From the Land of Pleasant LivingPosted: April 22, 2010
If an icon is a window into the divine, the National Bohemian logo is not an icon. But it is synonymous with Baltimore and thus it evokes in me lots of pleasant thoughts from the Land of Pleasant Living. Any Baltimorean worth his weight in crab meat can’t help but smile when seeing that one-eyed, mustachioed man.
I was in Baltimore the past two days with the family — staying at Henderson’s Wharf in Fell’s Point (my favorite neighborhood in a city famous for them). Fifteen years ago our entire wedding party took over Henderson’s Wharf for a couple of nights. This trip, with the boys in tow, was slightly less, um, eventful. But it was nice to get away for a couple of days and to spend time with my mother who is recovering nicely from the minor stroke she had two months ago.
But back to the “Natty Boh” logo. It is a wonderful symbol of bygone Baltimore. A time when the Orioles actually won some ballgames; a time before micro brews; a time when we had a football team named the Colts; a time when National Bohemian was actually brewed with pride in Baltimore (it’s now brewed in Pennsylvania which is pure heresy). In other words, the Natty Boh logo is the stuff of nostalgia; a link to a simpler time. And this is big business — there’s a Natty Boh store in Fell’s Point complete with all sorts of t-shirts, bottle openers, and baby clothes.
I would have considered a hat with that wonderful logo but something stopped me. And it wasn’t just the $22 price tag. It was the fact that I would have been purchasing a mere illusion, a Charm City mirage. And I’d rather keep my memories of “old,” pre-Harbor Place Baltimore in my head. Now if I could find a vintage seat cushion to go on my genuine Memorial Stadium seat, that would be another matter…