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April 17, 2009

What smells worse on a Saturday morning: The harbor or South Broadway?

CAN YOU SMELL THE HARBOR?!?!?!?In Monday's post about Woody's Rum Bar and Island Grill (South Broadway and Thames Street, third floor), I included this little nugget:

I honestly can't think of a better place to have a few frozen cocktails on a hot Saturday afternoon in Fells Point -- especially when there's a soft breeze blowing to help hide the stink of the harbor.

That line went largely unnoticed -- until today. I tacked a blurb about Woody's on today's nightlife column. I was hoping someone would read it an shoot me an e-mail.

Sun reader David Cluster read my mind ... 

He writes:

as any resident of Fells Point, (and I am a former one), or early Saturday or Sunday morning stroller along the "idiot strip" of college bars along Broadway will tell you, the delightful perfumes of vomit and urine on a hot summer day are overpowering, overwhelming, and enough to 'gag a maggot!' as is commonly said in the vernacular.

The occasional days when the combination of heat and low oxygen levels in the water do 'stink to high heaven', cannot compete with the scent of "Weekend in East Baltimore", or the frequent "eau de Backriver" that wafts from the sewers on Broadway that the forever ongoing repairs cannot seem to fix.

Good point, David. Good point indeed. In fact, I wrote about the Cross Street Stench years ago. But I've never thought about what the South Broadway strip smells like on a Saturday or Sunday morning.

But which is worse: Low tide on a summer day in Fells Point or the South Broadway stench? I'm not sure. Between the two of them, it sounds like quite the aromatic cocktail.

(Baltimore Sun photo by Jed Kirschbaum)

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Posted by Sam Sessa at 7:30 AM | | Comments (10)
Categories: Bars & Clubs


I say both are running neck and neck for 1st place.

I have co-workers who avoid the Inner Harbor because of some stink they speak of, but for some reason I can't smell it. The only times I reflexively gagged were the summer before last when there were two fish kills that saturated the downtown air... and every time I went in&out the door I forgot and took a big inhalation. I vote the dumpster next to Max's as the worst Saturday morning stink. Even the bready-goodness smells from H&S can't cover that.

After college, I worked at the Maritime museum downtown (the sub, lightship, Coast Guard cutter). Some hot summer days, the stink was enough to curl your hair. Throw in the oppressive heat and being outside all day, I'd get home and be covered in what can only be considered a film of disgusting-ocity.

My only solace was watching kids splash one another on those little boats that troll around the harbor and wondering when they would grow a tail from touching that water...

There's a new big stink brewing on Cross Street. Should be fun to watch.

Annnd I think I just gagged up my McGriddle

"...And the sea's an open sewer, but I really couldn't care,
I'm breathing through my mouth so I don't have to sniff the air."
- Ray Davies (Kinks), Holiday (1971)

ha. my comment was so long ago, but i remember writing it like it was yesterday. i sounded like a jackass back then.......oh wait things haven't changed at all. the funny thing is that the stench on cross st has proceeded to get worse since then, especially with the crowd ryleighs attracts. zink.

Cross St. Bars also tend to do a poor job in cleanup from my experience. They have tons of garbage waiting outside for garbage pickup. I would say that is where the bulk of the stench comes from

"Annnd I think I just gagged up my McGriddle"

Sorry for the imagery. Didn't mean it in the physical sense.

Lots of eyes going to be lookin' at the financial woes of a major playa' on Cross Street.

1. Power Museum across from Pier VI.

2. Fish kills.

3. Broadway.

4. S. Haven St

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About Erik Maza
Erik Maza is a features reporter at the Baltimore Sun. He writes for several sections of the Sun paper and contributes weekly columns on music and nightlife. He also writes and edits the Midnight Sun blog. He often covers entertainment, business, and the business of entertainment. Occasionally, he writes about Four Loko, The Block, the liquor board, and those who practice "simulated sex with a potted palm tree." Before The Sun, he was a reporter at the Miami New Times. He's also written for Miami magazine, the Orlando Sentinel, the Sarasota Herald Tribune and the Gainesville Sun. Got tips? Gripes? Pitches? He's reachable at Click here to keep up with the dumb music he's listening to.

Midnight Sun covers Baltimore music, live entertainment, and nightlife news. On the blog, you'll find, among other things, concert announcements, breaking news, bars closings and openings, up-to-date coverage of crime in nightlife, new music, round-the-clock coverage of Virgin Mobile FreeFest, handy guides on bars staying open past 2 a.m. on New Year's Eve and those that carry Natty Boh on draft. Recurring features include seven-day nightlife guides, Concert News, guest reviews of bars and concerts, Wednesday Corkboard, and photo galleries, as well as reader-submitted photos. Thanks for reading.

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