Smaller corporations looked on from a distance forced to share, rather than own, computing power. In the short space of the last thirty years, however, this picture has changed so drastically, that it can almost be termed miraculous. From the original PC’s of the eighties to the tablets and smartphones of today, the speed, capacity and sheer power of computing, in all its forms, has changed the way the world runs. And today this power sits comfortably in our pockets, with mega-times the power of the giant computers of yesteryear.

The iconic grey square PC box on your desk
The iconic IBM square, box shaped PC running on MS-DOS, with it’s monochrome, text-only monitor, is now a museum piece. But in the 80’s it sported a 20MB hard drive that amazed the world. Today’s laptops are available at prices affordable to everyone, with storage running to hundreds of Gigabytes. And this is for entry level machines designed for high school kids! Work it out: it would take several football fields covered with the original IBM PC’s, placed one next to the other, to provide the storage capacity of a single notebook that you slip into your shoulder bag when you climb onto the plane.

Thumb drives and your little finger
A USB thumb drive holding 64GB of memory, and shorter than one’s little finger, can be bought at your local Target for less than $20. This was pure science fiction a decade ago. Where will it all stop? Oh, and I must tell you this one: when I bought my first PC back in 1985, it had a 20MB hard drive, and I asked the owner of that early computer store if that would be sufficient storage. After all I was running Dbase ll and a few other DOS programs. His answer: “you’ll never fill 20MB”! Absolutely true story, but hardly believable today!

Keeping up with the changes that enable us to communicate and do business instantaneously, has become vital. To neglect the need to keep up, means to fall by the wayside. The yellow cabs are showing it can be done, and Uber is adding new innovations every day to keep further ahead.

Charles Street Baltimore and its hi-tech residences.
Today, this hi-tech progress is felt more in more in our homes, with the many computer based conveniences we use. Modern inner city residences, such as 1201 S. Charles street Baltimore are an example of this, making it easier, quicker, more economical and more convenient to get things done, in our day to day routines. Come and have a look at what we have to offer. It’s a brave new world awaiting you!

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Federal Hill Apartments Fascinate Foreign Tourists http://1201scharles.com/federal-hill-apartments-available/ Tue, 09 Aug 2016 16:04:54 +0000 http://1201scharles.com/?p=1485 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 [...]

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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!

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Buckingham Palace to Charles Street, Baltimore http://1201scharles.com/buckingham-palace-to-charles-street-baltimore/ Mon, 20 Jun 2016 13:10:08 +0000 http://1201scharles.com/?p=1464 Queen Elizabeth ll The Longest Reigning British Monarch The British Royals have been in the news again lately with Queen Elizabeth celebrating her 90th birthday as the longest ever reigning British monarch. Surpassing even the mammoth 63 years 7 month long reign of her great-great grandmother, Queen Victoria, the Queen amazingly continues to fill her [...]

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Queen Elizabeth ll The Longest Reigning British Monarch

The British Royals have been in the news again lately with Queen Elizabeth celebrating her 90th birthday as the longest ever reigning British monarch. Surpassing even the mammoth 63 years 7 month long reign of her great-great grandmother, Queen Victoria, the Queen amazingly continues to fill her busy day to day schedule with appointment after appointment. The Royal connection that links the English throne to the history of downtown Baltimore, and the environs of Federal Hill and thoroughfares such as Charles Street, is fascinating, stretching back well over 200 years.

The Queen was born in 1926, and in 1953, the young Princess Elizabeth, as she was then known, ascended to the throne of the United Kingdom of Great Britain, following the death of her father, King George Vl, who had been the King of England during the tumultuous years of World War ll.

More Than One King George!
The name King George surely rings loudly in the ears of all Americans. The history lessons studied in school, famously record the name of George lll, as the reigning British monarch during the bitter American Revolutionary War against England, which played such a large role in the American history of the late 18th century. Although George lll was technically still king of England years later in 1812 when British invaders attacked Baltimore, and bombarded Fort McHenry, he was no longer actively involved with affairs of state due to the illness which overtook him in his last years on the throne. There is no direct family relationship between these two George’s who lived a hundred years apart, but the chain of British royalty links the Queen back to those historic days of early Baltimorean history.

