Hot independence day in Annapolis

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We’ve got one more day left of the brutal heat, here in the Mid-Atlantic.  The Washington D.C. region has long been known for its brutal summers but this is one for the record books. July 4th and the accompanying celebrations, at least broke the week in half with a one day brake but it wasn’t easy getting off to work Thursday morning knowing temperature would climb towards 100 degrees. I’m not certain how many folks braved the heat to watch the Annapolis parade but I’d certainly like to commend all those brave souls who marched in the heat. My husband and I still talk about the year we did a float for the girl scout troop I was leading. A generous neighbor lent us their white pick-up truck which we decorated and my husband drove, while I stood in the back of the truck with the girls holding up a banner and throwing out candy. It was hot, really hot, and by the time I stepped down off the back of the truck I was soaked in perspiration from head to toe. But the girls had a good time. My daughter had always wanted to throw candy at a parade, and she got her chance.

If you weren’t there, enjoy the slideshow. There were plenty of politicians, as predicted, plus some wonderful South American dancers, dog walkers, horses, and an antique fire engine.

Nadja Walks to City Dock!

Today I reached another milestone, or maybe the correct description would be walked to another milestone. I walked, with my husband Peter of course, all the way downtown to City Dock Cafe for morning coffee. We left the house about 6:30 a.m. There weren’t too many people out. I noticed on our return that the new Seven Eleven, on the corner of Lafayette and West Street, is not yet open— although they appear very close to opening their doors, once they complete the resurfacing of the parking lot. It was good to be out in the morning air before it starts to get too hot. The birds are chirping away and everything looks very green.
Unfortunately I am still short on sleep. (I think I got a total of four hours last night.) We may need to put a chair, one that I can get up and out of, so not a soft chair, in my daughter’s room where I currently sleep so every time I wake up I can sit and listen to music or read a book. I’m sleeping in Alex’s room because her bed is easier to get up and out of than the Queen size four poster in our bedroom. Her bed is also on wheels, making it easy to maneuver when Peter does daily maintenance on the TCO (Total Contact Orthosis Jacket). Laying on Alex’s bed, looking around her room and admiring all her artwork I feel very close to Alex even though she is far away at college. Alex has created all kinds of collages using fashion magazine clippings, plus there are her paintings, photographs, and postcards. Even though she took two very full suitcases of clothing, her closet and bureau is still full of other stuff I can borrow— we just about wear the same size now. The problem is my fashion choices are extremely limited. I need to wear pants or skirts with an elastic band that can expand up and over the TCO. No pretty little slim dresses for me! They will have to wait. But when I get restless, I can look inside her closet and imagine when I will be healed and when I’ll next see Alex. I hope she will have a good year!

Many in Bay Region Still Without Power

I didn’t realize how lucky I am until I went to work this morning. Well, what I should say is tried to get to work this morning. Although I did eventually get over to the office, after fielding bunches of phones calls and text messages, we did not have enough power in the building to run our computers or the phone system. So, I am back working at home as is the rest of the editorial department.
Downtown, there is still a section of businesses that are waiting for electricity. Included amongst those waiting is City Dock Cafe where we always buy our coffee midway through our morning walk. They were still boarded up at 7:00 a.m. Also losing power was Eastport and various sections of Greater Annapolis, including the corner of 450 and General’s Highway near where my husband has his insurance office.On a day like today, you need to be able to open your office to answer all those claims questions. Neighborhoods like Epping Forest and Herald Harbor are used to losing power during storms, but it doesn’t make life any easier.
Meanwhile on the Eastern Shore, a good portion of Queen Anne’s County and Kent County are without power, and in some places it will take several days to restore. While us city folk still have water when the power fails, those who live outside the city and have wells with pumps operated by electricity are in “camping-out mode.”
Once again I am thankful for those small luxuries in life that include hot coffee, hot water, lights, and internet.

Sunday A.M. Main Street Shut Down

At approximately 9:15 this morning, traffic came to a halt in downtown Annapolis as upper Main Street was shut down due to a reported gas leak at Joss Cafe and Sushi Bar. Fireman suited up with tanks on their backs rushed to the scene accompanied by emergency vehicles, an ambulance and several fire engines. The arrival of so many vehicles blocked traffic around Church Circle. At 9:30 when I was walking by, laden with my purchases from the downtown Farmers’ Market near City Dock, the source of the leak was still being investigated but there was definitely a strong smell of gas in the air.
It’s great to have such a responsive emergency team, but I do think they should have opened a lane around Church Circle for traffic to proceed to Route 50. Just another Sunday stroll in Naptown.

