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moving to baltimore

Old Nov 19th, 2006, 06:34 AM
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moving to baltimore

I live in NYC and am considering a job opportunity in Baltimore. I haven't seen much of the city, but it seemed dead to me when I was there. What are people's opinions of Baltimore? Nice place to live? I don't have to live in a huge city like NYC - lived in DC before. But don't want to live in a place that's too boring or unsafe to live in.
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Old Nov 19th, 2006, 06:45 AM
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You'll find the cost of living obviously significantly lower, but the culture shock (or should I say lack thereof? LOL) will get you. Then again, there really is no place on earth like New York City, is there? I've lived here (also work in the city) all my life and only ever lived in the city itself, briefly, in my early 20s. It's not a safe city and I don't think ever has been. I have always felt safer walking by myself, a woman, on the streets of NYC than anywhere in Baltimore. There are some great parts in Baltimore though, like Federal Hill, Mt. Washington, Fells Point (I'd compare Fells Point to a mini-mini Georgetown), but I've always opted to live south or west of the city (preferably on water). And Maryland has some great things going for it (namely the Maryland blue crab, lol), the shoreline, the mountains in Western Maryland, it has a major international airport, it's only a 3-hr drive from NYC or a 1-hr drive (okay, that depends on traffic) from DC. Our mass transit system is an embarrassment, but that's slowly improving too. And though we have a baseball team that hideously sucks, ha, we do have a great sports complex at Camden Yards if baseball and football are your thing. There are a few good museums, restaurants, and of course there's the Inner Harbor.

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Old Nov 19th, 2006, 01:00 PM
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Just a suggestion:
Rent "The Wire". Very realistic depiction of the real city, stripped of makeup, but gritty & good. ("The Wire" is also the best thing television has ever produced!)
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Old Nov 19th, 2006, 01:02 PM
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<<I haven't seen much of the city, but it seemed dead to me when I was there...>>

What neighborhoods were you in?

I strogly suggest you read through the guides for all the different neighborhoods (and they are VERY different from one another) and come back with more specific questions about those neighborhoods you feel fit your personality.

http://www.baltimoresun.com/entertainment/visitor/
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Old Nov 19th, 2006, 01:15 PM
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I agree w/bardo. Baltimore is not NYC, but it's not Iowa City. (In fact, Iowa City isn't Iowa City!) NYC is a great city, I love it a ton, but New Yorkers have a slight tendency to be as myopic as we San Franciscans!

Baltimore is far from dead. It's a city with a lot of history & a lot of life. Besides, ain't no, place gots better crab cakes!
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Old Nov 20th, 2006, 04:49 PM
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I moved here just a few years ago for my soon to be husband. At first I wasn't all that excited about it - but the city has definitely grown on me.

The city is all about the neighboorhoods. If you can afford it, get a great place somewhere downtown. Canton is great for night life and is the younger yuppie crowd. Federal Hill is also very cool area, but a little more quiet. Fell's Point is mostly bars, but a great place to hang out.

And Hampden is a quirky blue collar neighboorhood - with pretty good shopping.

It ain't New York - but then nothing is. I would give Baltimore a shot, but you have to live here a while to really love it. One thing I've noticed about the people is that they are very proud that they aren't exactly like everyone else and little strange.

Plus it's only a 3-4 hour drive away from NY.
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Old Nov 20th, 2006, 05:31 PM
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I moved to Baltimore City from Montreal in 1999. From minute one, I was plotting ways of getting out of the city; the city seemed so dead on the weekends (where is everybody, I'd wonder) and the city I found so disturbingly divided along racial lines. Public transit could be so horrifically late/overcrowded/
infrequent/not-showing-up(!) that I developed a steely patience that serves me well to this day. I took the train up to Philly a few times on the weekend just to be somewhere a bit more vibrant.

After about a year to two years though, despite all the things that drove me crazy, the city had grown on me. The architecture, the neighborhoods, the accent, the markets... after awhile I found I preferred Baltimore to neighbouring DC, finding Charm City to have more character, to be a bit more "real"(IMO). Baltimore is a unique place.

Baltimore's not known to be all that "safe" and some of my colleagues were mugged. That said, I would walk downtown, in Mount Vernon, Fell's Point, Federal Hill, Charles Village, even at night sometimes.