The King and the American Socialite Divorcee
The Queen’s father, King George Vl was the younger of two brothers and was by nature a shy person. He married Lady Elizabeth Bowes-Lyon, the queen’s mother, in 1920, and they had two daughters, Elizabeth and Margaret. When his father, King George V died, he was not expected to become king, as his older brother, Edward was the more outgoing of the two. His brother did in fact ascended the British throne as Edward lll, but his reign as King of England did not last long. When Edward expressed his desire to marry the love of his life, the divorced American socialite Wallis Simpson, he was strongly opposed by the political leadership, who would not agree on religious and other grounds to him remaining king if he married a divorced woman. Edward nevertheless chose to marry rather than remain king, and he consequently abdicated the throne, thereby allowing his younger brother, George, to become king in his place.

World War ll On The Horizon
In 1939, just before the outbreak of World War ll, President Roosevelt invited King George Vl to visit the United States. This was the first time a British monarch had ever visited the United States and was a great step towards warming the relations between the two countries that had often been somewhat tense.

Despite widespread opposition in some circles, the Royal visit was a resounding success. It laid the foundations of the future relationship that would eventually see the two great world powers cementing the alliance that would crush the Nazi menace and bring peace to the world.

President Roosevelt’s Royal Guests
The American people warmed to the Royal couple, and greeted them with cheers. Crowds lined the streets to applaud the Royal cavalcade as it passed through the streets of Washington DC.

They were treated to all the pomp of a State Visit, with receptions and banquets and lavish entertainment. The presidential yacht carried them on a sailing visit down the Potomac River to George Washington’s Mount Vernon, from where they traveled to Arlington Cemetery and laid a wreath at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier.

A relaxing few days spent at the Roosevelt’s home in Hyde Park, NY, included a picnic which delighted the public, when the Royal couple were served a meal of hot dogs, something quite novel for the Royal visitors!

Emotional Farewell
The King & Queen were finally bid farewell by an emotional crowd, when they left on the start of their journey back, faced with the bleak prospect of the looming war in Europe.

When Britain declared war on Germany three month’s later, the sympathies and support of the American people were strongly with them, due in no small measure to the success of the Royal visit and the warmth with which they had been received.

History in the Air
To this day the historical impact of that visit and the affectionate attitude of the American people towards Queen Elizabeth and the Royal Family remains. For those living in the modern apartments in this historical area, such as 1201 S.Charles Street, the history is there for them to savor every time they walk the local streets. Federal Hill and Fort McHenry are now only linked by distant memories to the long forgotten conflict between two nations, that are now the closest of allies and the best of friends.

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Charles Street & Federal Hill Attractions http://1201scharles.com/charles-street-federal-hill/ Tue, 31 May 2016 09:21:12 +0000 http://1201scharles.com/?p=1443 Out and About  in Charles Street Baltimore - Feeling the Buzz Friends of ours who were visiting the United States from England, remarked how different and trendy the street scene was in Charles Street in downtown Baltimore, compared to their quiet suburban streets in North West London.  They were absolutely fascinated by the exciting street [...]

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Charles Street Bars

Out and About  in Charles Street Baltimore – Feeling the Buzz
Friends of ours who were visiting the United States from England, remarked how different and trendy the street scene was in Charles Street in downtown Baltimore, compared to their quiet suburban streets in North West London.  They were absolutely fascinated by the exciting street scene that unfolded before their eyes, with something new and different around virtually every corner.

Federal Hill Restaurants and Old World English Pubs
There’s hardly a British suburb, be it in a tiny country village or in one of the big cities, that doesn’t have its large selection of quaintly named neighborhood pubs.  It’s a rare suburb that doesn’t have several, often with one on every second high street corner! You’ll see the same ‘regulars’ seated at their favorite table, tankard in hand, quaffing their pint of bitters, night after night. Pool table, and dart board resound with banter and laughter, and the regular Premier League football game (as soccer is called in the UK) will have excited fans in front of the big TV, loudly berating any ‘ref’ who penalizes one of the players from the locally supported team. Probably not the sort of scene one is likely to encounter in one of the many eateries clustered around Federal Hill! Frequenting the ‘local’, as the English like to describe their neighborhood pub, is a way of life that is peculiarly British, and very different it is.

Cross Street
Market
To get the real feel of American beer and food at its best though, one can’t do better than stroll along Cross Street between Light St. and Charles St. With its dozens of bars and restaurants, this street scene has become the favorite venue for locals and tourists alike, with the tremendous range of fresh seafood and other choice eating establishments on offer. The Cross Street Market, home to around two dozen merchants alone, caters for every taste, from eating in store to fast food takeaways, and there’s lots more to see and sample.

