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Old 10-15-2013, 09:08 PM
 
20 posts, read 52,875 times
Reputation: 16

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I'm a 22 year old recent grad living at home until my parents sell their home in Baltimore County in 6-8 months. I would like to move to Baltimore over Towson because of the convenience of city living, friends south of Fed Hill, and the nightlife, but I am concerned about safety and my commute to work. As a 5'6" blonde white girl, I scream "vulnerable", so I am looking for a relatively safe neighborhood. I work in Hunt Valley from 11 AM to 8 PM so I think I would miss rush hour traffic, but if people could give me an estimate of how long my commute would take from whatever neighborhood they suggest I'd appreciate it.

So far I have looked at apartments and rowhomes in Federal Hill but found that the price and social scene is not my cup of tea. I've heard good things about Mt. Vernon and am interested in that area. Is the main demographic is a bit older than me? I am also interested in Charles Village but I haven't had any luck convincing my parents that it's safe. I found a really neat 4br/4ba for $2000/month in Abell that I would have moved into with roommates but my parents said the neighborhood is too close to Greenmount and "too black". Hampden seems like a place that I would like, but unless I fell in love with a place I think it's too far from my friends. Same issue with Canton. Fells Point is on my radar. I've heard Station North and Old Goucher are "up and coming". Thoughts?

Any suggestions? I can spend about $700/month including utilities. Maybe $750, but I would really prefer to spend much less. I'm not picky, so the place wouldn't have to be newly renovated. I'm alright with "charming". I could live in a one bedroom or studio but would also live with one or more roommates as long as I get my own room. Thanks for your help!

EDIT: The reason I am considering Towson is because I think I could get a nicer, safer place for a similar price, be closer to friends than I am now in Phoenix (40 minutes from Fed Hill), and not live as far from work as I would be in Baltimore. My parents will probably relocate to Towson, both grandparents live near there, and my sister goes to high school there, so it would be VERY convenient. Towson also seems like it has an OK nightlife because of Towson and Goucher, but it's not going to compare to Baltimore's. One con is that I'm kind of sick of Towson after having gone to high school there and lived in the county all my life.

Last edited by cheezliz; 10-15-2013 at 09:20 PM.. Reason: Forgot to say why I'm even considering Towson.
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Old 10-15-2013, 09:30 PM
 
1,915 posts, read 3,334,934 times
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Are your parents paying your rent? If they shut down Charles Village, then scratch Station North off the list too.

Too black, huh? Well, Hampden might just be one place they will give the okay on. The nightlife in Hampden is pretty cool, but you should go on the Ave and see for yourself. Oh, and you'll need to increase your budget by at least $150 to get into any of the cool neighborhoods.
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Old 10-15-2013, 09:46 PM
 
20 posts, read 52,875 times
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Nope, just me, so at the end of the day I do have the final say on what I believe is the right area for me. I think they're wary of Charles Village but the house they had a problem with was truly in Abell.

I've gone out twice on the Avenue. It seemed pleasant and quiet. Unfortunately, raising my budget is out of the question since I need to save for grad school and eat.
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Old 10-15-2013, 11:50 PM
 
20 posts, read 52,875 times
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The reason I give them any input about which neighborhood I should move to is that they have about 30 more years of knowledge about Baltimore than me. However, I think they might have out of date perceptions about some neighborhoods and I certainly don't agree with them calling an area "too black", so that's why I'm here seeking more opinions.

After checking Craigslist it looks like Mt. Vernon 1 bedrooms/studios are generally at the top of my price range of 700-750. Charles Village ranges from 600-695. How is Bolton Hill? I found a place there for under $600.

Last edited by cheezliz; 10-16-2013 at 12:42 AM..
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Old 10-16-2013, 03:27 AM
 
1,915 posts, read 3,334,934 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cheezliz View Post
The reason I give them any input about which neighborhood I should move to is that they have about 30 more years of knowledge about Baltimore than me. However, I think they might have out of date perceptions about some neighborhoods and I certainly don't agree with them calling an area "too black", so that's why I'm here seeking more opinions.

After checking Craigslist it looks like Mt. Vernon 1 bedrooms/studios are generally at the top of my price range of 700-750. Charles Village ranges from 600-695. How is Bolton Hill? I found a place there for under $600.
I'm still trying to wrap my mind around this. See, I just don't think you'll be able to live anywhere in the city, with the exception of places like Federal Hill, Canton or Hampden. You being blonde or 5'6" isn't the issue....I doubt anyone would bother you in Charles Village. You need to ask your parents, since they have more experience. Asking about Bolton Hill - well, it's lovely! Unfortunately, it's a neighborhood that has (gasp!) Black people in and around it, so it's probably not for you.

