In case you hadn't heard, Grand Prix is coming to Baltimore city.
This gem of a city fundraiser has involved nearly a year's worth of road work throughout downtown, causing the worst gridlock traffic I've sat in since moving back to Maryland from Tampa. Seriously, awful.
Not that the roads didn't need vast improvement.
(And it was partially on someone else's dime, so, really: go Sheila Dixon. Well-played on that decision.)
(SRB is the one who's going to have hell to pay if this thing gets royally screwed up anyway, so that was a win-win for the Dixon House of PR.)
But the problem is that the race course stretches across Lombard and Pratt streets, effectively bifurcating downtown and cutting off Federal Hill and South Baltimore from all points north. Considering that I commute from Federal Hill to Hampden, this is...problematic. At best.
So, faced with the fact that I'm going to have to park my car in Fed Hill on Thursday night, kiss it goodbye, and wish it well until the following Tuesday, I figured I might as well fork over some money for tickets to this MAJOR EVENT. THAT EVERYONE IS GOING TO. I mean, if you have to be in town, might as well BE THERE.
I know nothing about racing, or cars, or race cars. I know they are loud. I know there will be beer. The latter is enough to entice me, in general, to pretty much any event.
So, I bought a ticket. Imma go to the MAJOR EVENT with the loud cars and the beer that will probably cost me a chunk of my retirement. I'm going to watch the cars, marvel at the loud noises, and traipse around downtown Baltimore in typical city-event style; with some sort of defining wrist band identifying me as poor because I bought the cheapest level ticket I could find; and try to get things for free, like extra beer, or admission to VIP areas. Both of which I have been smashingly successful at pulling off in the past (in places like, oh, you know, MARATHONS and LAS VEGAS....) I have a feeling the most competitive aspect of the races, for me, will be the garnering of free things and privileges to which I am not supposed to be entitled.
Start your engines.