Living in Little Italy

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.


  1. Toshikazu says:

    Trail of Blood…. ugh! :-)

  2. Mike says:

    Okay, I’ll admit I don’t get the “Trail of Blood” reference. What is it?

    And how badly will I regret asking? *wg*

  3. Mike says:

    You could always go look for a Reformed church. Perhaps a PCA one.

  4. rod says:

    The Trail of Blood is a “history” of the Baptist faith which makes the claim that Baptists have always been present within Christianity, but have only recently been released from their oppression/suppression. I have not actually had the guts to read it (find it here at but I understand it is very compelling hagiography.

  5. Paulo says:

    I’m lookin’ through the Presbies, Methodists, Baptists, and even Anglicans. My problem is that I can’t drive, so I need a church within walking distance; probably around downtown.

    (This would be less trouble if I were still Roman Catholic. No shortage of that here in Li’l Italy. Mama mia!)

  6. Valerie says:

    I was wondering what you were planning on doing for church. I’d love to be able to invite you to my church, but it’s definitely not within walking distance. I’ve put out a feeler for any members who might live downtown and be willing to provide transportation. I’ve also put out a feeler for church recommendations within walking distance of Little Italy. I’ll let you know what turns up.