We’ll be there on Friday. In honor, here’s the top things I’m charmed by in Charm City:

1. Water. I live in Albany, the Hudson doesn’t count.

2. Water taxis. Not even Boston’s are as convenient to motoring around downtown on a summer day. They really do act like public transportation (a little touristy, but still).

3. Camden Yards. Most beautiful stadium ever. I brook no arguments on this.

4. Hon. It’s what all the locals call everyone. It’s homey, unpretentious, down to earth, and totally local.

5. Lexington Market. As a kid I had my first real roasted peanuts here, straight from the roaster. Arguably the best crab cakes around. A bit off the tourist track, so you have to know to go. Sadly closes at 6:30pm.

6. Fells Point. Super-cute bar and restaurant nabe. Possibly too popular, but still fun. We had a birthday for my grandmother there one year, my mom made a cake, and the manager flipped out over it and practically tackled her for the recipe. My mom’s that good, and the Fells Point folks were that nice.

7. Fried baloney wrapped kosher hotdogs and French Fries with apple cider vinegar.

8. The celebrities. They’re wacky, weird, retro, throwbacks who march to their own drummer. John Waters. Duff from “Ace of Cakes”. David Simon, who created “Homicide” and “The Wire”. H.L. Mencken. Edgar Allan Poe, for God’s sake!

8a. Speaking of Poe, there’s a guy who lays a rose and bottle of booze on Poe’s grave site every year. He was a huge mystery and a city legend. He finally reveled himself last year, but I refuse to encourage that. I liked the mystery.

8b. Cal freakin’ Ripken, Jr and Sr. (he stands alone above them all)

9. Bubby’ s Mandelbrot. My grandmother lives near Reisterstown Road, still speaks Yiddish, and makes the best Jewish version of biscotti. Ever.

10. In Little Italy they project movies on the brick wall of a restaurant. It’s bring your own chairs, al fresco, every Friday night in summer on the sidewalks in the middle of the neighborhood.

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