Events in Baltimore on the Weekend
The Baltimore calendar of events Is packed with a variety of attractions and activities virtually every weekend of the year. From movies, theater, comedy nights, music festivals, family outings, museums and art galleries, and of course sports, there is always something for everyone. The action downtown never lets up, it’s truly a great place to be, any season of the year.

Places to Stay in Baltimore.
While tourists and visitors throng the streets and pack the local hotels, it’s the lucky locals who have made this exciting area their permanent home, that enjoy the attractions and amenities of Federal Hill to the fullest.  In recent years the range of accommodation available has grown exponentially and it continues to expand, as more and more families have sought to make this area their home.

Baltimore Rentals
The range of rental apartments and condos in the downtown Baltimore area offers the discerning resident a range of features rarely seen before. One has only to glance at the massive range of offerings for rent and lease that abound on the dozens of websites catering to the housing market, to see this.

Federal Hill Apartments
Both one and two room entry level, as well as luxury apartments and condos abound in this area, and the amenities and facilities on offer is truly outstanding. Whether one is looking at roommate websites or the big dedicated housing portals, there is something for everyone.

What You Can Expect in the Charles Street Luxury Apartments
Virtually any feature you could think of is on offer and many of them are completely standard. We have picked one of the choice locations in the heart of this historical neighborhood to highlight this for you. Picture the Baltimore skyline and the beautiful inner harbor scene with its historic ships, while around you are an amazingly varied range of local shops and cobbled sidewalks, thronged with strolling people. If you can picture this scene, then and you have  glimpsed  the ambiance that is 1201 S. Charles St. apartments. This is the heart of historical old Baltimore with all it has to offer, combined with the amenities and facilities of modern day hi-tech living.

These luxury apartments offer as absolutely standard, air-conditioned living space with over-sized windows for great lighting, and easy to clean hardwood floors. Cable ready for your TV, with high speed internet access for your computer and smart phone and tablet. The kitchen is Island equipped with granite top counters, and built in dishwasher, natural gas for heating and cooking, spacious refrigerator, stainless steel energy efficient appliances, microwave oven, and pendent lighting. Handy garbage disposal is right on your floor, with a  trash chute on every level. There is a washer & dryer in every apartment, and a balcony for outdoor relaxing on warm summer evenings. Bedrooms have plenty of closet space, with high ceilings, ceiling fans, and dimmer-switched lighting.

In the building, which has security controlled access with sophisticated camera equipped security systems, there is reserved covered parking, and emergency maintenance is always on hand. And pets are accepted, up to two per apartment!

It’s no wonder that Federal Hill has become the choice of so many families, eager to enjoy the multiple benefits and conveniences of the finest modern inner city life.

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Why Baltimore is a popular tourist destination http://1201scharles.com/baltimore-popular-tourist-destination/ Mon, 16 May 2016 20:00:07 +0000 http://1201scharles.com/?p=1438 The Magnetic Appeal of the East Coast Cities One of the reasons Baltimore is a popular tourist destination with visitors to the United States, is because of its easy accessibility, situated as it is, on the famous East Coast tourist route stretching from New York through Philadelphia and down to Washington DC. Tourists planning a first [...]

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The Magnetic Appeal of the East Coast Cities

One of the reasons Baltimore is a popular tourist destination with visitors to the United States, is because of its easy accessibility, situated as it is, on the famous East Coast tourist route stretching from New York through Philadelphia and down to Washington DC. Tourists planning a first visit to this country, invariably choose to visit the Big Apple and DC, and Baltimore is right there too, waiting to be discovered.

Open up a guide book to the city, and you will likely find pride of place allocated to the wonderful amenities around the Inner Harbor area of downtown Baltimore. The National Aquarium with over one and a half million annual visitors, is probably the most visited site in Baltimore, and close by are the historic ships moored in the inner harbor. What isn’t immediately obvious, though is the wealth of fine museums and other places of interest that abound within relatively easy walking distance. Let’s have a look at a random selection of some of the more historic ones, and we’ll see why Baltimore leaves such a lasting impression on young and old alike making their first acquaintance with the exciting city.

The Star Spangled Banner and Fort McHenry

The iconic Stars and Stripes, streaming in the wind, is undoubtedly the most widely recognized symbol of Americana, but rare indeed is the visitor who has any knowledge of it’s intimate connection to Baltimore!

