Impressions of a new comer... (Baltimore: city hall, vacation home, neighborhood)
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Well, I just spent the last month and a half putting some finishing touches on my new home purchase in Patterson Park.
I remember reading this blog for the past several month or so, while looking for something to buy, and feeling very very apprehensive about living in Baltimore. I, for one, do not generally look at the world through rose colored glasses. I grew up in the N.Y. metropolitan area and am no country bumpkin. I’ve lived among the good, the bad and the ugly!
This past month has been an epiphany for me and I think we have made a good move buying in Patterson Park. In 2011, those who are buying in Patterson Park now will look very smart for having bought in 2008. In my enthusiasm, I even bought Madison Smartt Bell’s book “Charm City- A Walk Through Baltimore” at Barnes and Noble. Great reading, fun, educational and very informative.
The house is a very nice house, the neighbors are terrific and everyone on the block seems to look out for each other. The street is quiet and peaceful and everyone I have had contact with has been pleasant and civil. The garbage is picked up regularly and steet cleaning services are more than adequate. Our mailman James is a charming fellow and a fountain of knowledge. A “Good morning. How are you doing?” always gets me a friendly response. There are interesting things to do, the city is vibrant and I’m becoming an aficionado of “Three” ( A Baltimore “Cheers”) down the block. I’ve spoken to several cops who were helpful, friendly and not the brutal bullies some characterize them as being. But then, I only got back from them the treatment I gave them. They have a tough job! Business owners have been polite, helpful and fair in their dealings with me. I’ve been to Matthew’s, Sirenita, Mamma’s on the Half Shell, eaten Bartha’s Mussels and stuffed myself at Jimmy’s on Sunday mornings, to mention only a few places.
I had to go to City Hall for tax matters and dreaded dealing with the bureaucrats there. I was surprised and happy with their helpful demeanor and positive attitude. It was a pleasure. I dunno, maybe I’m just on a roll; sooner or later, I’m sure I’ll meet up with someone who is not so nice…
In summary, so far my limited time in Bmore has been very positive. I think the negative people on this website are doing a real disservice not only to their neighbors, but to themselves. Granted, Bmore is not Beverly Hills, but it has a lot going for it. I can’t wait to meet more people and make more friends. And to other potential newcomers, don’t let the bad news get you down. Baltimore doesn’t seem to me as bad as some people make it sound.
What a refreshing post. It is so nice to read something positive. I also am in Patterson Park right on Baltimore Street not far from Three. I moved here from a little neighborhood in northeast called Arcadia about three years ago. I am very happy with the move and haven't had any negative experiences at all. I welcome you to the neighborhood. Please take the time to sign up for the "Friends of Patterson Park". It is a great group and we do a lot for the park. Also, the get-togethers are a great way to meet more people. Also, try to join the neighborhood association. There were over 120 neighbors at the last meeting held the night before the primary. They are a great group and will give you any advice you want. Also, try to get to the shows at the Creative Alliance on Eastern and East at the Patterson Theater. I really have enjoyed more of them although some of their productions may be a bit risque. The neighborhood has gone through so many positive changes in the last ten years, it is unreal. That is why I decided to move here. Hope one day we meet.
I also think this is a great and refreshing post. Patterson Park is a great area and I'd love to live in or around it. I played kickball at the park last fall and enjoyed walking over to a pizza place on Baltimore St and going to Three. Very cool area.
Congratulations on your foresight in buying in Patterson Park, despite all the naysayers. A friend who returned to his native Baltimore after several years just moved there and could not be happier. Just wait a few months and you will have all those great concerts in the park!
I'm also a newcomer, and I've found baltimore area to be a decent place as well. I live out about 10 miles out but work downtown. A lot of the negativity on the board seems to be about safety, but from what I've seen it's easy to find a safe place to live.
I really like the people around here, they seem very real and they are neither overly friendly nor standoffish.
The only thing is, it is pretty expensive. $4.50 for a gallon of milk?
I spend lots of time in New Jersey, Maryland and Florida. The Fed ( in their wisdom??? An oxymoron...) try to even things out regionally. Gas now is $3.30in Florida because we don't get hit with winter heating costs. New Jersey is usually one of the lowest in the northeast. This is further complicated by each states tax structure- New Jersey bangs you on everything else but gas (not to say they don't take their piece of skin), while Florida socks it good to anybody they can (Tourists, drinkers, fishermen, boaters, drivers, out-of-state anything doers, vacation home owners, and the list goes on) with a whole host of nickel and dime taxes, permits, traffic tickets, and fines for everything galore, in addition to the high gas prices. They're trying to make up for no state income tax in "God's waiting room". Only cigerettes in Florida are cheap compared to up north. They also refer to it as "the sunshine tax on our little piece of paradise" (at least until hurricane season). How's that for real bull****? (Pardon my French)
Anyway, I did not mention in my post that I like Baltimore, but do find it rather expensive. The prices seem like NYC. It is hard to go to a decent restaurant in Bmore, have a cocktail and dinner for two,with a glass of wine, and not get out before paying $100 to $125 plus tip. Also, $7-8 a pop for a drink in "Three" adds up very quickly. I imagine a lot of folks entertain at home in Bmore which is nicer and you can save a bundle.
I love this site and enjoy your posts. Check it everyday. Regards to all.
Well if that's the case, inflation is out of control. It was 2.75 when I left the west coast, so it rose pretty fast in one week.
Actually the inflation rate in January was 4.28%. That's the core inflation rate, which excludes the cost of food and energy, so true inflation was much higher. I could go on a rant, but this probably isn't the place for it. This site also has a good cost-of-living comparison tool:
Oh, I meant milk was 2.75 on the west coast in a medium COL area. I was just making the point that the difference in milk was a regional thing. If it was due to inflation of 2.75 to 4.50 in one week, that comes out to be 10808251180542% per year...
Anyways, rant away, that is what the internet is here for!
My wife and I went to the grocery for the first time and freaked when we saw the price of milk. We calmed down a little later when we realized most of the rest of prices were at least closer to what we were used to.
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