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Old 07-30-2012, 11:31 AM
1 posts, read 1,231 times
Reputation: 10


Hi all,

Been lurking here for awhile. I've enjoyed reading the Baltimore forums

My fiance and I are in our early 30s and are likely relocating to Baltimore in January. We currently live in Raleigh, NC, and with the political climate here getting worse by the day, we are looking to get out! We have spent lots of time in Baltimore and absolutely love it.

I will probably be transferring with my job (national healthcare company) and she will be looking for jobs in TV production. She has connections in Baltimore and the DC area, and is confident she will be able to find something once we get up there.

She will likely be commuting via MARC to DC on a daily basis. Should I be worried about this? I try not to buy into all of "The Wire" hype... we have seen various parts of the city (good and bad) and are not too worried. I believe we both have common sense and will not be getting caught up in the drug game. I'm also hoping she won't get tired of this commute...

We are considering a few different areas for housing - will be renting at first, and hoping to buy eventually. We like Pigtown for its proximity to the MARC and the stadiums (both BIG O's and Ravens fans), as well as Mt. Vernon area (is it called that?), Fells Point, and Canton. Have heard good things about Bolton Hill as well.

I guess our main need is closeness to the MARC. Pigtown seems ideal, and affordable - our budget is probably around $1000/month to start out with. Hoping for a 2-bedroom, but could make do with 1 for now. Would love to have a washer/dryer as we are both tired of laundromats. Have read several negative posts about Pigtown's crime though - I try to take them with a grain of salt, but I realize this is an "up-and-coming" neighborhood. I don't want to have to worry about my gal getting mugged on her way to and from the MARC. Is there a grocery store within walking distance to Pigtown? We both enjoy bicycling and noticed there is a trail nearby - are there any other biking trails in the area?

Anything else we need to consider? From my research, I have a feeling we will be priced out of Canton, but that's ok - we can always visit!

Thanks in advance for any advice! Apologies if this was a long post!
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Old 07-30-2012, 01:50 PM
Location: Baltimore
1,759 posts, read 4,688,893 times
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The commercial work on Washington Blvd has restarted after a couple year hiatus which is absolutely great for the neighborhood. It does seem to get worse though the further you go down Washington Blvd from MLK. Your rental options will definitely be greater in Pigtown compared with the others if you're comfortable living there. Mount Vernon can be very expensive but is walking distance from the MARC.
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Old 07-30-2012, 02:32 PM
Location: The Triad (NC)
31,372 posts, read 69,765,043 times
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Originally Posted by rfixed View Post
early 30s ...budget $1000/month to start
She will likely be commuting via MARC to DC on a daily basis.

I guess our main need is closeness to the MARC.
Pigtown seems ideal, and affordable -
There are other Marc stations aside from Camden. Look for them.
These are more suburban areas... but not that far from the fun stuff.
If you were 20's just out of college I wouldn't mention it, but...

There are also other ways to get to Camden aside from walking.
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Old 07-30-2012, 03:25 PM
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The best area for the DC commuter without a vehicle is hands down, Mount Vernon / Midtown Belvedere, given the neighborhood's proximity to Penn Station. The location has many local dining locations (good mix of local and chain selection) and the best city amenity going = Charm City Circulator [Purple Route]. I cannot stress enough the peace-of-mind you get from being able to simply walk home from a long day at work and a long DC-Baltimore MARC commute. If you don't have someone to pick you up from Penn Station or cannot walk within a reasonable time, then you're at the mercy of MTA buses. I'd say 75% of time they are terrific, but that other 25% of time may leave you regretting the whole ordeal and think that universe has you on its bird droppings list.

I lived in an apartment managed by this company and have nothing but good things to say about them:

Also the Bolton House seems like a nice building as well.
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Old 07-31-2012, 11:14 AM
1 posts, read 1,170 times
Reputation: 10
My husband and I along with our two children (ages 5 and 2) are relocating to Maryland from New Jersey. My husbands job is in Baltimore Harbor. Does anyone know any SAFE family friendly (suburban) neighorhoods in Maryland that have buses or trains to Baltimore Harbor. Please let us know
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Old 07-31-2012, 11:31 AM
Location: Baltimore
1,759 posts, read 4,688,893 times
Reputation: 1195
If you don't want to live in the city, there are numerous options along the light rail route that go north and south of the Harbor.
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Old 07-31-2012, 01:14 PM
206 posts, read 423,349 times
Reputation: 131
for the OP-

I would strongly orient you towards the MARC Penn line instead of the Camden line. Trains are much more frequent, reliable, and even a touch quicker from Balt-to-DC despite a bit more mileage. The Camden line is running on diesel instead of electric and seems especially prone to breaking down when temperatures get high. Compare the schedules:

So neighborhood-wise that should point you more towards Mt. Vernon, Bolton Hill, and maybe Charles Village or Reservoir Hill. Pigtown loses a lot of the charm if you aren't looking to walk to Camden Station or get on I-95 to DC quickly. You might decide after a year of renting that Fells or Canton are more your style, but Mt. Vernon is a good place for newcomers to start in the city. A 2BR there under $1000 might be a stretch though.

