Halloween 2019 Photos!

fells point baltimore maryland halloween photo devil and nurse costumes

Fell’s Point, traditionally a hot spot for Halloween, was rather relaxed this year. After the kiddies finished their Trick or Treating at the neighborhood shops and restaurants, some brave souls decided to defy the tornado and flood warnings to patronize the bars. While violence might have marked years past, the heavy rains and wind kept the large crowds at bay this year and partygoers stayed in whichever pub they found themselves in when the weather turned. The craziest thing I saw the entire night was a woman taking shelter under the awning of The Choptank chugging oregano and parmesan before eating a mozzarella stick. I joked about it and she responded “Well I guess you make better life decisions than me then! nom nom nom,” but that’s probably not true. I made it back out just after closing to see if anything was going down, but there were more police officers on the street at 2:15am than people in costumes, so I adjourned for the night.

But I did manage to get some photos of my favorite costumes! Here, check ’em out:

fells point baltimore maryland halloween photo jack skellington sally costumes
at Duda’s Tavern
fells point baltimore maryland halloween photo angel and demon costumes
at Broadway Square
fells point baltimore maryland halloween photo superman and supergirl costumes
at The Greene Turtle
fells point baltimore maryland halloween photo riddler costume
Broadway & Aliceanna St
fells point baltimore maryland halloween photo ranger witch and pippi costumes
at Todd Conner’s
fells point baltimore maryland halloween photo Prince knight centurion photo
Broadway & Thames St.

Police Ride-Along in Baltimore’s Southeastern District

While researching Baltimore’s handgun laws, I came across a sign up form for a police ride-along on the BPD’s website. Signing up and scheduling was a snap. On the 29th of October, I arrived at the Southeastern District HQ. Fell’s Point falls within this boundary and I thought I’d get a perspective on our community from the peace officers that serve here. Southeastern District encompasses far more than our relatively affluent neighborhood, however, and the beat of the officer I was assigned to was further north.

Arriving at the Station

Before the adventure could begin, the officer manning the desk ran my background check. I thought they ran one when I filled out the online form due to the information I had to provide, but I suppose if someone with warrants is dumb enough to walk right into the station and ask to ride around in a cop car, they’re happy to go ahead and show you a cell instead.

baltimore police hq southeastern district photo
BPD’s Southeastern District Headquarters

It came back ok so they gave me a kevlar vest. The description online was of an orange “safety” vest that wasn’t bulletproof and that I figured would have “DORK” written on it, so I wasn’t expecting this level of protection. The captain introduced himself and explained I’d be getting out of the car whenever my assigned officer did so I could get a close view of anything that happened. Oh. Ok. You sure you don’t want me to wait in the…? Cool cool cool. Ok.

One of the primary purposes of a ride-along is for potential recruits to see first-hand what it’s like to be a peace officer in Baltimore, and while I’m nearly 40, out of shape, overweight, got a bad back, and smoke far too many cigarettes, I suppose they wanted to see if I had the gumption to make the force. No worries. Journalism isn’t safe if you’re doing it right, either. Besides, I grew up in poor areas of DC and southern PG county where I was the only white guy without a crack habit for miles. How bad could Baltimore be?

How Bad Is Baltimore?

Sweet baby King Geoffrey, it’s bad out there. And this isn’t the most dangerous part of Baltimore, not by a long shot! But just a couple miles from our historic waterfront, poverty is rampant, the Bloods and Crips claim opposing blocks, and the drug trade thrives.

red bandana bloods claimed block baltimore maryland photo
The red bandana around this street light signifies the Bloods claim this block.

I saw streets strewn with garbage, I saw disheveled buildings, even one that was already half-collapsed. But that’s not the whole story. Gentrification is beginning its slow march into these impoverished areas. On some blocks, homeowners reside on one side of the street across from the residents of Section 8 housing on the other. This results in an understandable friction between the haves and the have-nots. Robberies are frequent here and will increase as we approach the holiday season. For owned but unoccupied units, there is a constant risk that squatters will enter your premises, destroy your investment, and you’ll have to go through the courts before the police can evict them.

