Archives For history

A few months ago, I had the pleasure of watching a documentary about the work and career of early French filmmaker, Georges Méliès.

His work is the sort of early silent film many of us have seen without realizing who the names behind the work were. He is the creator and mind behind the A Trip to the Moon (Le voyage dans la Lune):

Y’know that one… the one Smashing Pumpkins appropriated as a concept for their 1996 video Tonight, Tonight single?

Yeah, THAT one.

Méliès began his professional life as a stage magician in Paris and in 1895, after a demonstration of Lumière brothers’ camera, became fascinated with film. Within two years, he had established his own film studio and was creating elaborate films. In the eighteen years before his company went bankrupt, he directed over five hundred films.

Here is an amazing piece from 1903, Le Mélomane— a marvel of multi-exposures:

Le Mélomane, 1903

Le Cake-walk infernal, 1903

Last weekend, I ventured down to the water for the Fells Point Fun Festival; it was the first time I had been down that way in almost five years. In all of the years I’ve been away, parts of the City have truly grown and revitalized in a way I was not fully prepared for.

So it was a bit of a shock to see the once cracked and fractured corners of Fells Point completely rebuilt into new homes, condos, cafes and businesses. Whole buildings I’d grown to love were gone, and while I was delighted to see the community dancing in the streets under a summery sun, it was sad to see fleeting pieces of our history gone.

While tidying earlier this evening, though, I realized I still have a few pieces of those buildings we lost in old photographs:






What do you think? Are there buildings or monuments from Baltimore’s past that you miss? Are there architectural disasters you’re glad are gone?
Images: Me


29/06/2009 — Leave a comment

Edgar Allan Poe

Edgar Allan Poe

Growing up in Baltimore, exposure to Edgar Allen Poe was inevitable; you might say Baltimorians or Baltimorons (if you prefer) are well versed in Poe-etry. While some argue the author’s association with Baltimore, the city continues to dote on its departed darling of the macabre.

This past January (the 19th to be exact) was the bicentennial of his birth, and since then the city of Baltimore has been celebrating the milestone with ongoing events and exhibits throughout the year. The programming for Nevermore 2009 includes a range of events from theatrical performances to gallery exhibitions and walking tours.

The September 25 performance of Berenice at the National Museum of Dentistry should prove to be interesting and I can only imagine what his funeral service on October 10 shall be like with a number of notable “dignitaries” in attendance. Of all the happenings around this milestone though, I hope most to visit the Art of Darkness: Inspired by Poe exhibition at the Baltimore Museum of Art on display from October 2009 through January 2010. Autumn is, quite arguably, one of the best times of the year to visit Baltimore– the light is golden, the leaves are turning and there are always tons of great cafes and galleries to discover and enjoy. If you’ve never been, there’s nothing like a long October weekend getaway in Charm City, check out the City’s visitor’s bureau Web site for travel ideas, or ask a local, ask me!

Images: WikiMedia Commons’ file of C.T. Tatman’s 1904 photograph copy of an 1848 daguerreotype (LOC Reproduction Number: LC-USZ62-10610).