It'll be a shock for sure coming from NYC. You may end up being a person that never digs the city, but who knows, you might end up falling for the place, foibles and all. You'll never know unless you go. Are you willing to take the risk?
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Old Nov 21st, 2006, 04:14 AM
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Its not NYC thank God! this is just a snobby NYC site. I lived in Baltimore for nearly 2 yrs. and commuted to D.C. for work. During the weekend most of the crowd is at Inner Harbor. I lived 20 blocks from IH. It is not a dangerous city I walked all over the place and was never robbed. I'm sure there are bad and good places in all cities and NYC is way more dangerous than Baltimore (11 million people equals more crime). The bonus also is that its so close to the DE shore (Rehoboth, Dewey) so in summer that would be a fun place to go.
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Old Nov 21st, 2006, 05:14 AM
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Stephanie you are deluding yourself.

CITIES OF 500,000 OR MORE POPULATION: (31 cities)
Safest 10:
1 San Jose, CA
2 El Paso, TX
3 Honolulu, HI
4 Austin, TX
5 San Diego, CA
6 New York, NY
7 San Antonio, TX
8 San Francisco, CA
9 Portland, OR
10 Seattle, WA

Most Dangerous 10:
1 Detroit, MI
2 Washington, DC
3 Baltimore, MD
4 Memphis, TN
5 Dallas, TX
6 Columbus, OH
7 Philadelphia, PA
8 Nashville, TN
9 Milwaukee, WI
10 Houston, TX


http://www.morganquitno.com/cit04pop.htm#CITIES
http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?p...jpbOU&refer=us

Crime (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Baltimore#Crime)
City Crime Rankings (12th Edition) ranks Baltimore second only to Detroit among the most dangerous American cities over 500,000 in population.[1] According to crime statistics there were 269 murders in Baltimore in 2005,[2] giving it the highest murder rate per 100,000 of all U.S. cities of 250,000 or more population. [4] Though this is significantly lower than the record-high 353 murders in 1993, the murder rate in Baltimore is nearly seven times the national rate, six times the rate of New York City, and three times the rate of Los Angeles. In addition, other categories of crime in Baltimore have also been declining, although overall crime rates are still high compared to the national average. The rate of forcible rapes has fallen below the national average in recent years; however, Baltimore still has much higher-than-average rates of aggravated assault, burglary, robbery, and theft[3] and a local news survey, though unscientific, recorded that over 75% of respondents felt that Baltimore City is no safer.[4]
Though the crime situation in Baltimore is considered one of the worst in the nation, city officials have pointed out that most violent crimes, particularly murders, are committed by people who know their victims and who are often associated with the illegal drug trade.[5]
City officials have, however, come under scrutiny from Maryland legislators regarding the veracity of crime statistics reported by the Baltimore City Police Department.[6] For 2003 the FBI identified irregularities in the number of rapes reported, which was confirmed by the Mayor. 2005's murder numbers appear to exhibit discrepancies as well[7] The former Commissioner of Police states upon interview that the administration suppressed corrections of its reported crime.[8] However, many of these charges seem to be, at least partially, politically motivated.[9] Nonetheless, experts indicate that the city's reporting practices should raise eyebrows and call for an independent audit, with which the administration has not cooperated, despite requests from members of City Council and the City's auditor.[10] While racial disparities in arrest and incarceration rates exist in Baltimore, both young white and black men in the city are arrested and incarcerated at relatively high rates. Fifty-two percent of black males in their 20s are either in prison, in jail, or under correctional supervision.[11] Of the roughly 100,000 arrests each year in this city of 635,000, about a quarter do not merit charging and another quarter do not merit prosecution. The ACLU has filed a suit in respect of systematic civil rights abuses by the current administration.[12]
Criminal intimidation has also been reported as a problem in the city.[13] In an infamous case, community activist Angela Dawson and her family were murdered by firebomb in their Baltimore home on October 16, 2002, in retaliation for Dawson's reporting of criminal activity. In a separate incident, another public safety activist, Edna McAbier, was also targeted.[14] Though she survived, she has fled her neighborhood, where she cannot be protected by city police.[15] In 2005, 3 men were sentenced to life in prison for their involvement in the latter case.[16] One of these men had appeared in the infamous video Stop Snitchin', a homemade DVD produced by local drug dealers threatening fellow dealers who failed to adhere to a street based code of ethics and became informants.
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Old Nov 21st, 2006, 06:34 AM
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Hi rv224
I've lived in NYC for many years, but went to school in Baltimore, and also lived there for 8 years. I first lived in Bolton Hill, then had a loft on Eutaw, then out in Hamden, then had 2 adjoined tiny rowhouses in Fell's Point for awhile, Still have friends there.