A particular story I heard was of a unit owned by someone out of town that a squatter took had taken up residence in during their absence. Whether by neglect or malice, the squatter left the water running. It flowed until the floor collapsed from the damage. The advice I heard was to have someone check on your property at least once a week if you can’t be there.

Think of the Children

The owner’s presence isn’t enough to deter all criminal activity, of course. One resident had accidentally left her door open. Two children snuck in and stole her purse and wallet. No charges were filed on the condition the items were returned along with an apology. We passed by these kids and the officer stopped to check on their welfare. He asked if they were going to the store to buy noodles. “No,” replied the taller, “we don’t have enough for noodles.” This was the most heartbreaking moment of my ride-along. They were children of addicts and I can understand their plight. Children are not responsible for their parent’s sins, but they always pay the price. I wish I had asked the officer to stop and let me give them money. I didn’t. We drove on.

blood claimed block baltimore maryland clean row houses view photo
This is the same block from the photo above. Well-kept and tidy, especially compared to other streets I saw.

The officer I rode with had a strong rapport with many of the children we encountered along our drive, while very few adults would speak with us- usually those that had reason to work with the police, like the woman who had been shot three times the year prior. There is a strategy at play here. Many teenagers and adults are already jaded against the police, but if they can reach the kids, provide positive interactions, then there is hope to turn the tides of violence in the next generation.

Baltimore’s Biggest Killer

Suddenly the lights go on and we’re flipping around to speed down the street. Shot Spotter technology had registered two gun shots several blocks away and sent a notification to the officer’s phone. A few minutes later and we were at the scene along with half a dozen other officers. No one was running, no one was bleeding, and people hadn’t left their stoops. Probably a false positive. We split up into teams and searched for bullet casings that would be evidence a shooting had taken place, myself included. We didn’t find anything, but it was definitely the coolest thing that happened all night.

baltimore maryland bloods gang graffiti building
Graffiti on the side of this building reveals another block claimed by Bloods.

“The number one killer on the streets of Baltimore,” the officer I was riding along with told me, “is pride.” Well, ok, technically it’s bullets, but the reason they’re flying very often comes down to a perceived disrespect. It’s hard for me to fathom why an insult, a slight, or a dirty look is worth hurting another human being and risking jail, violence, and death. I suppose pride is worth defending when it’s all you have.

For Baltimore’s peace officers, disrespect from the community they serve is an expectation. The same people they triage from stab wounds while they await an ambulance one day will tell them to f*ck off the next. Such treatment is bound to sour your perspective over time, but for the officer I rode with, it was simply an aspect of the job. Either you can handle it or you can’t.

Final Thoughts

The most absurd aspect of the evening came from a stop at a mini-mart. While the officer checked in on the clerk, I noticed full face masks for sale. These weren’t solid black skiing attire, no sir. The faces painted on were menacing with grotesque smiles clearly meant to intimidate. I stared at them for minutes before asking the clerk “You sell a lot of these face masks?” He looked at me and half-shrugged. “Yeah.” It seems absolutely ludicrous to me that you’d sell an item that will almost certainly be used for violent crime, maybe even used to rob you. I suppose he felt safe enough doing so, whether that’s from police efforts or protection money paid to local gangs, though I’d still be worried about my karma.

My ride-along with the Baltimore Police Department was an amazing experience. At times thrilling, others quiet, I was always learning. The officer provided valuable insight and gladly answered my many questions. While the streets aren’t safe, I never felt like I was in harm’s way. I highly recommend a ride-along to any resident that wants to see just how difficult police work is in Baltimore and how much further we have to go before our city’s reputation to outsiders changes from murder and overdose capital. While the police’s own image has been tarnished in recent years, reforms are taking place. I saw officers who cared about this community and a team committed to ending the violence. And they are most definitely hiring.

