On Fells Point

I started my temp job in Fells Point last week. I haven’t had much of a chance to explore it, yet. As a Homicide fan I think it’s quite cool to be working in Fells Point. Indeed, I drove down Bayliss Street just the other day.

I’m not supposed to talk about my job — I had to sign a non-disclosure agreement — and it’s really rather mundane. I will say that it involves something medical, and I’ve found myself playing Greg House with the paperwork, trying to come up with a diagnosis that would cover the symptoms presented. Of course, I don’t actually see patients — I just have spreadsheets e-mailed to me — and it’s become obvious to me that these aren’t real patients, as a real patient with the problems I see in the spreadsheets would probably be dead a dozen times over. I will say that I think my computer is retarded, and I really don’t like using Outlook for e-mail.

The company is housed in the old National Bohemian warehouse. Across the street is the old brewery. Indeed, the neighborhood is called Brewer’s Hill. It’s an old industrial neighborhood — there are a number of empty and gutted warehouses nearby. This whole area, once a sign of urban blight and the decay of the American inner city, is in the process of transforming itself into something new. Just a few block down stands the 1st Mariner Bank tower, which stands out like an obelisk in the middle of a neighborhood.

I’ve had Natty Boh — the local nickname for National Bohemian, mentioned on Homicide a few times — once, and I don’t remember it as being very good. But then, I’m not a fan of the beer style, and it’s not even brewed in Baltimore anymore.

(My grandmother, when I told her about where I worked, said to me at dinner the other night, “Why, the whole neighborhood must still smell like beer. I bet you can smell it in the warehouse.” I tried to tell her otherwise, that’s the building’s been gutted and remodelled and nothing’s been brewed on Brewer’s Hill in about twenty years, then gave up when she insisted that I was absolutely wrong. It wasn’t worth the mental agonies.)

The commute is fun — beltway and interstate, and three interstate merges — and it takes me through the harbor tunnel. I’ve discovered that I can basically set my own hours — if I want to work from 7 to 3, that’s allowed, and I may start doing that. The idea of getting off in the early afternoon has a certain appeal after years of working from 8 in the morning to 6:30, 7, sometimes 8 or 9 at night. Get off work at three, explore the neighborhood, find the Homicide squad house and take pictures — I think I might do just that this week.

I’m not sure how long the position will last — the agency said three to four weeks — and I’m still submitting resumes to other firms in Baltimore. In fact, I’ve got today’s classifieds to go through.

So, to sum it up. Fells Point. Nice building, in the middle of a generally blighted area that’s showing signs of revitalization. 🙂

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