"I came out, and they were all in the street, the cars couldn't get by, the police helicopter was going," he said. "People were really enjoying themselves."

Many had gotten an early start, said Stanton Salter, 38, who lives at William and E. Cross streets. "I took a walk around in the afternoon, before the game, just to get the pulse of the neighborhood, and it was electric."

Salter watched the game at his house because that was his "lucky spot" through the playoffs, he said. Every time the Ravens scored, he ran over to his neighbors' house to give them a high-five.

When the Ravens won, he went outside and saw streams of people running down the street. Salter, a racing official for the Maryland Jockey Club, hopes the revelry is long-lived, and that some of the Ravens can make it to the Preakness this year and get the crowd going there, too.

"This is Ravens town," he said. "It's going to be pretty awesome for the city."

Liz Hirschhorn, who graduated from the Johns Hopkins University and lived in Baltimore for 12 years before moving to San Francisco, just happened to be in town for business, and watched the game with an old Hopkins friend in Otterbein.

Despite living in San Francisco, she was rooting for the Ravens, Hirschhorn said. "The Niners are fun, but the Ravens have much more heart."

The game made it a perfect weekend to visit Baltimore, a city that still holds a special place in her heart.

Between sips of coffee, she said, "I was so thrilled to see the city revived, and what a thrill to be world champs."

cwells@baltsun.com

krector@baltsun.com