Baltimore Maryland Love Hate

Baltimore cuff bracelet on etsy
Sport a Baltimore Map Bracelet, available at vsc83 / Etsy.
I've lived in Baltimore all my life.  I was born in Baltimore County thirty-eight years ago and moved to Baltimore City thirteen years ago. My relationship with Baltimore is love-hate.  Quite honestly I've seen it grow so much, and end up on the News and World Report's #8 of 11 most dangerous cities report for 2011.   I remember as a child never locking our houses or car doors.  My, how things have changed.  I remember going to the old Memorial Stadium to watch the Colts football team practice when I was a child. I have the team's autographs somewhere.  Probably should fish them out they may be worth some money now. I was really pissed when the Colts jumped ship in the middle of the night but even more so when Baltimore's upper crust tore down the original stadium. I thought they'd reclaim it into something else, but I guess now. I suppose with all bad things come good. The new Ravens stadium is awesome and I guess for the prices they charge both Camden Yards and Raven's Stadium bring a lot of revenue into our city.   I try to hit a few games here and there, but everyone I know complains they would rather be home in the confines of their living room with front row seats rather than dropping $300+ on tickets, parking, food, and beer (average for 2 people.) Fun in Baltimore is NOT CHEAP.

Charm City T Shirt from Etsy
Get these at SmashTransit.
There are great parts of the city , some places like Fells Point or Little Italy must be experienced. The Visionary Museum is a must see. Great things come from Baltimore, like Josh Charles (saw him in the Mars), Stieff Silver, and the creation of Baltimore Pit Beef.  Thank Goodness for Ray-Ray (met him too, does a lot to give back to charity.) I try to buy local , eat locally (lots of crabs) and give back as much as possible. I see a lot of businesses struggling because things are so pricey the small business man can't make it.

Did I mention, they call this Charm City.  I don't know why really, but I was thinking it's because as a voter, you are charmed into thinking your congressman is working for you, when in fact, we are on the worst crime list and get an extra 55% piggyback tax on your earnings and an average of $3500 in property taxes....OUCH.  If you want to move to Baltimore City, you better have a damned good job because it's pricey here, otherwise you are on State Assistance and that's probably where my extra 55% is going.

Baltimore Architecture
I just love that old building that's boarded up.  The one next door is for sale, also.
Sadly for all the good there are unfortunately a ton of bad parts saddens me to see so many homes boarded up in crime riddled neighborhoods. The kind you wouldn't want to drive through at night for fear of a flying bullet grazing you. The words "Stop Snitchin'" have a meaning.

Now, what upsets me is the fact some areas are so bad they can't give the buildings away. No one wants to move in or start a business because of the crime rates. These buildings are architecturally wonderful, a real designer's dream. Just look at the one above, the painted green embellishments on the top of the building are simply lovely. Pride in building the strutuce is evident--these were the cornerstone of our society and history here. Now you may only see these once-wanted relics from glimpses in the show "The Wire." I wish there were more renovation project happening in these areas to do neighborhood clean up.

I guess you have to love it , hate it , or love-hate it.  Although it's probably time for me to go....I would hate to as I love my neighborhood and my neighbors. In fact John Waters filmed a movie on my street so that was pretty cool. So,  if you are looking for a cool place to live contact me I'll sell you my house really cheap!

For the visitor or passing-thru folks, here are some helpful links and things you'll definitely want to check out:
Things to Do List
Camden Yards
Ravens Stadium
Visionary Museum
Crab Quarters  my favorite restaurant :)