Basil, sage, kale, strawberry, tarragon, purple beans, mini sweet peppers of many colors, eggplant, lavender, tomatoes, Mexican gherkins, sunflower, thyme, lettuce, spinach.
By Van Smith
Baltimore, May 20, 2020
For our kids, an addictive screen-based existence suddenly has become essential to ongoing learning and socialization while cooped up in the house all the time due to the pandemic. This contradiction – a requisite addiction – has prompted much stress-inducing parental hand-wringing followed by a barrage of changing regulatory schemes to manage the new and troubling lifestyle. Among them has been an ongoing edict to engage in demonstrably analogue activities on the regular.
“Make some art,” I said, as I masked up and put on my helmet to go get some needed commodities. By the time I got back, they’d done exactly that.
by Van Smith
Baltimore, May 12, 2020
Five years ago today, the mallard whose ducklings had hatched in our Fells Point neighbor’s backyard all made their way up his back steps into his kitchen, across the living room, out the front door, and then, having hit the sidewalk, crossed our front door to the Anne Street wharf a half-block away, all in a hurried line, adamant to get to the water. They all plopped in, showing courage many, if not most, of us could not muster. Here’s the video.
Yesterday, this happened:
And then, this:
She chose rush hour to get a move on with her ducklings. Even during the current pandemic, plenty of cars frequent these East Baltimore streets near Patterson Park during rush hour. So our eight-year-old and I ushered them toward the park, helping them cross streets. Some drivers were averse to our clumsy attempts to help the ducklings, but eventually, at Patterson Park Ave., where our efforts were joined by those of many other neighbors and passersby, they all got across the street and into the park, where presumably they headed toward the rowing pond.
By Van Smith
Baltimore, Apr. 30, 2020
Almost a year ago I wrote a short piece for Hmm Daily about my long history of chronicling sea-level rise in Baltimore’s waterfront Fells Point neighborhood, where waterfront prosperity has all but drowned out the district’s distinct character. Just a couple of weeks ago, I posted here about a recent tidal anomaly there, with harbor water seeping up through the storm drains to fill the streets. Over the years, my ongoing interest in this inundation theme has prompted several documentary projects, including the continuing disappearance of James Island on Maryland’s Eastern Shore, first in 2007 and again in 2013.
Today, this afternoon, Fells Point is underwater again. The anomaly is not only due to a higher-than-normal tide, but also to gravity-driven rain runoff and a driving wind pushing water inland. Here are two photos conveying the situation – I tried to take many more, including of the underwater marina slips and some good perspectives from right at the water’s surface, but I misfired my iPhone camera somehow in the heavy rain.
Addendum: I found the lost photos, and here are a few more of them.
By Van Smith
Baltimore, April 13, 2020
We’re a month into locking down in our homes due to the COVID pandemic, and taking a walk is a treasured experience. Today’s brought me down to the Baltimore harbor in Fells Point, where I expected few people thanks to the rainy day. It was noontime, just past high tide. Very few people were about, but water was everywhere. The captioned photos below tell more of what I encountered: a watery Fells Point, thanks to increasingly high waters borne on high tides on the Patapsco. Check out the third photo below – Thames Street is thorough inundated.
by Rye Smith Pierre
Baltimore, March 31, 2020
Bored is what everyone says
When they’re stuck at home in their bed
Thinking of nothing but dread
Saying nothing about what was said
Hours of working
Siblings that play kind of well
Until they do not
The friends are gone,
The cousins are gone,
The friends of the cousins are gone,
They are all depressed
Due to one little germ
I’m imprisoned in my own house
The government decided to do this to me
“It’s for your own safety,” they said
“It will be over soon,” they said
The big liars
1 12 oz can of Spam, in half-inch cubes
Half a head of garlic, diced
3 medium-sized shallots, diced
1 medium-sized onion, diced
1/2 cup of heavy cream
1/2 cup diced cheddar
1/2 cup of rice (before cooking) cooked in bone broth
2 pie crusts
Sauté the garlic, shallots, onions, and Spam until the onions are cooked. Beat together the eggs and cream with the salt. Line a pie dish with a crust and spread the rice in a layer over it. Add the sautéed items, toss the cheddar on top, pour the custard over the whole mess, then cap with the other crust and seal and pierce it. About an hour in a 395-degree oven, or until the pie is brown and puffy, will produce something resembling what’s in the above photo I just took. Good times! -Van Smith