Eastcoast Trek 2020


A word about the above photos. The head photo was taken at Black Lives Matter Plaza showing a lady who was doing a “power salute.” The second photo is a Frederick Douglas bust located in Fell’s point. It is a tremendous piece of art as it showcases Douglas’ time spent in the inner-harbor.

The worldwide novel corona virus pandemic added a new dimension to this year’s trek. From hotel’s to restaurants and other places we visited were very sensitive to safety and other precautions.

This trek started years ago as it was simple gesture of paying respect to the March on Washington. This year was the 57th Anniversary and Rev. Al Sharpton through his National Action Network partnered with Martin Luther King, III as well as many other social-action groups to host the event. They did an outstanding job in organizing as well as adhered to safety guidelines.

One more thing about trekkers.  They have an adventurous personality.  We did everything we could to make sure we were protected.  Our flight was dirt cheap.  The jet was approximately 65% full as most of the middle seats were vacant.  The hat-trick was both going and coming back were nonstop.  Another important note is we DO NOT rent a car.  Instead we use the MARC, METRO and/or other public accommodations.  On rare occasions we opt for Uber/Lyft but part of the journey is experiencing people at a basic level, and that is found when you use public transportation.  Plus, with all of the food we consume walking and moving about is a great way to keep a check on those calories!

Click here for some of our photo gallery>>> 57th MOW


Everyone loves photos!!!


Traveling offers many adventures. One being experiencing the variety of foods offered as you go from region to region. Here is a list of places we visited during this trek.

FOODIE EXCURSION

Supanos – Baltimore, MD

Supanos is located near the Inner Harbor or adjacent downtown, next to the Marriott Residence Inn located on Light Street.

The Rat Story

You enter from an alley-like walkway. Covid 19 has added a new dimension to restaurants which are open. Fresco or outdoor dining is the most popular way customers are served. Outdoor dining is great, however the issue you must be aware of, especially at night is nocturnal animals such as rats, which is common around the globe. We arrived a little after 11 pm and were happy to be quickly seated. In the alley there are many other businesses/buildings squeezed together. As we were seated outside I could look over approximately 30 yards and noticed trash overflowing from bins (my wife later informed me it was from the Burger King). Something caught my eye and I noticed a nice size rat scurrying in the alley and headed to the restaurant which was next to Supanos.

I degres. I ordered what I thought was a soup and salad combo but it was basically two bowls of soup. Both were tasty but appeared loaded with a bit too much salt. My wife ordered to chicken fettuccine. The server was overwhelmed as actually even though it was nearing midnight there were quite a few guest, like us looking for a meal.

During our treks we visit the Inner Harbor quite a bit, however that was our first and last time going to Supanos.

Barley’s Backyard – Baltimore, MD

We visited Fell’s Point and stumbled into Barley’s Backyard. We were looking for something light and this place was perfect. Service was great and the food was very tasty.

Ceasar salad

Cream of crab soup

Ethel’s Creole Kitchen – Baltimore, MD

Judith & Fred hosted two dear friends, Renie Hale & Dr. Wilmer Leon

I found Ethel’s approximately five years ago. When I am in Baltimore it has become a must-stop. It is in a very quaint part of Baltimore called Friendship Heights. The great news for us is it is right off of the Marc Light rail. The food is very tasty, however as you might imagine when you bring folk with Louisiana tradition there is a new level of critique. The crab dip was amazing. The red beans and rice dishes could have used a bit more juice and the gumbo seemed a bit too thick. On the other hand, the fried Oysters were perfect. Of course with Covid, we were relegated to outdoor seating and the servers made adjustments to make sure our visit was pleasant.

Crab dip appetizer

Red Beans & Rice w/grilled chicken

Red Beans & Rice w/sausage

Fried Oysters

Gumbo

Side of collard greens

Phillip’s Seafood – Inner Harbor – Baltimore, MD

Phillip’s is well-known in Baltimore. Unfortunately many locals have come to define it as a “tourist trap.” We learned the hard way. Looking for something light I opted for a crab sandwich and Judith wanted her basic ceasar salad. It was only about 7pm and we both were surprised when the waiter came back to inform us there were no more ceasar salads!!!! How does a large restaurant in a popular spot run out of romaine lettuce?

Anyway, our first and last time at Phillip’s.