Oh, and one more thing..... I know a few White "stroller chicks" in Hampden that would jump and rob you in a heartbeat as well. Tell your parents to focus on class, not race.
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Old 10-16-2013, 06:54 AM
 
1,067 posts, read 1,136,582 times
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There are plenty of young people living in Baltimore and it is plenty safe if you use common sense, ie not go out alone late in bad areas, don't walk around with your face in a smart phone, don't go out and get drunk by yourself etc - these things are true for many urban areas.

I'm not going to touch the "too black" comment beyond saying that most people, including most black people, are fine.

BTW, 5'6" is fairly tall for a chick...

Advice from a veteran friend - don't look down when you're out walking, look around you, know your surroundings.

I can't help you with prices, but I can tell you that parking is very tight in Canton, Fells Pt and Fed Hill, so if you want to live there and work 11-8, you will be best off with designated parking. Tickets add up quick and those areas are patrolled zealously (I know, I live in one).
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Old 10-16-2013, 07:24 AM
 
20 posts, read 52,875 times
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Thank you for your help guys! Can we not focus on that "too black" thing though? I was trying to give you an idea of what my parents think and why I'm asking for other informed opinions. I do not think that. (AKA don't shoot the messenger and please give the messenger info without worrying about race. )

Dogpark, your parking comment is very true. I'll remember to be picky about finding a place with designated parking.

Last edited by cheezliz; 10-16-2013 at 07:43 AM..
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Old 10-17-2013, 09:52 AM
 
219 posts, read 338,601 times
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Just so you know I'm in my mid-late 20's and work as a city planner here. For your price range you could find a studio in Mt. Vernon or a studio/ 1 bedroom in Charles Village, Bolton Hill, Hampden, or Station North. Your real problem is going to be parking. I live in Mt. Vernon and personally think its the most "complete", convenient neighborhood out of your options. However, on street parking for a commuter will quickly turn your life into a living nightmare as you spend every night hunting for a spot. Your alternative is to rent your own parking space which will run you $80-140/ month depending on what kind of deal you can find. Hampden and Bolton Hill are both nice and much easier to find on street parking in, but they'll be much more difficult to get to Federal Hill from. Also Bolton Hill, while having some of the most extraordinary architecture in the city, also has less amenities and higher crime than the other neighborhoods you listed (although Mid-town/ Mt. Vernon is not a long walk). Overall I would recommend either finding a roommate and renting a parking space in Mt. Vernon or moving up to Charles Village. I think you would like Charles Village since its filled with people fitting your demographic, its cheap, has a reasonable amount of amenities and is much easier to find parking in. Also the Charm City Circulator's purple line is going to be extended through Charles Village up to University Parkway next fall so you'll eventually have a free, convenient, safe way to visit your friends in Fed Hill.

As for the "too black" comment- I know that if and when you move to the city that you'll find that old fashioned racial stereotypes should be left in the past. There is still plenty of poverty and in Baltimore the majority of the poor, and those suffering from social problems, are black- but that's generally because most of the people in Baltimore are black. The city is also becoming much more diverse as the asian, latino, and millennial populations continue on a steady growth pattern. Also, there are plenty of great neighborhoods with kind, decent, friendly people...so try not to only see the rough sides. I know you'll have a great time if you move here... I definitely have.

Last edited by baltplanner; 10-17-2013 at 10:27 AM..
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Old 10-18-2013, 12:53 PM
 
132 posts, read 238,201 times
Reputation: 121
Default Wow.

Okay- I would check Craigslist and look for a room in Canton or Federal Hill or Fells Point. Or try craigslist for a Mt Vernon studio ( you will have to search around with your budget and you wont have any amenities). But Mt Vernon might be too diverse for you (or your parents). I was 22, petite and blonde in the city once and I survived.

The fact that you would post the "too black" comment shows a serious lack of awareness. And then you threw your parents under the bus after some pushback... you are either going to hate Baltimore or it will help you develop some maturity that you need. Lets us know how it goes and good luck to you!
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Old 10-18-2013, 01:05 PM
 
219 posts, read 338,601 times
Reputation: 361
Canton, Federal Hill, and Fells Point are all considered "nicer and safer" (and definitely more homogenous) than the ones I listed in my last post. They're also more expensive and have worse on street parking. As a reverse-commuter it's possible that you could find a roommate situation in your budget (although even a room in these neighborhoods tends to be higher than $750) and then you'll have to find pay parking (which also could be tough since garages are slim in those areas and often are at capacity). Best of luck.
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