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Old 05-17-2011, 09:09 AM
5,776 posts, read 8,861,940 times
Reputation: 1673


Originally Posted by Couldabeenacontender View Post
Baltimore has tons of potential, and all of the natural resources to become one of the greatest cities in America. When you're lucky enough to spend a 'good day' in the city, you get a glimpse of what it should / could / would be like ... if the 'powers that be' would just put more effort into cleaning it up.

But unfortunately, it's hard to spend a 'good day' in Baltimore without seeing (or coming in direct contact with) the ugly underbelly of the city. With the exception of a few very high profile places ...almost anywhere else you go, it's like you're trapped in a 2 block radius, or you're literally taking unnecessary risks with your life, property and family.

Little things that you'd take for granted anywhere else ... like stopping to get gas, or finding a parking spot, or taking your kids inside of an unfamiliar McDonalds, or wanting to check out a new shop or restaurant ... all have to be assessed for there possible risk factors before you proceed.

It's ridiculous. I've lived and stayed in many major cities, and I've never had as many close calls or felt as unsafe as I do when I travel around parts of Baltimore. You have to have your 'city skills' turned on at all times, and it's impossible to just relax and enjoy the day.

Anyone living in the city could take you by the hand, walk you around a couple of blocks, and point out the major problems along with the people that are causing them. But for some unexplainable reason, the police, the court system, the dept of housing, and the politicians all fail miserably at doing their jobs.

The residents that do stay, and try to save their neighborhoods, eventually get worn out by the total lack of the cities cooperation. In the end they're forced to either move away, give up trying, or stay and live within their 2 block bubble.

Baltimore is not that large of a city, to where these problems should be so insurmountable. And Maryland is certainly not too poor of a state to where they can't afford the resources necessary.
It's really just been a long running lack of leadership and bad politics that have held Baltimore back.

There's supposed to be a story on tonight's local news that profiles and investigates the court judges around here, that insist on letting the repeat offenders back onto the streets with nothing more than a wrist slap.

My positive statement for this thread (since it's supposed to be a positive thread) .. is that I positively hope that the investigation results in a couple of judges getting locked up or thrown off the bench. It would be a big first step in the right direction to help reverse the cities decline.

This is probably the biggest thing holding the City back...I have always felt that some folks profit from the City's shortcomings.. whether its the liquor store,club owners, or slum lords that have problems properties.. but avoid prosecution because they have paid some politcos re-election campaign fund or the millions in federal dollars (in the past) that found their way to become salaries in the pockets of executive directors and program coordinators charged to redevelop or improve the city and the conditions are the same decades after the grant funds have dried up. Or, some Realtors that steer people into certain neighborhoods and away from others for various reasons or push for zoning modifications that destroy single family neighborhoods (of course indirectly). Most of Baltimore's residents are hardworking law abiding citizens..many have become frustrated by the "leadership" or "politics" over the years and "checked out" either with their U Haul trucks or they simply dont get involved. One of the benefits of the resurgence in the the City's population was the notion that it could bring in new people and ideas to various communities.. however; the old guard or establishment may feel threatened by this and prefer the status quo.. which they can manage and control. There was a guerilla artist that painted a rouge portrait on the side of a vacant West Baltimore rowhome that depicted City Hall on top of a mountain of skulls, corpes, bodies of drug addicts, and liquor bottles..it eventually got painted over by DPW.. but that picture was worth a thousand words.. Nonetheless.. I love Baltimore like a cousin that owns me money.. I'm mad at her alot.. but I wont let anyone else mess with her...
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Old 05-17-2011, 09:12 AM
Location: North Baltimore ----> Seattle
6,473 posts, read 10,776,364 times
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Originally Posted by Woodlands View Post
=One of the benefits of the resurgence in the the City's population was the notion that it could bring in new people and ideas to various communities.. however; the old guard or establishment may feel threatened by this and prefer the status quo.. which they can manage and control.
I think that the election of Bernstein to city prosecutor over Jessamy shows a shift away from the status quo. I am hopeful.

BTW Woodlands, great post. Especially the last bit about the cousin!
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Old 05-17-2011, 11:36 AM
206 posts, read 391,259 times
Reputation: 131
Here's the way my neighbors and I have lately found ourselves describing Baltimore: It's a place where you can do things.

I don't really mean that in the way HandsUpThumbsDown described so well, though that's there. I mean that if you want to change things for the better, and you're willing to put time into it, you can do a lot here. That also means that this is a city with needs, and that invites the people to take them on. There hasn't already been that wave of entrepreneurs that have thought of every single good idea and started monopoly businesses. Every piece of decent real estate hasn't been bought up and elevated to unaffordable levels. You can cold-call just about anyone interesting in this city and if you show the slightest initiative and can hold your own for a few minutes on the phone then you can probably set up a lunch date to pick their brain. I guess I see the positive side of something you could describe negatively. It's a place where you CAN be that change you wish to see in the world. If that's what you're into.

A lot of this is a feeling from the neighborhood level up. I'm in the middle of a swirl of house rehabbing, but there are also neighbors who have started a good community farm, gotten a hundred street trees planted, greened our sidewalks, and started after-school programs. Some have bought their 3000sf dream house here that they couldn't get anywhere else for twice the price, and others are opening up a cafe that would have cost four times as much to open in California. In the non-profit world (of Baltimore) you can talk to pretty much anyone you'd want to. But I think it extends more broadly than that - you don't see people being driven in limos, or being whisked around by their entourages. And the comparison I usually hear from people coming from DC is that Baltimore is more laid back - we don't spend much time talking about our jobs trying to place ourselves on the economic ladder.

