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Old 04-24-2011, 10:33 AM
 
478 posts, read 618,374 times
Reputation: 487

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I'm a 22 year old male and will graduate from college in a few weeks. I accepted a job offer in downtown Baltimore that will allow me to pay a rent of up to about 1,200/mo.

I have spoken to friends from the area and am honestly a bit uncomfortable about moving to the city given the problems with crime and violence. Reading about the city on these boards reinforces what I have been told.

Yesterday I went to the city to explore some of the well-known better neighborhoods and liked Canton and Mt Vernon the most. How would you compare these neighborhoods for somebody in my situation? Based on what I've read, Mt Vernon might be better because of its arts and cultural scene, but I get the impression that it might be a bit older demographically. Canton is a bit more expensive, but I liked how it felt a little more insulated from dangerous neighborhoods. Are these perceptions accurate?

I have also thought about living in a suburb like Towson or Ellicott City and commuting in because of safety, but those areas might be a bit too quiet or family-oriented for me at this stage in my life.

Here are my priorities in picking where to live in roughly descending order:

-able to get a studio within the price range above
-safe neighborhood
-a place that would facilitate meeting people and an active social life
-demographically younger neighborhood
-access to the train station (Penn) so that I can travel to DC, NYC, Philly etc more conveniently (this is part of the reason that Mt Vernon appeals to me)

Given these priorities, do you feel that the areas that I've narrowed down sound reasonable? Are there any to consider that I am overlooking?

Thanks.
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Old 04-24-2011, 11:05 AM
 
Location: Portland, Maine
4,180 posts, read 12,767,092 times
Reputation: 1603
Quote:
Originally Posted by ktaadin View Post
I'm a 22 year old male and will graduate from college in a few weeks. I accepted a job offer in downtown Baltimore that will allow me to pay a rent of up to about 1,200/mo.

I have spoken to friends from the area and am honestly a bit uncomfortable about moving to the city given the problems with crime and violence. Reading about the city on these boards reinforces what I have been told.

Yesterday I went to the city to explore some of the well-known better neighborhoods and liked Canton and Mt Vernon the most. How would you compare these neighborhoods for somebody in my situation? Based on what I've read, Mt Vernon might be better because of its arts and cultural scene, but I get the impression that it might be a bit older demographically. Canton is a bit more expensive, but I liked how it felt a little more insulated from dangerous neighborhoods. Are these perceptions accurate?

I have also thought about living in a suburb like Towson or Ellicott City and commuting in because of safety, but those areas might be a bit too quiet or family-oriented for me at this stage in my life.

Here are my priorities in picking where to live in roughly descending order:

-able to get a studio within the price range above
-safe neighborhood
-a place that would facilitate meeting people and an active social life
-demographically younger neighborhood
-access to the train station (Penn) so that I can travel to DC, NYC, Philly etc more conveniently (this is part of the reason that Mt Vernon appeals to me)

Given these priorities, do you feel that the areas that I've narrowed down sound reasonable? Are there any to consider that I am overlooking?

Thanks.
There are definitely other neighborhoods to consider but with you wanting easy access to Penn Station, I would either go with Mt. Vernon or Charles Village. Don't forget we have the circulator which is free and a pretty good service for connecting with most of the neighborhoods surrounding the downtown area. One stops right at the train station.
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Old 04-25-2011, 12:07 AM
 
1,137 posts, read 1,885,189 times
Reputation: 2515
Baltimore is a compact city and quite easy to get around.

The "hottest" place for young college graduates is Canton, without a question, followed by Federal Hill. Canton has a huge scene of young singles sharing rowhouses and the bar scene is apparently "hopping."

Mount Vernon is a little quieter and has a more mixed population and the young crowd will be geared towards the arts and gay/lesbian communities, as well as Hopkins/UMD graduate students.

Another area you may want to check out is the already mentioned Charles Village. It's quiet but filled with Hopkins students. Rents are reasonable and you can easily find a one-bedroom for 1200 or less. Charles Village is leafier with tree lined streets and large rowhouses with deep front porches, which may appeal to someone looking for a not so urban environment.

