Old Ellicott City
After a short time in Maryland I had come to understand that this place had many motorways, fast cars and ... uh, not wild women, more like new subdivisions and off-ramps. Therefore it was a pleasure to discover Ellicott City - or at least its old town center.
The old center is located at the bottom of a little valley where the old main road from east to west (Baltimore to Frederick) crossed the Patapsco River and was the site where the Baltimore and Ohio (B&O) Railway line had originally terminated. Ellicott Station is now a museum.
Entering the town from the south takes us down a hill past old residences converted into boutique shops.
Across the road, barns and stables had become restaurants and more shops. Oak trees are popular, as are maples. These are trees that change their colour as autumn " The Fall" approaches.
Displaying pride in ones country in a very open manner is common - you often see one or even two 'stars and stripes' mounted beside doorways of houses and shops. On the building below, the owner has a S & S, plus the yellow and black checked flag of the State of Maryland.
All around the town in leafy spaces were quaint little buildings. Here are some of them ...
... and the shop signs give a good feel for the town commerce.
The business of doing things with crabs and lobsters is very important here. Being bounded on one side by the Chesapeake Bay means Maryland (and a lot of the other coastal states I suppose) has a strong fishing industry. As far as I can tell there is no quota management scheme in place, just a requirement to be a licenced fisher. There are regulations which limit crab size and soft-shell takes and quantity, but it all seems pretty hard on the fish life. As bottom feeding scavengers, I have heard that these fish have had strong adverse effects on some Kiwis to the extent they have become allergic to them.