O! Say Can You See…

This was the sight that filled men’s hearts with courage and hope in the dawn’s early light of September 14, 1814. After the terrible 24-hour bombardment by British Men-o-War during the Battle of Baltimore, Fort McHenry survived, and the flag raised high above the ramparts, signaled, that occupation by the forces of the old country had been thwarted.

The fort is today a National Monument and Historic Shrine, and affords the visitor an insight into the conflict that raged at period in the formative years of American history. Although the original flag itself, which inspired the National Anthem, is now housed in the Smithsonian Museum of American History in Washington DC, its connection with the Fort will always remain entrenched in American history.

While the strains of the Star Spangled Banner are recognized wherever they are heard, the actual lyrics penned by Francis Scott Key, and their connection to the Fort, are probably not! All the more reason for a visit!

The Old Baltimore Shot Tower

Originally known as the Phoenix Shot Tower, this Historic Landmark was the tallest structure in the United States when it was built back in 1828.

The massive circular structure, built entirely of red bricks, is amazingly constructed. From a massive 4.5 feet thickness at the base, the walls gradually taper down in stages, until they are only 21 inches thick at the top.

The tower was designed and built to produce the type of lead shot used in those days for firearms, specifically for pistols and rifles.  The manufacturing process was achieved by hauling metallic lead up to the top of the tower, melting it, and dropping it from the top, through a specially designed sieve, and then allowing it to fall all the way down into a cold water container right at the bottom. This produced the round shot, which was then allowed to cool and harden. It was subsequently polished, sorted, sized and packed into bags. An enormous amount of shot was produced annually until 1892, when more updated methods were developed to produce it, making the production in the tower obsolete. A fascinating peek back into the history of this area!

The Baltimore Museum of Industry (BMI)

From the frenetic, hi-tech world we live in today, it is almost refreshing to be able to step back into the relatively sedate manufacturing environs of the technology of yesteryear! The Baltimore Museum of Industry (the BMI) situated on the site of an old cannery, affords us just such an opportunity, housing a fascinating range of items from the world of late 19th and early 20th century industry and manufacturing.

Tours, which include hands-on activities for children, transport one back a hundred years or more, for a glimpse into the industrial life of those times. A cannery with working machinery, a garment loft with its equipment, a contemporary machine and print shop, and a historic pharmacy, showcase a fascinating picture of historic industrial Baltimore. The BMI is also home to “Baltimore”, the oldest surviving steam tugboat in the United States. A large library of thousands of rare books and old photographic prints is also available in the museum. All well worth a visit!

The National Museum of Dentistry

For something really different, one can visit the Dr. Samuel D. Harris National Museum of Dentistry, situated on the campus of the nation’s first Dental School. The exhibits include a variety of exotic items, tracing the history of dentistry through the ages.

Among the most fascinating highlights are George Washington’s dentures, made from the ivory of hippo tusks! The dental instruments of Queen Victoria are on display too, as well as the world’s only Tooth Jukebox!

The Residence of Choice

It’s no wonder that the growing number of luxury apartments in this area have become such a popular choice with city dwellers. Those seeking to live in this exciting area are heading for developments like 1201 South Charles Street Apartments, where they can combine modern city living with a sense of community, and be close to all the historic amenities and attractions of this fascinating city.

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Buying Versus Renting – The Age Old Question http://1201scharles.com/buy-or-rent-property/ Mon, 25 Apr 2016 22:30:52 +0000 http://1201scharles.com/?p=1420 Where to Start? For many newly married young couples making their first foray into the property market, the choice between buying a home or renting one, can be a daunting decision. The same, of course, applies to families moving to a new city where conditions may be very different from the old place. So it’s [...]

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Where to Start?

For many newly married young couples making their first foray into the property market, the choice between buying a home or renting one, can be a daunting decision. The same, of course, applies to families moving to a new city where conditions may be very different from the old place. So it’s not surprising that the general consensus, is that it is far wiser to start off renting.

What About the Long Term View?

What, though about the longer term? Could renting still be the better proposition than buying? Here the answer is far more complex. Let’s look at a few scenarios and compare them.

Realtors will always tell you that buying is better than renting. The major argument they make is that a house is an investment that will always appreciate in value over the long term. In addition, as the argument goes, the mortgage payment that you are making to the bank each month is actually a form of saving, while any rent money you are paying is actually money that is lost.