Phillip’s famous crab cake sandwich

Popeye’s – Baltimore, MD

After a visit to Morgan State University and Memorial stadium we headed to Penn Station to pick up MARC tickets to DC. On the way, we decided to swing by Popeye’s for a their popular chicken sandwiches. I know there is a lot of buzz throughout cities about chicken sandwiches, For the money, Popeye’s is a steal. Tasty and under $5 bucks while just about everywhere else people gladly pay $8 to $12

Lot 38 Espresso Bar, Washington, DC

Located in the Navy Yard section of DC. Not a bad option for espresso, a bagel sandwich or pastry.

Chipolte, Washington, DC

Located in the Navy Yard, a reliable option when you are looking for a quick meal to take back to your room.

Florida Grill – Washington, DC

With our dear friend Renie Hale who is Foodie extraordinare

A DC establishment but Covid has a way of humbling even the best of them. They just started serving breakfast from 9am – 2pm – takeout ONLY. However, if you are lucky there are tables adjacent the window where you pick up your food. You order from one side of the building and around the corner is the pick-up spot. BE SURE TO CHECK YOUR ORDER. Even though it is take-out you want to make sure you have all of your condiments, utensils, etc. We had to ask for the syrup (pancakes) and the muffins were missing, which we found out they had run out but did not inform us at time of order? As we waited for our order, a peculiar thing occurred in all of my years I had never experienced. Some ladies had ordered and upon looking in their bag they discovered the grits were missing! The person manning the take-out window belted it, “there are no more grits and the cook said she isn’t making anymore!!!!” What??? An African-American restaurant running out of grits and it was only about 11:30 AM so they had a good 2 and one-half hours to go!!! Wow. Anyway, since Florida is an institution I’m a bit more forgiven and will chalk up this experience to a rarity. I have been before and the food and service is usually on the money.

Po Boy Jim – Washington, DC

NoMA District

Located in the NoMA district of DC, Po-Boy Jim offers a Louisiana themed menu. Service was good and the food was very tasty. Upstairs is a nicely appointed bar.

Po Boy Jim on H

Gumbo

Busboy’s & Poets / Anacostia – Washington, DC

Busboy’s & Poet’s has transitioned to a DC institution due to it’s good basic food, combined with literature and a great theme paying homage to African-American literary giants. This was our second visit to the newest location which is in the Anacostia community.

Chicken Nachos

Vegan Stir-Fry

Due South – Washington, DC

Due South located in the Yard neighborhood

Due South was this year’s new find. Located in the Navy Yard district, the area has been transformed to one of the more trendier neighborhoods in DC. Nationals Park is the main attraction but many new restaurants have popped up. Due South offers a southern theme and a nice variety of food options.

Southern Fried Chicken w/Mac & Cheese and Collard Greens

Appetizer special – smoked wings & collard greens

Ben’s Chili Bowl – Washington, DC

Iconic building which is anchor of historic “U” District

Ben’s Chili Bowl is a DC institution. Hungry or not, it’s a place you must stop by. Half-Smokes are an Eastcoast thing and Ben’s has mastered it. Seating is available in the alley.

Outdoor seating in alley with spectacular mural on each side of wall

G & M Crabcakes – Lincicum, MD

G & M is a Baltimore institution. I should have listened to my brain and ditched the notion of ordering from Grubhub! I was a bit pooped from the train ride from DC to Baltimore so I decided to give Grubhub a shot. Advocates of Grubhub stress the convenience but for what I received I should have simply gone to the restaurant. In addition to the service fee, delivery fee and tip there is also the hidden hustle of them surcharging each item for yet more of your money in their pocket. This was revealed once I returned home and was reviewing my receipts. Interestingly G & M had placed my receipt in the bag and my total came to $42. However, by the time I reviewed my Grubhub bill the total had jumped to $77!!!!!! I should have known better. Anyway, G & M has a nice menu and they are worth visiting in person, unless you have an extra $35 to throw away.

My review:  Los Angeles Freedom Rally, 1963


cover photo.  courtesy of CAAM and Harry Adams collection

Exhibit handout. Courtesy of CAAM

The United States civil rights movement escalated with the 1955 murder of young Emmett Till.  It was during that time the Rev., Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. became the leader.  Fast forward to 1963 as the iconic March on Washington earned its place in the annals of world history.  Through that event Dr. King’s reputation became cemented as he displayed his oratorical gift.

