Saturday, August 25, 2007

Fruit in the city--not on Gay Street

While looking for weekend happenings in the highly-functioning Baltimore CityPaper online, the local weekly free liberal rag of the city, I espied an article about Baltimore city's arabbers, which I think are often misunderstood by MICAns.

Wikipedia describes:

An arabber is a street merchant who sells fruits and vegetables from a colorful, horse-drawn cart. Once a common sight in American East Coast cities, only a handful of arabbers still walk the streets of Baltimore.
One of the stables is located off of Pennsylvania Avenue, an area riddled with pawn shops, loitering, empty store fronts and flashing blue lights. The stables were condemned and now the horses are at Pimlico racetrack temporarily. Arabbers provide a healthy snack to kids who's parents often have to choose highly-processed foods for longevity and price. Not only that, but kids who would never get to see, help take care of, or be around horses get the opportunity in the city. They have around 50 horses, multiple carts, that make loops from Fells' Point to Reservoir Hill, and everyplace in-between.

And I gotta say, they're pretty cool, in a city where there's hardly any wild-life, and horses on the streets of Baltimore are part of the history of this place. It's strange, but any kind of living that can be made in this city in an honest way is valuable, especially that brings life to blighted areas of the city underserved by grocery stores and over-served by liquor markets.

The article is called All The Pretty Horses by Charles Cohen and is in the Baltimore-specific Mobtown Beat column of the Baltimore CityPaper.

Psst---CityPaper is also home to Anna Ditkoff's Murder Ink, a column detailing all murders each week and updating on murder investigations in the city (we hit 200 this week!). And a way-cool 2007 murder map. Thanks, CityPaper!

If you like Baltimore crime, though (you know what I mean), you should really be reading the Baltimore Crime Blog. By BCB's count, we're at 207 deaths by the way.


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