Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Inner Harbor, MD

Last weekend I went with friends to see the new Inner Harbor on the Maryland side of the Potomac. It's a brand new town with upscale shops and restaurants built on the water's edge and giving a grand view of the new Woodrow Wilson bridge. There are still many retail spaces yet to open but there was plenty to see walking around. The steps leading down to the boardwalk had fabulous tiled murals on each side. Below is part of one with a fisherman holding a basket of real clamshells. There were also real crab shells incorporated into the design and many different tiles and stone used to create a wonderful texture.

The giant sculpture called The Awakening has been moved from Hains Point in D.C. to here. I couldn't snap my camera quick enough when I saw this funny photo opportunity below; two seconds later and I would have missed it.

The giant now lays in the sand of the harbor and gets enjoyed by many more tourists than previously. Below is a photo I took of him last year at Hains Point where he was really a secret of D.C., but I think he had more impact there as he was the last thing you expected to find when driving down to that rare remote spot in D.C. I'm glad I have photos of him with the cherry blossoms.

We strolled into a restaurant not to eat but to admire this lovely glass bubble chandalier. We got some funny looks as we craned into position and snapped photos. I love the geometric look from below.

Further down the harbor is the new Gaylord Hotel with a water fountain at the back entrance.
The hotel is built in Vegas style with plenty of excessiveness in everything and something wonderful to view at every turn.

The photo below is taken inside the hotel where there is an enormous 18 storey glass atrium with gardens, gift shop 'houses' and restaurants and a water fountain display reminiscent of the Bellagio. The hotel rooms overlook all of this.
After spending some time watching the fountains and strolling round checking out the menus and shops we went upstairs to the main lobby. Again, it was so like Vegas, I almost felt homesick for the Strip, with heavy granite and marble floors, counters and elaborate crystal chandaliers. There was a shop selling glass sculptures costing several thousand dollars. I really wanted to take some photos of those but the saleslady looked very ominous and I shrank from her stares. And that was from outside the store!

This stunning glass cube was in the lobby and slowly rotated on its plinth with a 'do not touch' sign below it to keep it free from our pawprints. The colors that sparkled from it were amazing, it was almost hypnotic. Double click to get a better effect.

All along the boardwalk were lights in a sailboat style which lit up as the sun set. As the sun got lower, music was piped along the waterfront and the lights changed colors. It was very Vegas-like. By the way, I'm very fond of Vegas.
Below is an image I took from the Internet showing the harbor with the Awakening in the center and the Gaylord to the right.

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