Ghosts of Fell’s Point

There is an abundance of ghost stories in Fell’s Point. Many of the people who live and work here are convinced of their existence and continued interaction with the living. Perhaps the most notorious is centered on The Horse You Came In On Saloon. The famous poet Edgar Allen Poe was a regular of the saloon and, according to local legend, was the last place he visited on the night he died. It is said that Poe’s spirit still is still a regular of the saloon. The Horse’s bartenders are known to leave out a glass of cognac for his enjoyment and some believe he can be seen walking towards the saloon when his ethereal thirst requires quenching.

edgar allan poe portrait

A more recent ghost sighting made the news this month when a couple on a ghost tour through Fell’s Point managed to capture a photo of what looks like the specter of a young girl in a window on the third floor of Bertha’s Mussels. In the picture you see a blue light in the form of two arms extending from the room and through the window. The couple intended only to take pictures of building, but when they reviewed the photo, they saw the apparition and immediately shared it with their tour guide.

The picture coincides with a story told by an employee of the restaurant. Venturing to an upstairs store room, he witnessed a young girl dressed in clothing from early 19th century standing in the moonlight. Her ghost looked startled by his presence and quickly disappeared. We expect the feeling was mutual.

admiral fell inn baltimore maryland photo

The Admiral Fell’s Inn has a reputation as one of the most haunted hotels in the United States. The hotel was once a boarding house for sailors and a common place for seaman and prostitutes to…celebrate and uh, so on. Ahem. In 2003, the hotel was completely evacuated due to Hurricane Isabel. Only the general manager stayed behind to board the windows. Whilst about his preparations, he claims to have heard what sounded like a large party happening in the upstairs of the hotel.

Stories of hauntings occur most frequently in places with a history of tragedy and violence. In the case of Fell’s Point, this harbor community suffered two outbreaks of yellow fever in 1794 and 1797, presumably brought in by ships which traveled abroad. Some believe the neighborhood sits atop a mass grave of the infected. As for violence, 330 British sailors along with 4 Americans died nearby at the battle of Fort McHenry in 1814 during the War of 1812.

What I find interesting about these reports of hauntings is that they always seem to be doing in the afterlife what they did in their material lives. There are rumors of deceased bell hops at the Admiral Fell’s Inn who still knock on room doors to former seamen of the U.S.S. Constellation (which harbors in Baltimore) carrying out their daily duties. Even the dead must earn a living, apparently.

Walk into any bar in Fell’s Point and the locals might tell you their own experiences with ghosts over a pint.

~ Old Henry

Home Plates: Duda’s Tavern

dudas tavern fells point baltimore maryland corner view photo

Duda’s Tavern is the kind of neighborhood bar where everybody knows everybody, a place where regulars will usually find their favorite pint poured in front of them before they can get their coats off, and a place where strangers become friends over the course of an evening.

Located on the corner of Thames & South Bond Streets in Fells Point, Duda’s Tavern is not to be missed. More of a restaurant with a bar than a “bar with a deep fryer,” the menu features something for everyone. From burgers & wings to delicious fresh seafood, the menu is diverse & quite expansive considering it comes out of what might be the smallest commercial kitchen in the city.

dudas tavern fells point baltimore bar view photo

Try their weekly specials like their legendary crab cakes (Tuesday) or the hand cut steak (Thursday)! Other go-to’s include a raw bar, the tequila shrimp, and (Yes!) even a Poke’ Bowl.

Family owned and operated for 70 years, the decor celebrates the rich maritime history of the neighborhood, the building, and the restaurant itself. While the business lunch crowd appreciates the fast service from the friendly staff, the casual atmosphere lends itself well to a relaxing dinner as well. Dog-friendly outside dining is also offered. After dinner, slide over to the bar for a Natty Boh, Gose, or IPA from the extensive draft & bottled beer selection.

~ Steve S.

The kitchen is open from 11am-12am and the bar is open until 1am Monday through Saturday.

