This week’s Photo of the Week is from one of my favorite small cities, Annapolis, Maryland. Perhaps it’s one of my favorite small cities because I spent ten years of my younger adult life living in or near Annapolis. The photo is of a very busy Main Street. The photo was taken from Church Circle at the top of Main Street looking down to the City Dock and the old market place, which was where slaves were auctioned until sometime in the 1800’s. That’s not one of Annapolis’ (founded 1649) most endearing historical footnotes, but it is still part of the history of this city that also served as the capital of the, still, new United States (1783-1784). More specifically, the photo was taken from the point where Main Street and Duke of Gloucester Street meet across the street from St. Anne’s Church on Church Circle. On that corner is the historic (since the 1700’s) 44 room Maryland Inn and the Treaty of Paris Restaurant. You can see the restaurant’s banner in the photo. This was a regular venue for famed jazz guitarist Charlie Byrd until his death.
I had the great privilege of living in or near Annapolis from 1974 until 1984 and it’s the birthplace of my son. The city is the home of the U.S Naval Academy, which brought a lot of activity during the various college sports seasons. It also hosted two large boating shows a week apart, one for the sailing enthusiasts (affectionately called “raghaulers”) and the other for the motor driven vessels (called the “stinkpotters”). Annapolis considered itself the “Sailing Capital.”
The city hadn’t realized the great growth and development surge that began about the time we moved from Annapolis. Parking was easy almost anytime in downtown. There were great pubs, restaurants and touristy boutiques along with craft artisans who made and sold their wares in the 200 to 300 year old buildings and shops. Fresh seafood was (and still is) a major menu item, especially oysters and blue crabs, in season.
One of my favorite eateries is a small delicatessen, Chick & Ruth’s Deli, on Main Street.
It’s been there since 1965 and features (very large) sandwiches bearing the names of politicians from Maryland (since Annapolis is the state capital), Annapolis and national repute. Even Golda Meir is remembered with a bagel & lox sandwich. Their old-fashioned, handmade milkshakes are to die for. And another quaint little custom is their recitation of the Pledge of Allegiance each morning, which the public is invited to participate in. There is also a charming bed and breakfast above the deli.
Annapolis has evolved over the past 27 years and has become much more populous, congested and pricey. But, I have very fond memories of my ten Annapolis years. They will always remain very special to me.