Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Friday in Fell's

The taxicab. It's amazing how this unique combination of sticky leather seats, smudged windows, lingering cigarette smoke, and static radio is the perfect ticket to a night of adventure in a new city. Where else but in a taxicab can you get a real tour of a city that won't bore you to death and will cost you only ten dollars cash plus a tip? That's right my friends, nowhere else.

Now Baltimore isn't the largest city, but it does have its fair share of taxis roaming the streets, especially on a Friday night. A few weeks ago, my husband and I decided to snag one with a group of friends and headed down to Fell's Point. For those of you who don't live in Baltimore, or have just moved to Baltimore, Fell's Point is seriously charming. Visiting Fell's Point feels like visiting one of those historic preserved towns like Williamsburg or Pioneer Village except that there is no yellow caution tape or souvenir stands. A little history. Fell's Point was founded in 1763 and officially became Maryland's first National Historic District in 1969. So it's super old, and super cool. Most of the buildings in Fell's are made of red brick and are super narrow. The streets are tight and cobbled and finding a parking spot is equal to winning the lottery. If you visit Fell's, expect to park at least one or two blocks from you destination, or be smart and take a taxi.

My favorite thing about Fell's is that it is so close to the water. It is a beautiful thing to smell the harbor as soon as you get out of your car in Fell's. Now one of the trendiest places to live in Baltimore, someone told me that Fell's Point used to be one of the worst places to live because of the strong fish smell coming off of the water. Because of the fish and dirty water stench, real estate used to be cheaper in Fell's and this is why many poorer immigrants ended up living there. Today, the fish smell has left(lucky for us), but the sturdy row homes and all their history remains.

As our taxicab excursion showed us, Fell's Point is loaded, and I do mean fully loaded, with bars, bistros, restaurants, and boutiques. What I call the "main square" of Fell's is located on South Broadway. The restaurants and bars on South Broadway nest together like eggs in a crate with barely any space between. Until further excursions allow, Max's Taphouse is one of my new favorite places in Fells. This corner bar is definitely a favorite of many Baltimorians because it was packed when we pushed in through the old wood doors. Crammed with exhilarated Friday night partyyers, we finally  made our way to the taps. I have never seen so many beer taps in one place. Max's boasts having 140 rotating drafts, which makes for some tough decision making. After some nail biting and chin scratching we finally choose a perfect brew and took it to the upstairs lounge which was a bit less crowded. 

The atmosphere at Max's is laid-back, crowded, medium-loud, and totally fun. Small four pane windows overlooking South Broadway let the city air and occasional siren light into Max's and grow the Friday night excitement. I watch randoms meet and bump into each other right and left and chat up the night. With such good brews and good company it is easy to have a great night at Max's. Needless to say with 140 rotating drafts to choose from, we will definitely be back, soon.

By the time we leave Fell's Point on this Friday night, the streets are even more crowded than when we came. Taxicabs troll every alleyway and pick up fares at every curb. We dart into a steamy little pizza place and grab a cheesy slice. So good. The sidewalk is bursting and it feels like everyone in Baltimore is with us in Fell's. We find a taxi driver who says he doesn't mind if we eat in his cab, and head home. 

Adieu Fell's Point, until next weekend. 

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