1600 Thames St
Baltimore, MD 21231

Current Drink Specials:
Import: $3.50 Carlsberg
Craft Brew: $3.50 Liquid Hero Brewery’s Cloudification
Super Special! $2 Natty Boh cans All Day Everyday

Daily Specials:
Monday: Discounted Appetizers
Tuesday: $15 Crab Cakes
Wednesday: Half-Price Burgers
Thursday: Steak Night (12 oz NY Strip & 2 sides)

Happy Hours & Daily Specials

Featured Favorite: Todd Conner’s

700 S Broadway
Baltimore, MD 21231

Daily Specials:
Mon-Fri, 11am-3pm $7 Built-to-Order Burgers
$2 Natty Boh Drafts every football game!

The Admiral’s Cup

1647 Thames St
Baltimore, MD 21231

Happy Hour 4-7pm
Half off all draft beers!

Abbey Burger Bistro

811 S Broadway
Baltimore, MD 21231

Happy Hour 3-6pm
4 Maryland drafts on special

Game Day Specials
$4 Key Brewing Co Drafts!

Jimmy’s Restaurant

801 S Broadway
Baltimore, MD 21231

$3 domestic beers all day!

Bertha’s

734 S Broadway
Baltimore, MD 21231

Happy Hour 3-7pm
$5 draft beers, house liquors & wines!

Blarney Stone Pub

704 S Broadway
Baltimore, MD 21231

All Day Specials
$4 domestic shots and pints
$6 imported beers

Penny Black

1800 Thames St
Baltimore, MD 21231

Happy Hour 4-7pm Mon-Fri
$1 off drinks!

Sticky Rice

1634 Aliceanna St
Baltimore, MD 21231

Happy Hour 3-6pm Mon-Fri
$5 Premium Call Cocktails, $1 off all Beer (Draft, Bottles, & Cans), $5 glass/$18 bottles of wine!
$5 and $6 Appetizer specials
Roll and Half-Bowl Combos ($11 Vegan or $13 Non-Vegan)

Waterfront Hotel

1710 Thames St
Baltimore, MD 21231

Happy Hour 4-7pm
$5 Absolut Crushes (Orange or Grapefruit), $2 Natty Boh Drafts, $1 Off Premium Drafts, $4 Rail Drinks
Happy Hour food menu includes Crispy Brussel Sprouts, Local Fried Oyster Sliders, Blackened Chicken Nachos, WTF Wings, Calamari Fries, Cheese & Bacon Fries, Crab Pretzel Sticks

Kooper’s Tavern

Happy Hour 4-7pm Mon-Fri
$4 Well Drinks, $4 Draft Beers, $5 Guinness, $5 Select Wine by the Glass
$7 Select Appetizers

Li’l Phil’s Tavern

706 S Broadway
Baltimore, MD 21231

Happy Hour All-Day Monday, 3-7pm Tues-Fri
Industry Nights Sunday & Tuesday 7pm-Close
$3.50 Coors Banquet, $6 Rail Bombs, $1 (Bartender’s Choice) & $2 (Margarita & Pina Colada flavor) Jello Shots

Alexander’s Tavern

710 S Broadway
Baltimore, MD 21231

Daily Specials:
Monday-
$3 Drafts, half price Alexander’s Burger, $3 off MD Burger, Impossible & Veggie Burger
Tuesday– $1 Natty Lights & Naturdays, $8 Fried Shrimp, Shrimp Po Boys, Crab Dip, Fish & Chips; 11am-5pm $8 Entree Salads
Wednesday– $3 Natty Boh & Microbrew Cans, $6 Crushes, $7 Paninis w/one side
Thursday– Buy 1 Get 1 Glasses of Wine, Half Off Bottles, $7 Pizzas ($9 Bawlmer & Steak Chimmichuri)
Friday– Teacher’s Night 7pm-Close! Present your Teacher’s ID for $2 Bud Light Drafts, $4 New Amsterdam Vodka Drinks, Buy 1 Get 1 Glasses of Wine & Half-Price Bottles

Papi’s Tacos

1703 Aliceanna St
Baltimore, MD 21231

Happy Hour 4-7pm Mon-Fri
$6 Traditional House Margarita (Frozen or Rocks), $4 Draft Beer, $3 Tequila Blanco, $4 Tequila Reposado, $5 Tequila Anejo, $5 House Sangria
$3-$4-$5-$6 Select Food Menu plus one FREE basket of Chips & Salsa per guest!

