I must admit, living in Little Italy, just a stone’s throw from Inner Harbor, has done much to cure my initially negative impressions of Baltimore, formed from those first days walking the mean streets of the inner city. This weekend is the St. Gabriel Italian Festival outside St. Leo’s Parish, with food and drink and music and little stalls sprawling through the tiny streets of the neighborhood. Walking amongst the stalls, chewing on a Greek gyro, looking at little trinkets interspersed with small handcrafted Catholic images, I almost felt like I was back home at a village fiesta (except that the music was Italian). I was especially amused by the image of a saint (St. Leo, I guess), with rays of masking tape radiating from his halo, to which visitors were encouraged to stick dollar bills.
Early this morning, I jumped onto a Water Taxi and crossed the Harbor to Federal Hill to check out Sailors Union Bethel Church. The church (no longer on board a ship), is very small, and is now Anabaptist — rather more fundy than I’m used to: dispensational premillenialism, Trail of Blood, KJV, the works. While I’m willing to overlook most fundy foibles in a church whose heart is right with Christ, this was a bit too hardcore for comfort.
It’s going to be a bit tough finding a good Baptist church in this neighborhood, I think; everything in the immediate vicinity is Catholic.
Well, strains of O Sole Mio are echoing from around the corner for the third time today. I’m going to skate for a bit.