In general, given the following three criteria you listed:
-safe neighborhood
-a place that would facilitate meeting people and an active social life
-demographically younger neighborhood

Canton/Federal Hill are your best bets. But you may be culturally more at home in Mount Vernon depending on what your interests are.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ktaadin View Post
I'm a 22 year old male and will graduate from college in a few weeks. I accepted a job offer in downtown Baltimore that will allow me to pay a rent of up to about 1,200/mo.

I have spoken to friends from the area and am honestly a bit uncomfortable about moving to the city given the problems with crime and violence. Reading about the city on these boards reinforces what I have been told.

Yesterday I went to the city to explore some of the well-known better neighborhoods and liked Canton and Mt Vernon the most. How would you compare these neighborhoods for somebody in my situation? Based on what I've read, Mt Vernon might be better because of its arts and cultural scene, but I get the impression that it might be a bit older demographically. Canton is a bit more expensive, but I liked how it felt a little more insulated from dangerous neighborhoods. Are these perceptions accurate?

I have also thought about living in a suburb like Towson or Ellicott City and commuting in because of safety, but those areas might be a bit too quiet or family-oriented for me at this stage in my life.

Here are my priorities in picking where to live in roughly descending order:

-able to get a studio within the price range above
-safe neighborhood
-a place that would facilitate meeting people and an active social life
-demographically younger neighborhood
-access to the train station (Penn) so that I can travel to DC, NYC, Philly etc more conveniently (this is part of the reason that Mt Vernon appeals to me)

Given these priorities, do you feel that the areas that I've narrowed down sound reasonable? Are there any to consider that I am overlooking?

Thanks.
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Old 04-25-2011, 06:00 AM
 
206 posts, read 389,773 times
Reputation: 131
I'd recommend Mt. Vernon first. Here's what I said in a couple recent posts:
From KY to Baltimore
New Young Professional moving to Baltimore May/June 2011

It's not so much that Mt. Vernon is older demographically as that Canton is a ghetto of young, white people. There are plenty of young people in Mt. Vernon too and that won't be a problem - you'll just see more of the rest of the city. Safety is about a wash between them. Saying Canton is more insulated is probably accurate, but you'll see lots of outside knuckleheads there on weekend nights. And crime is really not that bad here, if you're not going to be involved in the drug trade.

Federal Hill and Fells Point will be the other most commonly cited newcomer neighborhoods; both are more similar to Canton than Mt. Vernon. You can probably walk to work from Mt. Vernon or Federal Hill. You might be able to walk to work from Fells. You won't want to walk to work from Canton. Penn Station proximity obviously points to Mt. Vernon.

You can find more studios and 1BRs in Mt. Vernon and for cheaper - $1200 should allow you plenty of room to find a nice place and pay for utilities. For any kind of culture there's no contest. But if your social life is going to be primarily the bar scene and sports then Canton or Federal Hill might be first choice. For what you've mentioned you should probably stick to one of these four newcomer neighborhoods I mentioned. The suburbs are a waste of your search time.
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Old 04-25-2011, 06:25 AM
 
Location: Squirrel Hill
1,350 posts, read 3,086,256 times
Reputation: 402
In order...

Fed hill
Canton
Fells
Mt vernon
Locust pt

Any of those would be ok. Fed hill isn't that close to penn but unless you commute daily don't think it matters.
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Old 04-25-2011, 07:36 AM
 
705 posts, read 1,110,336 times
Reputation: 369
My advice (in order):

Towson
Fed Hill
Cockeysville

Canton is overrated by good.
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Old 04-25-2011, 08:16 AM
 
146 posts, read 321,354 times
Reputation: 72
I would say Federal Hill
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Old 04-25-2011, 08:18 AM
 
Location: North Baltimore ----> Seattle
6,473 posts, read 10,733,488 times
Reputation: 3092
Quote:
Originally Posted by diplomat74 View Post
I would say Federal Hill
Yup. Federal Hill is not everyone's cup of tea but based on your list of priorities, it seems like it fits to a T.
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Old 04-26-2011, 08:47 AM
 
478 posts, read 618,374 times
Reputation: 487
I would like to thank all of you for your feedback.

I didn't spend much time exploring fed hill this past saturday, but it sounds like I should probably look into it a bit more deeply on my next trip.

I'm curious, dshawg1, why did you put Towson on top of your list? Also, why do you feel that Canton is overrated?
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