Places to find a gentle breeze on a hot day


I've heard it said that somewhere in Baltimore there is always a soft, gentle breeze.

And on these hot days, a cool breeze is a bit of heaven. You may have your own list of where to find one. Here's mine.

* The seawall at Fort McHenry. Don't go into the fort itself. It's got high brick walls and is pretty arid.

If the air is moving, it'll be at the water's edge where the old stone wall is located, and the two branches (Middle and Northwest) of the Patapsco River divide. Here is definitely great zephyr territory.

This part of Baltimore's geography has a special status. A brisk walk around the fort's seawall helps your suntan.

* At Druid Hill Park, the Baltimore Tower at the east end of Druid Hill Lake.

This is one of the great places to view the city while you're chasing a breeze.

The old tower could use some rehabilitation. Built in 1870, this Gothic Revival landmark is in fairly sad shape.

The last time I was there, a tree was growing out of one of its granite-clad walls.

* Bishops' Circle, in New Cathedral Cemetery in the 4300 block of Old Frederick Road in West Baltimore.

This hilltop within this large city of the dead is one of the little known retreats during a hot summer. It's also a place where you will never be bothered.

The cemetery's Flu Hill, named for victims of the 1918 epidemic, is not nearly as cool and inviting as Bishops' Circle, the final resting place of some of the mighty and holy of 19th century Baltimore.

* At Clifton Park, the Mansion House off Harford Road.

I'm nominating this high spot because it's one of the coldest places I've ever experienced in the winter. The winds are unobstructed here on one of the heights of Northeast Baltimore.

Even if it turns out to be hot and airless (or wretchedly cold) here, the views of the city are so rewarding you don't seem to mind the misery.

* Merrymount Road, Roland Park.

This is one of those classic get-out-your-map addresses.

This is a street designed for mountain climbers. It's in the part of the neighborhood where Hollywood could have filmed the Laurel and Hardy comedy about moving the piano.

Multiple flights of exterior steps here lead to cool and summery places.

* Harcourt Road, Arcadia, Northeast Baltimore.

Here is another one of those unexpected, secluded streets.

The beauty of Harcourt is that it backs up to the heights of Most Holy Redeemer Cemetery. It's high and dry and, as you might guess, very, very quiet.

* Bay Brook Park, Brooklyn.

People forget there are some hills on the south side of the harbor, and you'll find them here in in the middle of the old, hard-working Brooklyn neighborhood.

* The Korean War Memorial on Boston Street in Southeast Baltimore's Canton.

This is the opposite side of the harbor from Fort McHenry. The breezes aren't too shy here in this wide-open expanse of Baltimore maritime scenery.

* Robert E. Lee Park, Lake Roland.

This is the site of a former source of Baltimore's water supply.

The hillsides above the lake and dam are good walking spots any time of the year.

It's served by the Falls Road light rail stop.

* Top of the NationsBank Building, 10 Light St., downtown.

Perched some 34-plus stories above the corner of Redwood and Light streets, there's an observation platform atop the landmark 1929 skyscraper.

It's always windy here.

With virtually nothing around for shade, this high spot can be very hot, too.

This location isn't for anyone who's afraid of heights.

The one place that I have never felt a breeze is the corner of Lexington and Liberty streets.

In the annuals of Baltimore weather lore, this is supposed to be the windiest corner in the downtown area.

I've never experienced so much as a whiff of moving air here.

The Charles Center urban renewal project led to the razing of so many buildings that theone-time wind tunnel effect of old Lexington Street was lost forever.

There is a compensating factor at Lexington and Liberty, however. Just breathe the odors coming from the Peanut Shoppe at this corner.

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