FAREWELL TO A WAYSTATION Chesapeake Bay Magazine


Building at 1716 East Baltimore Street—June 5, 2019—a week before demolition. (Photo: Jennifer Bishop)

Seafarers hall was a gathering place and a waiting room to adventure

As the Tall Ships sailed into the Port of Baltimore over the Bicentennial Summer of 1976, I waited to ship out of Crabtown at the Seafarers International Union hall just east of downtown.

I had graduated high school just a few weeks before; 18, eager to take a bite out of the world and completely unprepared for the work soon be expected of me in the deck department. The only knot I’d mastered was the one I used to tie my shoes.

But however ignorant of actual seafaring, I was long familiar with the large building where I waited for a job on a ship—1216 East Baltimore Street, just off the corner of Central Avenue and a block away from the Lloyd Street synagogue and Attman’s Delicatessen in Baltimore’s original Jewish neighborhood.

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