How Do They Compare?

Let’s look at that argument a little closer. While it’s true that the rental payments can be regarded as money that you have burned, the same argument can truthfully be applied to the interest you are paying to the bank for the privilege of obtaining a mortgage! For a fairly standard 30-year mortgage, most of the money you are paying each month is going purely to cover the interest, and mighty little is going to reduce the capital. True, this will change over time, but not for decades! So for many years, almost all of the monthly mortgage payments is also money down the drain.

Will Real Estate Always Appreciate in Value?

Now if you were one hundred per cent certain that your property would appreciate in value over the years that you owned it, this might mean that you’d come out at the end saving money by purchasing rather than renting, but there is more to it than that!

The Rental Safety Net

When you rent, you are in effect guaranteeing that the property will be fully maintained at no expense to yourself. When you own the property, a very different picture emerges! All the expense of redecorating in the event of a leaking roof, and the cost of repairing the roof itself, will come out of your pocket. True, you can insure against some of this, but that costs money, and you can’t insure against every eventuality.

Repainting the inside and outside of your home every few years, when weather or small dirty hands makes this necessary, is an expense that will come straight out of your pocket, and so it goes, on and on. Property taxes are payable on self-owned property, and should your heating or cooling system stop functioning, guess whom is going to have to pay for a new one?

What Happens When You Need to Sell?

So while it may be that your property will increase in resale value, that is not a certainty, and what if you need to sell at a time when the market has dipped? Ever notice also how property values in an area can take a drastic downturn due to unforeseen changes that can end up affecting the neighborhood? Try and work out how to second guess that one!

The truth is that there is no certainty as to which road to go down, but being able to just up and move to a new home in a new neighborhood when you are renting, is a plus that you should not lightly overlook.

Why You May Prefer to Rent

Renting in an area where you can walk to work is a massive plus, exercise is so important, and if you have a park in the vicinity it makes it even more attractive. Your building is quite likely to have covered parking and controlled access, which provides for great peace of mind and quality of life. High speed internet access and such amenities as trash disposal chutes or services, right from your floor, are pretty standard too. Add to this all the availability of emergency maintenance and a like-minded community literally on your doorstep, and you have the makings of a very comfortable lifestyle.

Amenities and Shopping

The ready availability of entertainment amenities and abundant shopping right on your doorstep when you choose the right area, could easily seal the choice for you. The trend today is towards this type of neighborhood because of all the advantages it provides, and don’t forget that nearby public transportation is probably a given, too.

The Longer Term Picture

At the end of the day, the choice will always be yours to move out to the suburbs and buy your own home should you every feel the inclination, but a move in the opposite direction may be much more difficult should you need to sell a home when the market has dropped.

Trendy Baltimore Areas

The type of exciting and trendy areas where all this can be found in downtown Baltimore is around Federal Hill. Exciting new complexes such as the luxury rental accommodation at 1201 S. Charles Apartments provide all this and more for the discerning renter. It’s time to go have a look for yourself and then make the choice.

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Federal Hill : The Home of Inner City Startups and Entrepreneurs http://1201scharles.com/federal-hill-home-inner-city-startups-entrepreneurs/ Wed, 13 Apr 2016 03:16:52 +0000 http://1201scharles.com/?p=1405 The Changing Face of the Federal Hill Community Long gone are the days when Federal Hill was a decaying inner city neighborhood, where property values were depressingly low, and dilapidated vacant buildings lined many of the run-down streets. Only forty to fifty years ago this was the unfortunate reality, with little hope of change in [...]

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The Changing Face of the Federal Hill Community

Long gone are the days when Federal Hill was a decaying inner city neighborhood, where property values were depressingly low, and dilapidated vacant buildings lined many of the run-down streets. Only forty to fifty years ago this was the unfortunate reality, with little hope of change in sight. Today, the scene is vastly different. The streets are bustling and alive, teeming with people and amenities of every kind. New and attractive residential options are drawing increasing numbers of people from near and far, and the area has become a magnet for entrepreneurs and modern businesses.

Following on from the last decade of the 20th century, and into the first decade of the current one, the rebirth of the Inner Harbor and its environs saw tremendous Demographic changes. With the population of the area growing by around 25 per cent, while the overall population of the greater Baltimore area itself was experiencing a decline, it was clear that a new era had dawned, and that the focus was moving downtown.

