Friday morning quick picks

In a comment on a recent post about the new barbecue facilities at Belmont, Ashley Herriman answers some questions posed by readers:

The minimum number of people to reserve a table in a section is 8, but without
reserving the entire section, you would likely be mixed in with other groups. To reserve an entire section privately, you’d need a minimum of 48 (sections are designed to hold 48, but can be expanded to accommodate groups up to 250, which is the absolute maximum).

You can bring your food in, or have it catered by the NYRA caterer. The cost without catering is $8/person, which gets you grandstand admission, a program, and your table or section for the day. The cost to have the event catered is $25/person including grandstand admission, program, food, tax and gratuity.

Absolutely no glass bottles or kegs.

There are umbrella-covered tables and two grills per section. We recommend you bring your own grilling equipment, charcoal etc.

NYRA Group Sales handles reservations for this area and can be reached at 888-285-5961.

Thanks, Ashley, for checking in.

And speaking of Belmont: I’ve got a new post up at the Belmont Stakes site (as do Kellner, Grimm, and Serling), about Easy Goer’s win in the 1989 Belmont. Far better than what I wrote is Ernie Munick’s riposte to a commenter.

Elsewhere: in some encouraging news about the overlap between popular culture and racing, I popped into my local Nine West to see what new shoes I might need to buy, and I found two pairs that I really liked. Their names: the Oaks and the Ruffian. I swear. Not in my size, unfortunately.

I am reading much slagging against Baltimore and Pimlico this week, and as a former resident of Baltimore County, I am taking umbrage. Like many East Coast cities, Baltimore has wrestled with poverty, crime, and a diminishing tax base. But it’s a wonderful, wonderful small city, and I loved the five years I lived there. Its arts scene is outstanding: the Walters Art Gallery, the Baltimore Museum of Art, the Meyerhoff (yes, the same folks who own Thoroughbreds) and the Lyric for music. It loves its teams, the Orioles and the Ravens, and what’s not to like about a city that names its football team after an Edgar Allen Poe poem?

The food is outstanding—I live for my annual trips to Charm City, when I can gorge myself on crab cakes and steamed crabs at every meal except breakfast. Local beer is terrific.

The neighborhoods of row houses with their meticulously maintained marble steps are to Baltimore what brownstones are to Brooklyn: singular examples of a city’s distinctive architecture.

And Baltimore’s got a racetrack! With another one only half an hour away! Really, people….what’s not to like?

Rail against the Pimlico neighborhood if you will…but we can’t all be lucky enough to have our racetracks set on a verdant campus among Victorian homes. The good people and horsemen and women of Baltimore deserve better. Pimlico may have seen better days–but, oh, those better days! The history of racing at Pimlico is prodigious, and delightfully if sparsely preserved in that wonderful little museum tucked away in the clubhouse. Go, if you can, to see it, and read at Colin’s Ghost about a filly winning the Preakness, way back in 1924.

I’ll be in Baltimore myself in three weeks—not for racing, unfortunately—and I hope that those who are there now can look beyond the poverty just beyond the backstretch, to discover the gems and hospitality of Bawl’mer, hon.

3 thoughts on “Friday morning quick picks

  1. I too lived in B-more and echo your sentiments; the Charles for movies, too. Once met legendary filmmaker John Walters there. I live for the steamed crabs in Old Bay, too — also the crab cakes!

  2. Hmm…liked the Oaks, the Ruffian not so much. The Gladiator look is just not my style :)Bawlmore is a great city, there’s a lot to see and enjoy. Here’s hoping they find a way to save Pimlico.

  3. I forgot about the Charles! And the Senator, too.Obrycki’s for steamed crabs, John Stevens for steamed shrimp, and crab cakes from Eddie’s market.I liked the Oaks better, Linda, too–I am on the hunt for them in my size!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s