It feels to me like we don't have an upper class, and there are benefits to that: we can talk to each other and interact. A downside is we don't have tons of excess money in the economy floating around, that could support other high-paying jobs. Instead of export-based businesses we've become a branch office town (with final confirmation when the Constellation merger goes through). We clearly have a lower class, and a lot of money that could be recycled in a local economy is instead disappearing thanks to drugs, crime, and useless accessorizing on fancy cars. It's harder to see the upside of that.

Bottom line - this is a place with potential and opportunities, if you're willing to work for them.
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Old 05-17-2011, 12:16 PM
775 posts, read 1,503,951 times
Reputation: 271
How does this work?
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Old 05-17-2011, 12:23 PM
1,175 posts, read 2,429,561 times
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Personally, I own a business in Baltimore. Unfortunately our politicians have made that a challenge with the Personal Property Taxes and the Real Estate Property Taxes. It is a good area to have a business because this is one of the richest metropolitan areas in the country as well as a lot more bullet proof economically than many other cities because of all the Gov't Jobs.

With all of that said, I could move my business less than 10 minutes in different directions and be in 3 different counties with a much better Tax situation. I choose to be here because I just love Baltimore. The Architecture, the water, the hills, the parks, and the attractions.

From my house I can walk to an NFL and MLB Stadium, afford it, and be completely safe. Where else in the country can you do that? I can also walk to several hundred Restaurants, and other than a few in the inner harbor, none are chains. I play beach Volleyball in the heart of downtown... where else can you do that? And the park space in this City is terrific. Some of these place are a true Oasis, and some of them provide breathtaking City Views.

The Best thing about Baltimore is the people. I've met rich people and poor people and outside of the people in the Drug game, everyone is so nice. Less talk about what you do for a living and more talk about life. Lot's of Eye contact, doors held open, and smiles. Me and my friends have a term called a "DC conversation". That's when you're out in a social setting and you get stuck in a long coversation about your job or education or thoughts on world and local politics. Not saying it doesn't happen in Baltimore, but it is unavoidable in the District.

Obviously I'm a big fan of Baltimore and I know I'm not alone because many of my experiences with people in my neighborhood, and the fact that many of my college friends from Towson never left. Baltimore is not for everyone, but don't dismiss is because a few people have a problem with it. If you haven't been to South and Southeast Baltimore in the last 5-10 years, than you've basically never seen it. It has become a pretty amazing transformation.
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Old 05-17-2011, 12:27 PM
Location: Maryland
18,565 posts, read 15,869,626 times
Reputation: 6264
Originally Posted by TMR23 View Post
How about we say somthing nice about Baltimore for a change. there are entirely too many threads about Baltimore being dangerous, the people here being racist...etc. So, lets be nice to Baltimore for a change.
Baltimore is easily accessible to major population and cultural centers. Also the area's airport is convenient and relatively cheap to fly out of.
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Old 05-17-2011, 02:23 PM
Location: Bodymore, Murderland
559 posts, read 1,142,977 times
Reputation: 324
Great food from bit beef to sushi and crabcakes.

Great music/art scene. The entire Charles North scene is really alive and vibrant.

Nothing beats sitting on the inner harbor on the dock sipping microbrew on a spring or fall Saturday afternoon.
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Old 05-17-2011, 02:39 PM
Location: At the edge of the Great Southwest.
11,918 posts, read 15,900,987 times
Reputation: 22778
I haven't been to Baltimore in over 15 years since my family lived at Severn but I especially loved the used bookstores in the City. My definite favorite was Tiber Book Store on West 25th. They had books lying around that were published before my home State of Texas became a state!
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Old 05-17-2011, 03:30 PM
Location: Portland, Maine
4,180 posts, read 12,799,093 times
Reputation: 1603
Here's some good news from the Daily Record:

Families increasing in downtown Baltimore

Posted: 11:07 am Tue, May 17, 2011
By Rachel Bernstein
Daily Record Business Writer

The number of families living in downtown Baltimore, and their salaries, increased significantly over the past 10 years, according to Downtown Partnership of Baltimore Inc.
Downtown Baltimore’s core area experienced the biggest population increase — 130 percent — since 2000, and the one-mile radius from Pratt and Light streets saw a 13.6-percent population increase during that time as well.
“Anecdotally, we’ve been seeing more strollers and hearing from couples who are committed to raising their children in downtown,” Downtown Partnership President J. Kirby Fowler Jr. said in a statement Tuesday.
The number of families living in the area increased 12.4 percent between 2000 and last year, according to data compiled by Downtown Partnership from the U.S. Census Bureau and Nielsen Claritas Demographics.
That growth is higher than in other downtowns, including Boston, New York, Pittsburgh and Cincinnati, the partnership said.
Baltimore has the eighth highest number of families living in a downtown area, with 5,485 families, according to the partnership.
“Baltimore has seen a surge in the number of families not only moving downtown, but families making the decision to stay and raise their families here,” Heidi Vorrasi, executive director of the Downtown Baltimore Family Alliance, said in a statement.

Families increasing in downtown Baltimore
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Old 05-17-2011, 04:22 PM
Location: Herndon
83 posts, read 368,345 times
Reputation: 68
I moved to Baltimore a few months ago and I love it. I've lived in the DC suburbs most of my life and I chose to come to Baltimore instead of DC or Alexandria when I wanted a more urban lifestyle. Fed Hill, Fells and Canton are great neighborhoods with what I think is an ideal blend of housing and commercial.
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