Beliefnet
Rod Dreher

Was out all day down in Baltimore, or driving between there and Philly. Julie and the boys had some business downtown, so Nora and I hung out at the harbor — mostly in the Aquarium, because it was raining. A few short notes:
1. An ill omen! Driving into the city, we passed next to a life-size doll’s head lying in the middle of the freeway. Scawy!
2. The National Aquarium in Baltimore is way too expensive. Nora and I enjoyed ourselves, but we didn’t enjoy ourselves $45 worth, which is what the least-expensive tickets for the two of us cost. Add $18 for parking to that, and it’s hard to conclude that the Aquarium excursion was worth it. The Dallas World Aquarium — the only other aquarium I’ve ever visited — is also expensive, but it’s a much better value.
3. I actually heard a man say “Baldim’rr” today. If only a woman had called one of us “Hon,” my trip would have been complete.
4. Wow, look at that fancy Baltimore Sun printing press building, which cost hundreds of millions, according to Wikipedia. Wonder what’s going to happen to it when the Sun dies. Judging by the skeletal thickness of the newspaper, we’ll find out soon, alas.
4. Eleven dollars in tolls between Baldim’rr and Philadelphia? Really? Really.
5. What do they call people from Delaware anyway? Why aren’t all places in Delaware named for the greatest Delawarian (?) of our time: Sam Calagione? I think they should call the whole state Calagionia. Anyway, people should think about what they call their cities, in case the city becomes a big deal. Take Wilmington, the state capital (dang, I have subsequently been informed that Dover’s the state capital, not that cesspool of fleshpots, Wilmington!). Nothing against Wilmington, which I’m sure is filled with many interesting, noble citizens and their above-average children, but people elsewhere are never going to really respect a town called Wilmington. It sounds like all the men there wear cardigans. A positive example is Bryn Mawr, Pa. Know what it was called before the town fathers opted for the cool Welsh name? Humphreysville. True. People in Wilmington should change their city’s name to something cooler. Like “Calagione.”
6. Did you know there’s only 2 1/2 hours’ drive separating me from the Dogfish Head Brewery in Milton, DE, home of Sam Calagione, a great American? Must start rationalizing family vacation to Milton now…
UPDATE: A reader sends along a snapshot of an edifying message seen along one of the Baltimore motorways:
baltimore[1].JPG

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