I flew to Baltimore from New York . This was not a good idea - the flying, I mean, not visiting Baltimore - especially from Newark Airport. When Barry made my bookings I was not sure whereabouts in the New York area I would be: had I still been staying in NJ, Newark would have been the ideal choice, but from E 23rd St, La Guardia is much closer and the cab fare would have been about 1/3 of the fare to Newark. Plus BWI airport is a long drive from Baltimore along the infamous Beltway, so the trip is not exactly pleasurable for the driver, who happened to be my brother, who in fact had a small no-discernible-damage-done bingle on the way to pick me up. But as my flight was delayed also, I didn't have long to wait at the airport, and mobile phones really help in these kinds of situations.
Next time I will take the train, as Amtrak leaves from NY Penn Station, close to Ben and Lissy's, and I recall that it is a lot easier to get to Baltimore Penn Station than to the airport. It would have been cheaper and possibly quicker, with all the time spent in security queues and long rides to and from airports offsetting much of the extra travel time. Future travellers, take note!
I had a lovely time in Baltimore hanging out with my brother Yaacov (aka Jeffrey or even Jeff, depends on what publication he is writing for) and his daughter Esther and the five kids currently living at home, in steps and stairs from 3 months to about 12. The two oldest boys are away learning in yeshivot in other cities. Also briefly caught up with her husband Dovid over dinners out or at their home. I am attaching a few photos. The new baby, Leah, named for Jeffrey's late wife, captivated me - what a calm, smiley charmer she is, but all the kids were really great though it took some of them a little time to warm up to this great-aunt from the land down-under who pops in and out of their lives infrequently. Again with the aid of a local map, I went for a long walk around the neighbourhood each day, though not in the evenings, as there was a mugging in a back street between Jeffrey's apartment block and Esther's house my first evening - we were delayed by the community and police patrol cars while driving home from dinner at the local Iranian Glatt Kosher Chinese restaurant (however implausible this seems, I am not making any of it up). The photos were taken at Esther and Dovid's house and at the restaurant. You can find these at
and I suggest you try viewing the slide show. I am still having trouble with timing out while trying to embed the pretty slide shows from Apple's iPhoto on Barry's Mac, so this is the best I can do!