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Baltimore: Were you Prixpared?

After months of work, Baltimore finally hosted the Grand Prix. Those of us who live here have survived the road work and other preparations — minor inconveniences. The past few days, however, we faced the major inconveniences.

One of the legal listservs I subscribe to had a number of comments from Baltimore-based firms on Thursday, most of them following a simple formula: “It usually takes me X hours to get to work in the morning, and today it took me X+2 hours. We’ve closed the office for tomorrow.”

I live in Hampden and usually go through the city to get to my office in Columbia, but since Thursday I’ve taken back roads to get to I-70, then to Route 29. Out of my way, but better than dealing with traffic.

I hope Baltimore got a lot of money out of this deal, because there has certainly been a lot of lost income for businesses in the city. I’m sure we will come out ahead, especially with all the construction and the good advertising our city is getting.

I feel a little bad I wasn’t more interested in the Grand Prix. On Saturday, my family fled the Baltimore (by an alternate route, of course), and went to the D.C. zoo with a stop by the Bethesda-version of Georgetown Cupcakes (shorter lines and oh-so-worth-it). I caught the last 30 minutes of the qualification (or whatever they call it) on TV when we got home. Sunday, I spent an hour watching it, really trying to look for a reason to keep watching.

Maybe it’s because I didn’t get the sports gene. Six kids in my family — five girls and one boy. The oldest brother is the only one who has any interest in sports (though, one Facebook friend informed that car racing is not actually a sport; I’ll let the sports fans debate that one).

The race was hard to watch, from the perspective a newcomer to the game. The things I was curious about were not readily apparent: for example, how fast are the cars going at their fastest, and in the tight turn number three? I also don’t understand how the people in the stands actually get anything out of it –they can see a small section of road, and then see a car whiz by.

The entire track was a little over two miles, so the cars frequently passed by, but how can you really follow along without being able to see the entire track? There were a good number of people in stands, so I’m sure I was just missing whatever it is that makes this interesting.

One thing is for sure — I’ll be glad to get back to my normal driving routine on Monday morning.


  1. Those of us who live in South Baltimore and work in downtown would call the last year of construction in preparation for the Grand Prix a lot more than “minor inconveniences.” 40 minutes to get to my downtown office from 2 miles away? Downright ridiculous, and a demonstration of extremely poor planning.

    That being said, I’m glad the Grand Prix apparently went off smoothly. I spent some time around the race course on Sunday and enjoyed the roar of the engines, along with the general pleasantness of the day. After seeing what was going on at the race, the TV coverage was rather interesting. Baltimore needed this event to go well, and I’m glad we got this win.

  2. The each grandstand had a jumbotron across from it so you could see what was happening during the rest of the race.