The day before I got an email from out of the blue from an employment agency in Baltimore saying that one of the recruiters had seen my resume that I posted on indeed.com and she felt that I would be qualified for a position right in the heart of downtown Baltimore. It would’ve involved administrative work but at least it would be located near the tourist area and it would’ve served as a decent day job so I could pay the bills while spending my free time on my arts and crafts.

I initially expressed reservation because I would be commuting from outside Washington, DC into Baltimore and the recruiter countered with her claim that she has an employee who lives in College Park and she takes the MARC train into Baltimore so commuting would be no problem at all. The recruiter really wanted me to show up in person so I agreed.

Except after I arrived, went through the effort to fill out an application form, took a computerized test to see how capable I was at simple math problems and English grammar, and spoke with the recruiter in person, she told me that the client was located in the lower level of same building as the employment agency. She also admitted that she told the client that she would send a list of the 10 candidates (including myself) to the client and the client would select three finalists to interview himself. Basically the employment agency would call me two days later if I made it among the three finalists.

I’ll admit I was pretty peeved because had I known that there was a 70% chance of not getting hired, I would have never made the long commute to Baltimore—especially since it was an administrative position with a company I had never heard of before. (Needless to say I never heard anything back from that employment agency.) The only solace is that it got me out of the house and it was a beautiful sunny autumn day. I managed to arrive in the Inner Harbor area about a couple of hours before my scheduled job interview. I arrived at Harborplace first. I thought about visiting that McCormick World of Flavors store. I visited that store the first time when I went to Baltimore back in 2013 just hours after my appearance in divorce court and I snapped this picture.

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I would browse that store every time I found myself at Harborplace, most recently back in June when I checked out a cosplay photoshoot then I walked around the rest of the city visiting various places including that McCormick World of Flavors store. Sadly I found out that the store is now history because I saw an empty storefront in its place.

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I later looked online and I found this Baltimore Sun article announcing that McCormick decided to close the store but it will still continue to sell its spices online. I’ll admit that I never purchased anything from that store partly because of finances and partly because most of the grocery stores in my area sell McCormick products and it’s just easier for me to purchase the spices locally.

The employment agency itself is located just a few blocks north of Harborplace with a Light Street address yet the building’s main entrance is located around the corner on Water Street. Light Street is your typical modern city street with a paved road, traffic lights, and rushing cars. But just walking around the corner on to Water Street I saw this little side street that is paved with cobblestones and the buildings are smaller than the taller high risers surrounding it. I felt like I had just stepped back in time into Baltimore circa 1870-1920.

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This street’s charm comes complete with a wine store known as The Happy Grape.

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Everything on this side street seemed so laid-back compared to Light Street just around the corner. People basically meandered around very leisurely. It was like time has slowed down to a crawl.

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Not everything about Water Street was so quaint. I saw this guy rifle through one of the dumpsters. (I suspect that he’s a homeless person who was probably looking for wasted food to eat.) Then, again, the Industrial Revolution had its share of social problems stemming from extreme income inequality not unlike today.

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One of the restaurants on Water Street, Supano’s Steak House, had these nice looking doors with painted murals devoted to Frank Sinatra and Dean Martin.

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If I wasn’t so cash poor these days, I would’ve treated myself to a light meal at that restaurant. Instead I walked towards Harborplace where I saw a sign that said that the McCormick & Schmick’s restaurant was having a happy hour special where shrimp only cost $1 each but one had to order at the bar in order to get that special price. I ordered five shrimps along with a diet soda. The bill came to $10 (including tip), which wasn’t too bad. There were also other menu items available at special happy hour prices but I had to watch my money really carefully because it would’ve been very easy to spend up to $25 even at happy hour prices. It brought back memories of the time that my then-husband and I went to that restaurant’s DC location with a bunch of friends of ours from our church and we all enjoyed ourselves. (Basically the food is very good but it’s also expensive, which was why I went for the happy hour shrimp in the first place.) The biggest downside of not getting that administrative job is that it was located within walking distance of that restaurant and I saw myself going there for the happy hour food at least once a week after work. I would’ve loved have tried the other happy hour menu items. Oh well.

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