Friday, June 22, 2012

Edgar Allen Poe

I don't normally post about personal experiences, but as a fan of classic literature, Edgar Allen Poe in particular, I thought you might be interested in visiting Baltimore, Maryland to see his home at 203 Amity Street, originally No. 3 Amity Street, and his resting place at Westminster Burying Grounds and Catacombs.

The house itself was incredibly small, but insightful as to the times and living conditions. As a writer and educator, understanding the world Poe lived and wrote in is quite intriguing. The artifacts present included clippings about the controversy between Poe and Rufus Griswold that continued even after Poe's death. There were items from Poe's childhood and his family as he struggled to make ends meet in the small condo.

The cemetery where E.A. Poe was buried is incredible. Initially there wasn't a church present, but from what I understand, Maryland or just Baltimore passed a law stating that all cemeteries had to be adjoined by a church. In order to save the graveyard, the people of Baltimore built one.
Although it isn't a Presbyterian Church any longer, it has been restored and can be booked for weddings and other events. I've always found the Gothic style of architecture unique, and the way they constructed the church over the graveyard is unbelievable. They didn't disturb the graves and simply made them into catacombs. Unfortunately the spires that were originally atop the cathedral were destroyed in a storm and had to be removed. However, it's still a sight to see.

In addition, the carved face of Poe on the monument has been stolen not once, but twice. The original was found by accident later and can be seen at his house. In addition to Poe and his family, there are many patriots buried there from the Revolutionary War and other founders of early Baltimore in shipping and politics.

Afterward we went to a great little eatery that is quite eclectic, The Paper Moon. I don't normally review restaurants, but this one was quite good. Some of the baby doll heads were a bit morbid in the artistic license they took, but the colorful decorations and colors made for an exciting and interesting experience. It was kind of like visiting an Applebees or Crackerbarrel with no limitations and a sense of humor, where Rainbow Brite was the painter and Edward Scissorhands the acting gardener. I tried a Jerky Chicken Wrap. It was quite good. I'd certainly recommend it. After you're finished, try a piece of their cake. The Red Velvet is wonderful, but the rest all looked great too.

Overall, the day trip was wonderful. You certainly need to stop by if your in the neighborhood and interested in history, good food, and the dark poet and writer Edgar Allen Poe.

Weston Kincade ~ Author of Invisible Dawn, A Life of Death, and Strange Circumstances