Bringing Startups to Downtown Baltimore

In 2012, a few intrepid individuals hit on the idea of an institute, which would establish Baltimore as a world-class entrepreneurial center, nurturing startups, in a co-working environment, with educational and support facilities, all under one roof. The world of high tech industries which had changed the scene of modern life world-wide, was now about to make its presence felt in this area. Starting as a for-profit company, the fledgling facility, named Betamore, soon saw that its future potential could be better developed as a non-profit, and after three years, it merged with the Greater Baltimore Council to promote this venture.

With a modern 8,000 square foot Federal Hill campus, providing the finest co-working areas and facilities, Betamore has been home to over a hundred companies and startups. Raising over fifty million dollars in venture capital in three years, it has brought a meaningful boost to the economy of the city, attracting international interest and attention.

A Technological & Entrepreneurial Community

The mission espoused by Betamore was to develop and create a home for an ever increasing number of startups and new ventures, providing the educational facilities and community environment that would nurture them. This was to be not only in the tech field, but in the larger business arena too, serving as wide an entrepreneurial community as possible. The three pillars forming the Betamore ethic, have been pithily formulated as: Incubation – fostering and nurturing startups, Education – providing the necessary courses and knowledge resources, and Community – providing a warm and welcoming framework within which to grow and develop.

The Campus

The facilities situated at Light Street, include classes and regularly planned events in a variety of fields, with people from around the world attending and accessing them. In less than four years, the campus is already starting to bulge at the seams, with all the desks fully occupied, and dozens of companies using the amenities provided on a daily basis.

Expansion On an Ongoing Basis

Paid membership is available both on a business and on an individual level, and the range of subjects is constantly increasing. It has moved far beyond the original focus on tech areas such as web development, and the newly established Betamore Academy offers a great variety of courses of study, with plans in place well into the future.

The Community Membership

The addition of community membership was another great step forward. The tech community, for example, provides support to tech developers and software programmers, together with the launch of a Tech Night which has been planned for the future. The feedback from the community members in all areas, affords the possibility of introducing new and varied courses and fields of study. The idea is to create an atmosphere that is open and comfortable for all different levels of competency, so the community aspect has become a very important and integral piece of the structure.

Developing Talent Through Leadership

Betamore also offers educational discounts on a variety of business services. The intention being to promote and foster the development of latent talent and provide opportunities for the community members to advance their ideas in as many locally based institutions and industries as possible.

In addition, an advisory board with close to fifty industry leaders has been made available to members, allowing them to draw on the knowledge of senior experts across the whole gamut of business life. This wonderfully varied mix of people forming the larger community has resulted in Betamore drawing people from many different sectors of the commercial sector to the Federal Hill campus.

The Unique Mix That Baltimore Provides

Baltimore, by virtue of the fact that it is a fairly compact city compared to some of the really large world centers, allows people to live and connect much more easily within the community. A recent study shows that while this is rare in most other American cities, a fairly large percentage of people working in the Federal Hill environs actually walk to work on a daily basis. This is probably one of the really big attractions drawing upwardly mobile younger families to the area.

The opportunities provided by creative institutions like the Betamore Campus has changed the business scene in downtown Baltimore. This, together with the close proximity of fine living, such as that provided by the 1201 S. Charles Apartments, has made Federal Hill one of the most desirable area for the modern American city dweller.

 

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Baltimore Inner Harbor Historic Ships: Faithful Servants in War and Peace http://1201scharles.com/baltimore-inner-harbor-historic-ships/ Tue, 29 Mar 2016 03:26:57 +0000 http://1201scharles.com/?p=1398 Many thousands of tourists head to the Baltimore Inner Harbor each year, to explore the fascinating museum attractions moored there. These classic showpieces span 200 years of American naval history, providing a historic glimpse into the naval world of yesteryear. What follows is a brief glimpse of the highly varied and exciting careers of just [...]

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Many thousands of tourists head to the Baltimore Inner Harbor each year, to explore the fascinating museum attractions moored there. These classic showpieces span 200 years of American naval history, providing a historic glimpse into the naval world of yesteryear. What follows is a brief glimpse of the highly varied and exciting careers of just two of them.

USS Constellation
The skyline of the Inner Harbor is graced by the magnificently rigged tall masts of the 1854 Sloop-of-War, USS Constellation, the last purely-sail fighting ship commissioned by the United States navy.

