I too believe that the dock is a beautiful and vibrant place the way it is. This is what the tourists on my tours say as well.
The experience of fighting the development at City Dock has left me with a bittersweet feeling about Annapolis.
My attachment to Maryland comes through my parents, a scientist and an environmentalist, who moved to the historic community of Mount Washington in Baltimore in 1969.
I spent most of the following years abroad, raising a family and working as a teacher and translator in Switzerland. I came back to Maryland in 2009 to be closer to my parents, and set out to look for a new occupation. On one autumn day, as I was walking from St. Anne's Parish down Main Street, it hit me: This is where I would like to spend my time, wandering the enchanting streets of colonial Annapolis! I signed up as a tour guide the next day.
I drive down to Annapolis (it takes me an hour and 15 minutes) for that one experience. It never disappoints. I arrive around 7:30 a.m., park my car on a tranquil street and have a cozy cup of coffee with good music at Forty-Nine West.
I read through my notes to brush up on my materials. By 9 a.m. I am ready for my tour. We head out: A couple from Montana in town for a wedding, a busload of fourth-graders studying Maryland history or a group of seniors from a garden club in New Jersey. The group is always different.
I can tell you that 100 percent the visitors adore the town. The children enjoy skipping through a fairyland district. European visitors are impressed with the fact that even Americans (the creators of McDonald's) revere their history. Look at the perfectly preserved facades! Take a peak inside the Paca House!
And I always end my tour at my absolutely favorite spot at the end of the pier, never failing to add a postscript praising the Annapolitans for having protected the things that are truly beautiful and dear.
Over the past three years, I have expanded my knowledge and appreciation of Maryland history. And what better reward than to see the expressions of surprise and fascination, comprehension and satisfaction on the faces of these visitors?
It has been a rich experience. But will it all end here?
Mr. Paone was the only member at the City Council to vote against the eight others who had sided with the developers on City Dock. He made the right choice. To me, he is as courageous as George Washington.
Claudia Lane, Baltimore