I am a Baltimore Native. Yes, I grew up in the county but when I moved out from my parents, I moved to the city. I was educated in Baltimore (by way of Loyola and University of Maryland Law), got my culture from Baltimore and had many a good time there. While I no longer live in Baltimore I find a need to stand up for it. So what’s there to stand up to, you ask?
Upon my exodus from Baltimore, I cannot tell you the number of times I will tell someone where I’m from and get everything from a raised eyebrow to a “are you packing?” to a “but you don’t seem/sound/look like you are from there”. What does that mean? It’s so annoying!
As if my life in Baltimore was just one long episode of The Wire. It doesn’t matter if the person I’m speaking to came from a not so spiffy neck of the woods or are not living so comfortably, they still feel in a place to judge. Why the hate towards Baltimore? I’ve had people recount many a tale about an unfortunate event they have had in Baltimore and summarize the whole town with that event. Usually said event is in a less than savory area or club.
Sure, there is crime but there are also great things about this town.
- It’s accessible because its small, which for me is a great thing. I love a manageable city (Florence, Amsterdam).
- It has some really cool areas. Fells Point (cute boutiques, good places to eat and drink), Federal Hill (fun bars), Harbor East (fancy and trendy shopping and eating),Mt. Vernon/Charles Village (hipster), Inner Harbor (touristy but fun for shopping/nightlife), Hampden (quirky).
- Its artsy. I know people, especially in the music area, who have left their cities to come to Baltimore because of the art scene. (Check out Mt. Vernon and Charles Village area)
- Movies love us. Sure The Wire, The Corner and Homicide were filmed here. But Wikipedia “films shot in Baltimore” and you will see a host of notables you didn’t know were filmed here. Mostly because its a town that has locations that can mimic other cities. Step Up 1 and 2 were filmed here. House of Cards, He’s Just Not That Into You, Sleepless in Seattle…
Just to name a few. If this city was so dangerous, I doubt so many stars would risk their lives coming here.
- It’s a great place to learn. John Hopkins, University of Maryland Grad Schools, Loyola are all top tier schools and there are many others (Towson, Morgan, Coppin, Notre Dame, University of Baltimore…).
- The people. Sure some folks are “special”. But Baltimoreans are a chill, down to earth, non pretentious, fun bunch.
No city is prefect. Not every city can be glamorous. But one thing is certain, judging someone based on where they are from is absolutely ridiculous and you never know what great person you are missing out on by dismissing them because of where they came from.