These are some photos I took in Ellicott City, near Baltimore, Maryland, in the USA.
More on this later.
I went editing crazy. And most of them were taken late at night, so sorry. I'm only including three, but I'll put up more in a different post, I think.
Ellicott City is a beautiful place. It's a tourist town, really; but I love it all the same. All the shops there are very old-fashioned, they have that 'vintage' feel to them, and they all sell the most random eclectic assortment of goods, mostly the kind of stuff that you don't need but want.
The cafe there sells lovely coffee and cake and they have this ancient machine that roasts coffee beans, well at least it used to; it's just for show these days. There're signs all over the walls, like in Eddie Rockets except they're authentically old and for sale. One of my favourite things about the cafe is the menus, because they say in the most beautiful type, on the bottom, in not quite so many words, 'We have WiFi, but please leave your laptop home this weekend and talk to your neighbours. They're lovely people and I'm sure they'd enjoy your company'. I thought that was just so lovely. There's also the most amazing Victorian-style tea room, the china there is exquisite.
There's a small train museum there. I didn't go in, because my father could tell you more about trains then any guide. He loves steam trains, simply adores them; when he was younger he used to hop them. He'd go for miles across the country, holding on to the back of a caboose. He has some unbelievable stories, I convinced him to write them down; so he's started to write a memoir. We walked a few miles on the tracks around Ellicott City, which I love doing; It's on the B&O railway: Baltimore and Ohio.
There's an exquisite bakery there with beautiful bread, although I don't like the sweet bread you get in the States much.
There's this one store dedicated to fairies and the like. It's three stories high. On the top floor there's a piano that plays on it's own and a costume place with the most amazing costumes, some from the 1940's.
Ellicott City's built on a hill. It has an interesting history, really. It's right on a river and every hundred years or so, the place gets wiped out by floods. I just looked it up on wikipedia( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ellicott_City,_Maryland ), and apparently it's haunted. It does have a creepy feel to it, I admit. It feels so empty and fairytale-esque, like it's not real and noone really lives there. It's so 'American Dream', in a way, like it's the sort of place that upper-middle-class families go to for a Sunday outing. It has the air of a place repressed, with a dark secret.