About the City
Perhaps I should have posted this last week, while the pictures were still on the news. I think it just took me a while to process, and to be ready to write about it. It’s still hard to write about it, but now at least I have some links if you want to help.
The last time I was in Old Ellicott City (Main Street, where the flood was truly devastating) was on July 9. Dottie had given me my choice of local ghost tours for my birthday.1. It was a really nice evening.
The part of Ellicott City I go to (or drive through) more often is nothing like this. It’s on US 40 and has an entirely different kind of vibe. There’s definitely a kitschy sort of charm to it as well.2
Old Town Elliott CIty is (or was, and hopefully will be) something else. There is definitely a lot of touristy stuff to it. There’s also a lot of character. It was initially built in the late 18th century, though I don’t think any of that architecture survived to be threatened by the flood.
Steve, Dottie and I were all safe at home on the 30th. Steve had been thinking of going to see our friend Aaron Fuller (who sings with Midnite Run) but the show was cancelled due to the rain. Our friend Dave Pratt (who plays harmonica for the Soul Island Rebels) had a show in Ellicott City that night, but it was on Rte. 40, so higher ground. Our friend Steve Wilson (who podcast listeners might recognize from Prometheus Radio Theatre) was at the Judges Bench that night. When he realized how bad things were getting he drove his car through a foot or more of water to park it at higher ground. (The consensus is that he was a very lucky idiot).
How to donate/volunteer
Here are a few of the funds and resources I have found. I don’t know all of the individuals behind them, and I don’t know any of the well, but as far as I an tell the individual campaigners are who they say they are.3 The general funds are organizations which have been around for a while. I collected several of these links myself before finding the WJZ-TV list, which also includes fundraisers.
- American Red Cross Greater Chesapeake Region
- County Executive Alan Kittleman requests that cash donations go through the Red Cross.
- Community Action Council of Howard County
- Accepting food donations
- Ellicott City Partnership
- Is accepting donations and coordinating volunteer efforts
- Keep Ellicott City Working
- A Facebook page designed to recruit people who lost their livelihood during the flood find jobs
- Preservation Maryland
- A fund to help restore and rebuild the historic structures
- All Time Toys
- The owner was part of a historic rescue caught on video during the flood. His GoFundMe is already fully funded.
- This has been one of my favorite stores for over 20 years. I bought the necklace I wore at my wedding there (or in the now defunct Discoveries shop which was at the Columbia Mall at the time). Dottie had a part time job there while she was in High School. Both girls shopped for prom dresses there. It’s pretty much at the bottom of the street.
- I’ve eaten there a couple of times for the girls’ French class school field trips, and once for a special anniversary dinner. It’s amazing cuisine.
- Sweet Elizabeth Jane
- This has been one of the girls’ favorite stores, and it’s likely that, failing this campaign, it will be gone forever.
- This is not one of the stores I frequented, but I have seen it pop up many times on my friends FB pages in the past week. A shop for actual vinyl records.
- Cacao Lane
- This restaurant has been in EC for as long as I’ve been going there (a lot longer, actually). It’s hard to imagine the city without it.
- Phoenix Emporium
- One of the many great local bars in the city. Also at the low end of the street.
- Bean Hollow
- This one doesn’t say ‘verified’, but I got the link from the Bean Hollow Facebook page, so I’m pretty sure about it. This is the coffee shop both girls adopted as an after school hangout. It’s also a place that Steve and I enjoy. It’s quirky without being off putting, and the coffee, tea, pastries and sandwiches have always been delicious.
So that’s it. If you have other donation links or stories, please share them in the comments. I’d love to hear everyone’s stories.
1a) My birthday was in March, but the plan was always to take the tour in the summer. b) I think it probably says something about the area that there are many ghost tours to choose from, especially as tourism is not one of the key industries in the state. (back)
3I’ve added a short comment on each of these, often about my personal relationship to the businesses. Not because I expect that to influence you, particularly, but just to express how this has impacted my personal story. Because that’s what a blog is for.(back)