With nicknames such as Mob Town and Syphilis City no one would deny that Baltimore has its dark side. Before shows such as The Wire and Homicide: Life on the Streets brought the city's crime rate to national attention, locals entertained themselves with rumors surrounding the mysterious death of writer Edgar Allan Poe and stories Zelda Fitzgerald, wife of author F. Scott Fitzgerald, who spent time in a Baltimore area sanitarium in the 1930s. Tourists make the Inner Harbor one of the most traveled areas in the country, but if they would venture a few streets north to The Block on Baltimore Street they would see an area once famous for its burlesque shows. It is only the locals who would know to continue north on St. Paul to the Owl Bar, a former speakeasy that still proudly displays some of its Prohibition era paraphernalia. Wicked Baltimore: The Seedy Side of Charm City, details the salacious history of Baltimore and its denizens from the city's earliest history up to through Prohibition.
By Lauren R. Silberman, paperback, 144 pages