April 21, 2012, Annapolis, MD: We’re not in Eastport much anymore, not since we moved from Annapolis back to DC. Just across Spa Creek from historic downtown Annapolis, the Maritime Republic of Eastport as it’s called these days is a place with a rebellious spirit much like my birthplace of Westmount on the edge of Montreal. Legend has it that Eastport residents here on the peninsula called Horn Point declared their independence from Annapolis over beers at a neighborhood pub in 1998. That fall, Eastport residents challenged Annapolis residents to a rowdy tug-of-war stretching across the water in a show of strength that has since become a local tradition. It was the first tradition we witnessed here the weekend we moved to Annapolis back in 2009.
Today we venture back to Eastport for lunch after visiting the Annapolis Book Festival, stopping in to Leeward Market for sandwiches and syrupy Cokes in those heavy old glass bottles. We sip them at a picnic table outside on the corner of Second St., surrounded by square bungalows with wide front porches and boats in the side yards. A seaplane goes by, circling the nearby Naval Academy with a Welcome Home banner in tow, as does a little yellow shuttle/golf cart carrying groomsmen to a wedding in matching yellow bow ties.
On the way out of town, we drive past the site of the Fort at Horn Point, build to defend this place against the British during the Revolutionary War. We recall our own history here, eating bagels for breakfast, and circling this peninsula on evening runs, and that time we rented kayaks in Eastport and ventured out of Spa Creek, into the Severn River and beyond into the Chesapeake Bay.
The air feels different in this neighborhood. Like we’re on vacation.
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