North Howard street
n. Howard st and Lexington. A light rail honks its way through, gliding past a sea of people, cars and pigeons all heading in to their respective destinations. You have probably been here before, it’s the place where someone is bound to say something to you. It may be a simple comment about your hat or a poet looking for someone to listen to his words. It might be the shouting of socks and dvds from one of the street vendors or someone looking for spare change. The space is populated by all walks of life depending upon the time of day or what events are going on down town.
This street, and the area four blocks in every direction is densely populated. It is easy to get to by way of mass transit or by foot. Here there are residences, offices, places of worship and affordable stores that range from reeboks to candle shops. This is an area where the variety of places both private and public makes this space open.
My impression of the area is that it is largely local traffic, however there are some attractions in the area that bring in an outside crowd. The beauty of this place is that it belongs to the people, it does not appear to be cultivated or masterminded into existence. The businesses inhabit the old architecture of long ago, interspersed with a few modern buildings as well as abandoned ones.
People go here for all sorts of reasons. When I first came to Baltimore I wondered down there in search of food, and so I found Lexington market, some stands up and down the streets as well as a fine walk around all the old buildings. Later I would walk through this section of town in the afternoon and in the late evening to work at Camden yards. Though usually I am running a bit late sometimes I am able to interact with the people in the area.
One moment stands out above the rest, a man named john serenaded me under the awning of a discount clothing store. His rendition of Barbra Streisands people:
With one person, one very special person A feeling deep in your soul says you are half now you're whole No more hunger and thirst but first be a person who needs people People who need people are the luckiest people in the world
Then I bought him some lunch.