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In Baltimore, a bait shop is a neighborhood icon

Suspended over a sidewalk in an old row-house neighborhood of East Baltimore is an iconic, art-deco neon sign that draws magical attention after dark. It depicts a hooked striped bass outlined in glaring white, leaping from a green-crested chop of water. “TACKLE” is emblazoned in bright yellow across the fish’s arcing body. Underneath, in bold red neon, is “TOCHTERMAN,” the family name this landmark institution has worn for nearly a century.

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Creekside cottage now an expansive home

The house has five bedrooms and four baths.Retaining the vintage character was primary when Tom and Lynn Hinkel remodeled and expanded a cottage that was built in 1900 on Put-in Creek in Mathews, Virginia.  During the two-year project that created their retirement home, the couple lived aboard their center cockpit Gulfstar 44.

Now, after being in their 4,375-square-foot home for almost a decade, the Hinkels want to downsize.

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Sunset on the banks

Oil painting by William R. Davis

It’s sunset on the banks. The breeze is fading as twilight grows. Sails are slack on the schooner, and the fishermen are rowing their dories back with the last of the day’s catch, accompanied by a few lingering birds. It’s a scene that draws us into the past, and that’s the intent. William R. Davis has a passion for history that defines the way he paints — down to the colors he uses.

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Consider the Oyster

Now you can try them before they ever reach land.

No delicacy is more polarizing than the raw oyster. Some people loathe the consistency. Some can’t stand the briny flavor. Still others would rather sit before a simple platter of the iced, raw bivalves than a table groaning with just about any other dish. But indifference is not an option.

Even those who dislike the taste should love this creature for its stewardship of our waterways — just one oyster filters more than 25 gallons of water a day.

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Pearls of wisdom

If you’re going to explore any of these oyster trails by boat, here’s information on dockage in the areas I visited, as well as local restaurants where you can best enjoy your bivalves.

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