A Multi-Talented Ship
For several years, after entering service, this graceful ship plied the oceans, performing a variety of diplomatic roles as part of the U.S. Mediterranean fleet.

Hunting the Slave Traders and Pirates
From 1859 until 1861 it served as the flagship of the U.S. African Squadron in which role it participated in the patrol operations aimed at curbing the slave trade that wrought havoc among the African tribal populations. Thousands of souls were being snatched away from their homelands by unscrupulous pirates, intent on selling them on foreign shores. USS Constellation was successful in intercepting several such vessels and freeing their wretched captives, releasing them back onto their native lands where they were reunited with their families.

Civil War Role
After the Civil War broke out, Constellation was put into military duty, blockading and deterring Confederate vessels and commercial raiders sailing the far-off Mediterranean waters, firing on them with its powerful armaments, and hastening the end of the naval war. Finally, with the surrender of the Confederate raider ship CSS Shenandoah on November 6, 1865, the naval war came to an end.

Post Civil War Tasks
The ship now turned to civil roles, ferrying exhibits across the Atlantic to the International Expo in Paris, and then, in 1879, in a humanitarian role, it carried much needed supplies to famine ravaged Ireland.

Preparing for World War l
Towards the end of the 19th Century, it became a floating Naval barracks, serving the military in yet another much needed role, teaching midshipmen the skills they would need in their Naval service. As a training vessel, it prepared some sixty thousand naval recruits for impending World War l duties.

Decommissioning and Honorable Retirement
Constellation was retired from active service in 1933, and then in 1940, the ship was declared a national symbol by President Roosevelt. Finally, in 1955 it was sailed to its current berth in Baltimore’s Inner Harbor, where it has pride of place.

Yet Another Voyage
Amazingly, her sailing days were not yet finalized, and in 2004 the ship made a triumphant 6-day voyage to Annapolis and back, marking its first visit there for 111 years.

USCGC Taney
Taney, a U.S. Coast Guard High Endurance Cutter, was moored in Honolulu Harbor on that fateful December day in 1941, when, without warning, the Japanese air force attacked nearby Pearl Harbor. Firing repeatedly at Japanese aircraft flying overhead, Taney managed to sail to Peal Harbor, where it continued with anti-submarine patrols, remaining the last fighting ship afloat after the attack.

Varied World War ll Roles
Taney served her country throughout World War ll as a combat vessel. Until mid 1943 Taney fought in the Pacific theater on anti-submarine patrols, and as an anti-aircraft escort and other specially assigned roles. After a major refit of her guns later in 1943, the ship was transferred to the Atlantic theater in a new role as a command vessel for troop convoys and supply ships sailing between the U.S. and North Africa.

In 1945 Taney resumed duties in the Pacific playing an important role at the battle of Okinawa, serving as the flagship for Rear Admiral Cobb. Taney fought over 100 engagements with the enemy in the Pacific lasting until the end of the war, destroying and neutralizing many enemy aircraft. When hostilities ceased Taney sailed into Japanese ports, helping to evacuate Allied prisoners of war.

Peacetime Duties
With the advent of peace, Taney was refitted and carried out numerous varied coast guard duties from a west coast base, and in addition did service in both the Korean and Vietnam conflicts.

Ocean Weather Stations
In 1973, Taney moved to an east coast role primarily as an ocean going weather station ship, but with the advent of increasingly sophisticated satellite weather systems, these roles became unnecessary, and the ocean weather stations were finally closed down in 1977. Taney had the distinction of being the last Coast Guard Cutter in the U.S. to serve as an ocean weather station.

The Final Ocean Going Role

Until 1986, Taney continued active service, conducting search and rescue missions, fisheries patrols and highly successful anti-drug smuggling duties in the Caribbean. In 1985, Taney scored the biggest Marijuana bust in United States history when a vessel carrying a haul of over 150 tons of the weed was seized.

Honorable Retirement
She was finally and officially retired at the end of 1986, and presented to the City of Baltimore as a highly valued addition to the Marine Museum of Naval Vessels in the Inner Harbor.

Within comfortable walking distance of this magnificent Marine Museum, lie new developments such as the 1201 S.Charles Apartments, where residents have a wealth of entertaining and exciting city attractions close at hand.

History and modern city living with all its benefits, are now truly available to all.

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