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.

NMAAHC – The Smithsonian National Museum of African-American History and Culture


Currently we have extra tickets for 2020

It’s been three years since the National museum of African-American History and Culture opened.  The response has been overwhelming and even when tickets are made available to the public; generally three months in advance (i.e., tickets for November were made available the first Wednesday of August), they were snapped up in less than 5 minutes!!!

We were lucky to experience the opening in person and it was a weekend which we will always cherish.

If you have a genuine desire to visit the museum we have a few tickets available based on the following understanding:

  1.  The tickets are free and are legitimate.  There is no charge whatsoever.  We are Charter Members and the tickets are from us receiving them from the NMAAHC website and several guests in our group have scheduling conflicts.
  2.   Should you receive any tickets from us, you agree NOT TO SALE the tickets.
  3.   Do not request the tickets unless you are absolutely sure you are prepared to go.
  4.   If for whatever reason you cannot attend, you simply will not pass them on to another      person.  You must notify us immediately.
  5.   Other restrictions may apply so if in doubt please contact us.

The following dates are available (subject to change without notice):

  • Saturday, April 4, 2020 – 6 tickets are available for 3:00pm entry

 

  • If interested please contact us at fred.thomas3@fredyt123.com

 

Trump’s insatiable appetite to tweet


Getty Images News Win McNamee

If you’re one of the residents in Paducah, KY who realized the “Affordable Care Act” could help cure the ailment which has bothered you for the past 10 years or one of the workers at the Indianapolis Carrier plant who attended the celebration featuring President Donald Trump along with Vice President Mike Pence as they announced the plant was not moving to Mexico but instead would remain open and new jobs would be immediately added, you just knew better days were ahead.  Yet despite promises, to the contrary you now find your health coverage is in serious jeopardy as the party you have supported for all of these years is trying to convince you their version the” American Health Care Act” is better or you now find yourself out of work, as instead the plant is reducing jobs?   You sit at the kitchen table and wonder what happened?

Along with millions of others you ponder when will the President stop tweeting on issues that have nothing to do with helping you achieve “the American Dream” and start paying attention to the things he promised in exchange for your support and your vote?

Trump’s latest out lash has been towards the media, specifically host of the Joe Scarborough show; Joe Scarborough and Mika Brzezinski.  Six months into his presidency some are starting to be more vocal in their frustration and are asking what happened to all those promises Trump swore would be resolved on Day 1?????  The best health care you could imagine!  Jobs you could only dream about would be the reality!  Instead, precious time seems to be spent responding to foes or issues that have all but paralyzed any movement on executing a practical “agenda.”

 

Just this morning Trump sent another missive toward Scarborough and Brzezinski,

“Crazy Joe Scarborough and dumb as a rock Mika are not bad people, but their low rated show is dominated by their NBC bosses. Too bad!”

 

 Embed from Getty Images

It is understood nobody likes to be attacked but while the circumstances of the latest spat appear to be yet another self-inflicted distraction, one thing  is certain as the people in Paducah, Indianapolis and other parts of the United States are starting to realize their issues are secondary when Trump feels he has been attacked.

This past Thursday during the daily news briefing, staffer Sarah Hucklebee-Sanders was forced to conjure a viable response in trying defend Trump’s position against Scarborough and Brzezinski.  To her credit and based on Trump’s behavior, she anticipated he was watching the briefing and would be critiquing her every word and every move.

“Look, the American people elected a fighter. They didn’t elect somebody to sit back and do nothing.” “He fights fire with fire.”

and here is more foder,

“I think the American people elected somebody who’s tough, who’s smart, and who is a fighter.”

Noted Washington journalist, who recently started “The Point”, Chris Cilliza summed the reaction up this way “Fighters fight when they have to. Punching every person on the street who says something to you doesn’t prove what a good fighter you are.”

In the meantime, Trump has signed many executive orders, but if you had told those in Paducah or Indianapolis that after six months in office and with control of all legislative arms; the Presidency, the House of Representatives as well as the Senate,  at best……it’s the tweets which get all that attention, not issues that will improve their lives, nobody would believe you!

Not one legislative item has been signed into law.  To his credit Neil Gorsuch was elevated to the Supreme Court but the dearth of any legislative accomplishments is shocking!

Of course, Trump, those staffers who took a blood oath to always AFFIRM his antics, as well as his most ardent supporters claim it is people like Scarborough and Brzezinski, the rest of the negative media, the dastardly democrats and others who are standing in the way of accomplishing anything worthy of legislative progress. Continue reading “Trump’s insatiable appetite to tweet”