Hot Hot in Annapolis

This morning I woke up feeling as if I was living in a very small one-bedroom apartment. I think it had something to do with the fact that my husband Peter and I slept in the dining room on a mattress we had hauled down from the guest bedroom. The air conditioning is not working on the second floor of our house. It is over 90 degrees up there, stuffy, and humid.
Having my bed next to the dining room table was convenient when it was time to eat breakfast and I jokingly told Peter, “I better make the bed!” Making the bed consisted of straightening out the top sheet so it neatly covered the pillows.
My daughter Alex, who slept in the living room on the couch, took a picture of our sleeping arrangements with her phone, but I’m not going to show that here.
Maybe the repairman will come today…otherwise it is going to be a very hot and miserable weekend. Although I should be very thankful that the AC still works on the first floor and it is only 80 degrees there.
This morning downtown everyone must have gotten the memo, exercise early, because by 7:30 a.m. there were large groups of people downtown congregating at City Dock and Main Street after their morning walk, bicycle. or run. You would have thought it was after 9:00 a.m. with all the activity. But in warm tropical climates, the day does begin earlier, to enable folks to take a break midday when it gets really hot. Current temperature: a mere 95 degrees but very humid.

The Annapolis Main Street Challenge

It was an entusiastic crowd for 8:00 a.m. in the morning. I’m talking about the group that assembled in Annapolis at Ram’s Head on inner West Steet, for the “Re-launch” of the Main Street program. This time, three years after the initial inclusion of Annapolis as a Main Street City, the plan is to shrink the size of the Main Street Partnership board of directors from the previous total of 25 members, to a smaller more manageable number. But at the same time, they are hoping to get more volunteers to sit on the five designated committees to forge ahead with implementation of marketing and design strategies to attract more business to downtown Annapolis. They’d also like to make the district, which runs from City Dock to the Westgate Circle, larger.
One of the problems is money. Educating the public as to the benefits of walking downtown to do your shopping versus getting into a car, sitting in traffic, and then parking that car at The Mall or newly constructed “town centre” outside the city, so you can walk around there to shop necessitates some significant funding. It’s a constant marketing game. and peoples’ shopping habits are easily swayed by the advice of their friends and what they listen to and read about. So if you are reading this blog, I am here to tell you that shopping downtown (unless it is stiflingly hot as it is today) is a great experience. But if you aren’t lucky enough to live in walking distance, yes the city needs to make parking and transportation options once you do park more convenient. We need bike lanes in the city, places to park bicycles and more small trams to transport those unable to walk. A better transportation system, in my opinion, is key to success. But once again, that does take funding. Click here to read more. If you live in the CIty or work in the City of Annapolis, let your opinion be known by contacting your elected officials.

New Year’s Eve in Naptown (Annapolis)

I’ve been trying to figure out what I really want to do on New Year’s Eve. I wanted to go dancing, preferably to the sounds of a live band. (I’m not so keen on Disc Jockeys). But I keep changing my mind because I’m just recovering from a head cold. How long will I really want to party? Sitting in front of a cozy fire might be more what I have in mind.
There are a lot of things going on Friday night. All you have to do is check out our website for a listing of several concert, dinner, dancing events. And then I got an email from the Annapolis Traditional Dance Society, which re-ignited my interest in possibly heading into downtown Annapolis.
Jan Scopel writes,” Staying local for New Years Eve by finding ways and places to share our music and dance is just plain fun!! As many of you know, this year, all of the scheduled Annapolis First Night activities are free and are happening around City Dock/Susan B Campbell Park. Kim and I have performed at a number of regional First Nights/new year eve celebrations including a couple here in Annapolis and the one thing we thought missing was jamming and dancing-crowd participation-getting folks involved. SOLVED

MUSIC/JAMMING/Dancin –join us, bring an instrument and/or your dance shoes and your family and friends

Jan goes on to say,” I plan to get there early- 3:30 or so- for a choice parking spot, scope out a spot and play some music near the Market House, the Harbor Square Mall(near the dock visitors center) or the Hard Bean Cafe depending on which place “feels” right. We’d break for dinner about 6 to 6:30 and then play til the early/kids fireworks start at 7:30. Thereafter, We’ll play (and dance) as long as folks want to.
So here is another New Year’s Eve option ie contra dancing downtown, if and this is a big if, it doesn’t get too cold!