Posts tagged East 25th Street

The Stone Tavern – Baltimore Little Tavern No. 4

Part of my writing process for developing the story line in Deadball involved several trips to Baltimore, seeking inspiration.  On my first trip I discovered the Stone Tavern Restaurant, located two blocks east of the former site of Union Park at the corner of East 25th Street and Greenmount Avenue in the Harwood section of Baltimore.

The Stone Tavern Restaurant in Baltimore circa 2007

Given its close proximity to Union Park and what I believed was its former life as a Little Tavern shop, the Stone Tavern Restaurant was a perfect time piece to include in the book.

The Stone Tavern Restaurant Baltimore circa 2011

According to Dinerhunter.com, the Stone Tavern was once Little Tavern Baltimore No. 4. It opened in 1931 and promptly closed a year later.

Stone Tavern Restaurant Lunch Counter circa 2008

In Chapter Two of Deadball, Byron Bennett stops by the Stone Tavern for a cup of coffee after having visited the former site of Union Park.  Once inside he meets Mac, a kindred spirit who, like Byron, believes he can see the past.

Stone Tavern Restaurant Booth Seating

In Deadball, I exercise creative license and describe the Stone Tavern as being covered in Formstone, “that plaster-based, counterfeit rock unique to East Coast cities  like Baltimore and Philadelphia.”  As is apparent from the photograph below, the Stone Tavern’s facade is, well, real stone.

The Stone Tavern - Covered In . . . Stone

The Stone Tavern Restaurant is open for breakfast and lunch.  From experience, I can tell you it’s the kind of place you’ll want to wash your hands before and after you eat.  Although the restaurant no longer offers “Buy ’em by the bag” hamburgers, I highly recommend the  tuna salad on rye.  So on your next visit to Union Park, be sure to stop by the Stone Tavern.  You never know who you might meet there.

Deadball – Anatomy of a Book Cover

If you’ve read the first chapter of my book, Deadball, A Metaphysical Baseball Novel, you know that Union Park, home to the 1890’s National League Baltimore Orioles, was once located at the corner of Guilford Avenue and East 25th Street in the Harwood section of Baltimore.  The original design for the book cover contemplated superimposing an 1897 picture of the old Union Park playing field over a picture of what has been built in its place.  Taking that picture, however, from one of the roof tops of houses located on East 24th Street, proved difficult to recreate, so we opted to use the picture of Union Park that now appears on the front and back covers of Deadball.

That picture of the front entrance to Union Park on East 25th Street, circa 1895, was provided to me courtesy of the Maryland Historical Society and appears in this blog, also courtesy of the MHS.  In March 2011, my brother and I made one of my many pilgrimages to the former site of Union Park on East 25th Street to take pictures of the houses built in place of Union Park’s old, wooden grandstand and main entrance.  We brought with us a copy of the 1895 Union Park photograph in an effort to recreate the shot.

East 25th Street, Baltimore, former site of Union Park

As you can see, there is a red brick building that appears in both the present-day photograph of East 25th Street and in the background of the1895 Union Park photograph.  That building, at 321 East 25th Street, currently houses the St. Ambrose Housing Aid Center.  The building provided us the necessary reference point for taking our photograph for the book cover.  In an attempt to get the proper vantage point, I took a picture of East 25th Street with the 1895 photograph also in the shot.  The actual picture that graces the cover of Deadball is set forth below.

Deadball Book Cover Photograph, East 25th Street, Baltimore MD

Huntington Park Publications’ graphic designer extraordinaire, Jim Morris, among other things, superimposed the 1895 photograph over the above picture, creating a ghostly image of the ballpark and the spectators on the sidewalk.

Because of differences in the photographic equipment used to take the two pictures, I was unable to recreate the exact 1895 shot.  As such, Jim Morris pieced together additional shots of the tops of the buildings and elongated the sidewalk to create the picture as it appears on the book.  For aesthetics, the shot of Union Park was placed a little bit to the east of its actual, former location.

DBS