Worries about a MARC commute? Uh, not for crime. Car break-ins at West Baltimore stop (for cars parked there all day) are occasionally a problem, but nothing around the Penn and Camden stations is dangerous. The best way not to get tired of the train commute is to make sure there aren't unpleasant surprises getting home at night. And like picardlx said, living further away and being dependent on an MTA bus to get back there could create some of those. Make sure it's a desirable walk back home.
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Old 08-01-2012, 12:44 AM
1,083 posts, read 2,032,388 times
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Hey rfixed, we are looking at doing the same thing next summer. We will not be political refugees. Not even sure what you meant when you said "the political climate here getting worse by the day". It doesn't seem all that different than when we moved here in 2000.
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Old 08-09-2012, 09:26 AM
Location: Howard County
6 posts, read 5,044 times
Reputation: 17
There are some really nice pictures of your soon-to-be neighbors in Canton, Fells Point, and Mt. Vernon in this blog:

That Guy's On Heroin

Consider it mandatory reading before even thinking about moving to Baltimore. It (and others like it) didn't exist when I moved to Baltimore. But I wish it had. Fortunately for me I moved into Fells Point as a renter. I was able to leave as soon as my one year lease was up. During that year I learned that Baltimore has more problems than any of the four or five other major US cities I've lived in. Plus I learned that people in Baltimore consider some really awful things normal and acceptable.

Move to Baltimore if you like:

car break-ins
near proximity to abandoned buildings and the things that happen inside
hard drugs everywhere! (1 out of 10 people in Baltimore is a Heroin addict!!! true stat! check it.)
seeing desperately poor people every day
litter everywhere
totally unfit public schools with a small handful of exceptions (everyone goes to Catholic school = $10k a year)
ineffective police, fire, rescue services (mostly not their fault --they're overwhelmed)
obvious government corruption (convicted Mayor Sheila Dixon is just the tip of the iceberg)
constant feeling that danger is in the air
racial tension
gun violence
property crime
the feeling that you can't own anything nice
broken glass, used needles, and spent condoms, and vomit on the sidewalks when you take your kids for a walk
the sense that everyone around you has simply resigned to accepting the horrible conditions in the city

Actually, not everyone has resigned to the situation. Baltimore gets smaller every year! The population has been slowly shrinking for decades. What does this tell you?

Let me add that Pigtown is awash in street drug dealing and is locally famous for the prostitutes who ply their trade on the street corners. There are some good blogs out there about this. Given its easy access to the highway it's an easy stop for people from outside the city who roll into Baltimore in order to by drugs or sex. There are other spots like this on the edge of the city. But Pigtown is one of the most popular. Lots od county guys in work vans cruising around looking for action! Canton and Fells are bar districts. This is great if you are 23 and like to go out every night. But if you're a grown up then living in the middle of the party gets old fast. Mount Vernon is close to some really tough neighborhoods and some of the nightclubs draw a violent element into the Mt. Vernon. Plus there's a fair amount of (mostly tranny) prostitutes who work the area.

I know that people who think of themselves as "city people" move into Baltimore expecting to enjoy it like they would Washington, DC, New York, or even Phili. Baltimore is a much different place than those cities. Please seriously think twice about moving into Baltimore. Baltimore is seriously broken. So are many of the people who live there. Unless you have enough money to totally insulate yourself from the outside world (live in Roland Park with private security and use only private schools...shop in Towson...etc.) then Baltimore is no place to bring your family.

You have been warned. Good luck.
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Old 08-10-2012, 04:13 PM
Location: moving again
4,382 posts, read 15,770,170 times
Reputation: 1649
Originally Posted by misterlou View Post
I can't even begin to tell you have disgusting that website is. To make fun of addiction is honestly appalling and anyone in support of a website as such should evaluate themselves thoroughly. Posting pictures with thumbs up in the air while an addict is collapsed is heartless. Whoever made the website and those submitting the photos should be absolutely ashamed of themselves.
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