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News Opinion Readers Respond

Race patrons need the real scoop on Charm City

Dan Rodricks took a final shot at the Grand Prix critics, and honestly I'd had enough ("Grand Prix gripers: Give a little credit where it's due," Sept. 8). Controversy, controversy, controversy. I fully understand that conflict sells, but it is painfully obvious that "fair and balanced" has gotten out of hand.

Let's not get me started on that.

I came home today and sorted through the mess on the table. Before finally trashing the "Fan Guide" from the race, I decided to take a final look. What did I see? I saw a good reason why Fells Point, Canton and other really great parts of the Baltimore experience might be whining about not such great turnout from Grand Prix visitors.

They just didn't get on board.

I know the city. I was born there. I've been to St. Leo's spaghetti supper and I know what the Connelly's menu at Mama's on the Half Shell means. I can take an out-of-town guest for a weekend on the town and leave them in love with Mob Town.

So when I walked over the bridge into the "Family Fun Zone," what did they hand me? A 3-by-5 inch "Fan Guide." It's possible that everything I might know about Baltimore would be inside, so let's see what I might find.

Well, there's a full-page ad for the Hilton. Tough to find that place if you're in the race area, as it's inside the fence! GEICO has a nice advertisement, so does Mr. Tire. I wonder if Mr. Tire has a dinner special?

Oh wait! Here's a tourist attraction! A full-page ad for the 5th Annual Concours d'Elegance in St. Michaels on Sept. 25. I'm sure that will be great, but it's not helping me choose a place to eat or party right now.

But, there's a restaurant section. Let's see, some respectable places on the list, too. Still, not one restaurant from Canton is there. Harbor East has a few, so does Little Italy (although I seem to recall there are more than a few located there), but nothing from Fells Point, not one entry.

How about the "Bars and Attractions" section. It's the Chesapeake Maritime Museum! What a pity that the listing fails to mention that the address is in St. Michaels, a two-hour drive away. Still, there are eight bars listed, but not one from Canton or Fells Point. Guess there aren't that many bars over there...

The city's zoo makes the list. So did the Maryland Science Center an the National Aquarium. (Thank goodness since I'd have such a tough time spotting those from the race.) At least all three attractions in Baltimore made the list!

The bottom line is this: Stop whining and get on board! Businesses should be shouting out to those people next year. We are a fabulous place to visit. Please, just let them know.

Greg Boss, Ellicott CIty

Copyright © 2014, The Baltimore Sun
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