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Cross Street Market

Touched by the lives and deaths of three near strangers

Touched by the lives and deaths of three near strangers

I read the obituaries every day. They interest me in a way that the articles in the fancy architecture magazines do: I enjoy the stories and the histories of the subjects — the old, the eccentric, the beautiful, the flawed — all of them have a way of speaking to me even from a distance. I am not in the market, but three recent Baltimore deaths have made me stop and take a second look.

As a law student in the early 1980s, I lived in the West Baltimore neighborhood of Ridgeley's Delight — then still pretty rough: a gun shot heard at night from time to time; a seafood warehouse stood where Camden Yards is now; Harbor East and $35 steaks were not yet a glimmer in a...

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