Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Rafael Alvarez on A Tuesday Morning in Baltimore's Former Chinatown

The first photo below is of Rafael Alvarez driving down a Baltimore City street. He is freakily adept at driving in city traffic; and the man easily gets away with making moves behind-the-wheel that would get most of us beeped at, bleeped at and angrily gestured at, by other drivers and their passengers. When he spotted that brown and tan colored, classic station wagon in great shape, which you can see the front right corner of next to him in the photo, he stopped his small pickup truck three car lengths back from the next vehicle up there in our lane waiting for a red light, so we could check out the classic wagon. He loves the size, solid build, shapes, body styles and big motors of them older kinds'a vehicles, and I do too. But I would have had trouble with other drivers, around me, for stopping in traffic where he did. He's just a born 'n' bred city fellow who seems to comfortably fit right in however he wants to on any Baltimore streets he drives on - no matter what he does. Me-own-self, as an old-time pro-driver, with well-honed driving skills, who once possessed a delivery/cab driver's intimate knowledge of the streets of Baltimore, I was duly, and pleasantly, impressed.

The photo below is Rafael standing and smiling at the corner of Baltimore's Park Avenue and Mulberry Street, in front of where (Abe) Sherman's Book Store used to be.

Below is Rafael in the doorway at 332 Park Ave, next to the front window of the former Sherman's Book Store.

Here are two photographs of Rafael meeting the owner of Bouillabaisse Cafe, at 316 Park Avenue.

Bouillabaisse Cafe
316 Park Avenue
Baltimore, MD 21201
(410) 244-8173 phone
Email :

Here are two photos of Rafael sitting at the table of a small eatery where we had breakfast. I never paid any attention to the name or exact location of the place.

Ralph gave me signed copies of two books he's written - Storyteller and The Wire.

Photography by David Robert Crews

Baltimore's Rafael Alvarez is a journalist, author and television producer and writer. Here is his official web site:

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