 

 

 

May 26, 1963

As great as the March on Washington was you must go back to May 26, 1963 to understand a cornerstone of how a rally in Los Angeles generated the success it did.  Through the California African-American Museum (CAAM), historians and curators Tyree Boyd-Pates and Taylor Bythewood-Porter have created a “must-see” exhibit that underscores the little-known fact of how it was a critical complement to the March on Washington and why that date has historical significance.

Wrigley Field, Los Angeles

Titled, “Los Angeles Freedom Rally, 1963 “the exhibit highlights how Dr. King came to Wrigley Field in Los Angeles and stirred the crowd of 35,000 who came to hear him share why the movement needed their support.  1963 was a critical year.  In Birmingham, AL Safety Commissioner Eugene “Bull” Connor had unleashed a direct assault against the movement.  Peaceful protestor’s were being locked up and given unreasonable bail amounts.  Contrary to history, some have accepted the notion about Dr. King not being willing to go the jail?  However, the facts are much different as it was agreed Dr. King could do more out of jail, than in jail.  Thus, his time was spent traveling to various cities to raise funds needed to combat the malicious bail amounts rendered by the likes of Connor.  It was that reason Los Angeles was a target for him to visit and make an appeal.  The residents of Los Angeles responded and the rest is history as their support helped fuel the issue of providing money to get folk out of jail, and also helped undergird the funding needed for the eventual March on Washington.

Boyd-Pates and Bythewood-Porter have assembled a must-see exhibit.  It runs through runs until March 3, 2019.  Click BELOW to obtain the handout

lamarch1963

 


Group photo of those who attended presentation. Photo courtesy of Tyree Boyd-Pates and Taylor Bythewood-Porter


To listen to the full speech CLICK HERE

 


 

EastCoast Trek v2018 – District of Columbia


Approximately ten years ago we were able to adjust our schedule to allow for a trek to D.C.  We picked the last week in August to commemorate and pay homage to the March on Washington.  Each trek allows us to visit usual sites and reconnect with friends and over the years we seek out new venues to add to our journey.  During our 2018 five-day stay here are several of the sites we visited.


March on Washington Commemoration

 

Commemorative March on Washington button used as fund-raiser to generate funding for march operations

Even though the original event was held at the Lincoln Memorial, ever since the MLK memorial was erected activities have shifted there.


Smithsonian National Museum of African-American History & Culture

The NMAAHC continues to be a jewel at the national mall.  This year our focus was visiting the new Oprah Winfrey exhibit as well as witness the musical rendition commemorating the murder of Emmett Till.

The Obama’s

We added to new venue to this year’s trek; seeing the portraits of President Obama and First Lady Michelle at the National Portrait Gallery

The Obama’s left the White House in January 2017, so this year we added a visit to see their new residence.  Due to high security you will not be able to walk down the street but it is located in the Northwest section of the District.  The street on Belmont Road is one way and barricaded.   If you are familiar with the Dupont Circle neighborhood, it is northwest (lots of embassies and larger properties).  Of course, there is secret service on watch to ensure privacy


Anacostia

Anacostia is located in what is known as Southeast.  The Anacostia river separates the main part of the District and this area.  Many who visit the District miss visiting this community for various reasons.  No doubt, it has been stigmatized due to poverty and other elements which foster negativity.  But, for those who truly seek hidden jewels, even that will not stop them for trekking through the community.

 

The Smithsonian Anacostia Community Museum has an outstanding exhibit to help you better understand how communities all over the District were transformed following de-segregation.


Barry Farms is a historic part of Anacostia where African-Americans took up residence.  Although much of the community has fallen on hard times and you can see some tough images or extreme poverty, there are still many historic sites you can see.  Similar to many communities scattered throughout the United States the community is made up of regular hard-working, law abiding folk.   The biggest issue is feeling safe as you venture throughout the community, so while people are people it is not the type of place you just wander about without precautions or maintaining common-sense.

 

Inside the Barry Farms community is the legendary Goodman leagues outdoor basketball complex.  It is world-renowned for its fierce competition featuring some of the best hoop action in the region.  Many professional basketball players (those currently playing or those retired or no longer playing) make this a regular stop to mix-it up with regular neighborhood stars.  The complex is a testament of how committed people focus on positive attributes to create sacred zones that many communities would love to have.