Looking at the calendar, I realized that yesterday was my 3 year anniversary as an Annapolitan. Which makes me sound like some sort of dessert, or at a minimum not cool enough to live in a town like Naptown (just lost more cool points again). But to celebrate my 3 years here – I decided I needed to proclaim my love of this town via a top 10 list of what I’ve learned and loved.
1) After 3 years, I still don’t know if Rowe is pronounced row or rouwe. And no one seems to care so I alternate, wondering if some day someone will give me the answer.
2) Eastport is NOT Annapolis, I repeat NOT Annapolis. They are the Maritime Republic of Eastport – respect it 🙂
3) The Market House – let’s not go there. Well sometimes you can’t go there – because there’s nothing there. Sometimes there is. Apparently it’s a battle ground for middle earth or something. It’s also apparently reopening soon… Be careful who you bring this topic up to.
4) 50 Eastbound after exit 24 on a Friday afternoon from Memorial Day to Labor Day – yeah about that… Kinda like “fetch” – it’s really not going to happen and trying harder isn’t going to make it happen. Either wait it out or give up. PS – being sneaky and trying to cut through town to get back on at the route 2 exit is an interesting attempt but rarely works.
5) I turned on WRNR 103.1 much too late in the game. If a radio station can embody a town through it’s playlists – WRNR does it. Eclectic, funky and rather laid back – it is a great sound track for Annapolis.
6) The yellow brick road starts at Ego Alley. Ok not quite but I have this theory about the bars/restaurants in the area. If you start at Ego Alley, the crowds are on the younger side. As you head up the hill you start seeing an increase in age. As you make your way out of the center from Ego Alley, the age group changes a bit – sorta like the rings of a tree determining age. I have no statistical proof and this is all unscientific observations. Any which way, this town is fabulous for people watching.
7) This town is a kinda… crazy, well maybe no just different, nah it’s a little strange… No seriously – we have a Santa Speedo run in December (oh the things my eyes cannot unsee), the .05k run across the Eastport Bridge, a tug-of-war between the Annapolis and Eastport sides (and yes, it’s a genuine tug of war with the rope stretching across). Maybe just a little bit more serious are the St. John’s versus Naval Academy croquet match – or the time honor tradition of the Herndon Climb – where the plebes climb a greased stone monument (we don’t speak of the recent year when it wasn’t greased).
8) There is no excuse not to enjoy the water. I grew up in the area but had never been sailing until signing up for the FreeSail from Annapolis Community Boating. I also spent some time with them on a Full Moon Paddle. And then tried Stand Up Paddleboarding last summer – thank you Annapolis Canoe and Kayak. The likelihood of me ever joining a yacht club is slim to none but with the chance to enjoy Annapolis from the water costing me either nothing or about $20-30 a trip.
9) The food here is amazing. Incredible good restaurants. I haven’t hit them all and I definitely have a few favorites (LevelMetropolitanRedRedWineBarDavissPub TsunamiYamaCrabCakeCafe etcetcetc) but not only are they serving up good food – many are green too. Then the foodie girl has to go home and besides Whole Foods and Trader Joes, there also the fresh farmers markets – whether it’s Tuesday and Saturday off of Riva, Sunday downtown or Sunday at the Mall (and hopefully a new spot with familiar faces over in Eastport). Annapolis is a foodie’s dream come true.
10) I can’t be bored. 26 museums , 15 theatre companies, an independent art supply store, a record store (real true vinyl record store), libraries, book stores, live music, art galleries, art classes and … Then there is this great love of festivals – from art to music to food and new this year ones for film and comedy. Most of the festivals are in the effort to raise money for charity and have a lot of fun while doing it. If you’re bored in Annapolis, you’ve chosen to be that way.
I fell in love with a town, even if finding parking downtown is misery, and I nearly broke my stiletto heel on the bricks (lesson learned after the second time it happened), and maybe I did shout back at the new automated parking garage attendants when they were very loudly telling me how to put my card in (thankfully they aren’t so shouty themselves anymore). But to spend time here is to love the amazing mix of art, politics, music, food, people, boats, and fun. Thanks Naptown and all you Annapolitans who make it much cooler than I’ll ever be 🙂