Daily Specials (All Day Mon-Fri)
Monday- $6 Margaritas
Tuesday- $4 Draft Beers
Wednesday- $5 House Sangria (Red or White)
Thursday- $6 All Wines by the Glass
Friday- $10 Traditional Dos Manos (Big Ass) Margaritas (50 cents more for Flavored)
Sat & Sun- $4 Pitchers & Brunch Cocktails between 10am-3pm

DogWatch Tavern

709 S Broadway
Baltimore, MD 21231

Happy Hour 4-8pm Mon-Fri
$3 Domestic Bottles, $5 Flying Dog Drafts, $4 Rail Drinks, $4 Wine, $1 Jello Shots, $5 Stoli & Red Bull Bombs

$6 Appetizers including Beef Tacos, Beef Nachos, White Chicken Chili Nachos, Spicy Crab Deviled Eggs, Chicken Fingers & Fries, Mac & Cheese Wedges, Wisconsin Cheddar Cheese Curds, Loaded Fries, Fish & Chips, Mini Corn Dogs, Jalapeno Poppers, Broccoli Cheddar Bites

Daily Specials (Dine-In Only!)
Monday- Steak Night! $12.95, starts at 5pm
Tuesday- Spaghetti & Meatball w/Caesar Salad & Garlic Bread, $9.95, starts at 5pm
Wednesday- Burger Day! $5.95 and up
Thursday- Wingin’ It! 10 wings for $8, Pitchers of Yuengling for $10
Lunch Specials Mon-Fri 11am-3pm, Late Night Menu from 11pm-1am

Max’s Taphouse

737 S Broadway
Baltimore, MD 21231

Happy Hour 5-8pm Mon-Fri
Monday Sucks– All Day, All Night happy hour prices every Monday. $1 off drafts from open to close ($1 off drafts from Bud to Guiness, but not the really high-octane stuff, and not the Belgians).
Tuesday Beer Social– Join Max’s resident Beer Expert Casey Hard, downstairs at Max’s at 6pm on Tuesdays for the Beer Social. Sample rare and exotic beers at special prices and enjoy guest speakers.
Wednesday Pinch the Pint Night– Buy a draft from 5pm to 8pm and not only will you get $1 off refills from 5-8, we’ll serve it in a nifty pint glass featuring the logo of an internationally famous brewer, and you get to keep the glass!
Friday Big Ass Draft HH– from 5pm to 8pm, every 32oz Draft from Blue Moon to Duckpinis is just $7 (not the really high-octane beers, which you probably don’t want 32oz of anyway, or the Belgians) BIG ASS Drafts are served in Big Ass Plastic Cups.

Point South Latin Kitchen

1640 Thames St.
Baltimore, MD 21231

Happy Hour 5-7pm Mon-Fri
Cocteles – $7 Pisco Sour, $7 Margarita, $7 Ancho Paloma, $6 Sangria, $5 Novecento, $5 Callia Alta, $3 Tecate, $2 Natty Boh, $6 Carimanolas, $5 Queso Fresco, $6 Sikil Pak, $5 Pinchos de Carne, $7 Ceviche, $4 Chicharrones

Daily Specials 11am-10pm Mon-Thurs
Margarita Monday– $5 each, Choice of Classic, Minas, or Spicy Chili
Bottle Cocktail Tuesday– $5 Bourbon Ginger Pear
Wine Down Wednesday– Any of Our Wines by the Glass for 1/2 off regular price
Sangria Pitcher Thursday– $14 Pitchers of Red or White Sangria

Fell’s Point Tavern

1606 Thames St
Baltimore, MD 21231

Happy Hour 4-7pm
$3 Domestic Drafts, $5 All Craft Drafts, $6 Wine by the Glass, $7 Domestic Beer & Rail Shot
$5 Snacks (Guac & Chip, Fried Calamari, Tavern Tacos)
$7 Wings (Chesapeake, Buffalo Honey, or BBQ)
$9 Flatbreads (Chicken Pesto, Classic Pepperoni, Margherita)