I'll always have a soft spot for it.
Things have changed somewhat since my time there though. Fell's Point is MUCH quieter in the daytime, altough you can still get a great breakfast and see all your neighbors at Jimmy's. I loved the bars of Fell's Point, where Art students played pool with stevedores from the docks, and all kinds of characters hung out. Lexington Market, where I had my first oyster really went downhill in recent years.

I have also heard there's alot of crime now, not that it was totally safe when I lived there either! Baltimore is a very unique place though, and I will say that I was many things there, but I was never, ever bored, and I'm very glad for the time I spent there.

Baltimore also has a huge ratio of African-Americans, as compared to New York.

There are lots of nice places to live surrounding the inner city, I would think about researching that.

Stephanie is so wrong re NYC, as you probably already know. And LucieV says we are myopic here NY, but that's just as untrue. Just some uninformed idea held by people who don't really know much about the Apple.


I know it's worth a try, hon! (As they say in Balt.)

 
Old Nov 21st, 2006, 06:41 AM
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bellastarr, I should have written some newyorkers tend to be myopic, just as some of us sanfranciscans tend to be! I thought I was clear about my love for both cities, but I guess not...my apologies!
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Old Nov 21st, 2006, 07:50 AM
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Hi LucieV-
Well, if you know us NYers, you know we can't let these things go unchallenged!! Best to you, and do say hello to my sis who lives in SF!!!
 
Old Nov 21st, 2006, 07:59 AM
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Hello rv224!

If the job is in Baltimore you could easily live in Annapolis and surrounding areas! Unless you are specifically looking for city life, in which case I guess Baltimore would be best, I would choose Annapolis hands down!!!

I lived there for many years and really loved it! I felt like I had everything I wanted/needed at my fingertips!

Plus, youre a short commute from Baltimore and near DC as well for great daytrips!!!

Take a weekend (or a few) and drive around/stop in all possible areas to live and see whats the best fit for you-Im sure youll make the right decision!

Good luck with the move!!


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Old Nov 21st, 2006, 08:37 AM
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Baltimore has some upscale neighborhoods- Fells Point, Canton, Federal Hill. But the deterioration of the city from the Johnny Unitas/Mayor D'Alessandro(father of Speaker- presumptive Nancy Pelosi) era of forty or fifty years ago is readily apparent. The old Baltimore, the Baltimore that urban thinkers like Jane Jacobs or James Howard Kunstler would approve, the Baltimore of many ethnicities and clean steps leading up to row houses, the Baltimore of a vibrant bar on every corner and a vibrant Catholic Church in every neighborhood, the Baltimore of H.L. Mencken, is dead.

Most of my visits to Baltimore these days center on my oldest son's need for medical care at Johns Hopkins Hospital. Driving through the neighborhoods one is struck by the aimless loitering of many of the men in the daytime, many drinking from brown paper bags disguising their alcoholic beverage of choice. Violent crime not only is high in Baltimore, it has reached proportions that has made it so banal that it has numbed people's sensibilities. Baltimore is a dysfunctional city that just happens to have two state-of-the-art sports stadiums, a few liveable neighborhoods, the greatest hospital in the galaxy, a tourist facade called Harbourplace, and Fort McHenry.

Most of Baltimore's suburbs are OK but some of the ones closest to the city share many of Baltimore's dysfunctions. Friends of mine who grew up in Essex in the eastern suburbs tell me of that town's rapid decline. Worth considering might be Anne Arundel County to the south of Baltimore. Anne Arundel puts you in striking distance of Baltimore, Washington, Annapolis and Maryland's Eastern Shore.

By the way, the best Maryland crab cakes are made east of the Chesapeake Bay Bridge.
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Old Nov 21st, 2006, 09:08 AM
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bellastarr, I know. 'sall good! ;-)
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Old Nov 21st, 2006, 10:17 AM
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There are many suburbs of Baltimore that are very safe--Towson, Pikesville, Whitemarsh, Perry Hall, Canton, Fells Point, Mount Washington. You could even live in Bel Air (very Mayberry, RFD) and commute.

Do not live in Essex, Dundalk, or Glen Burnie.

I taught high school English in Baltimore for one year. My kids were BAD/CRIMINAL, but I loved them anyway.

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Old Nov 21st, 2006, 10:20 AM
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marginal, have you seen this season's The Wire? One of its main themes/subjects is the Baltimore school system. I've got a feeling it'd be very familiar to you...
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Old Nov 21st, 2006, 10:42 AM
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George W-
So true- To get real crabcakes you sort of need to go to the Eastern Shore, IMO!
 
Old Nov 21st, 2006, 12:01 PM
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If you live in NYC, you aren't going to be happy living in the suburbs or, worse yet, Annapolis. The commute into the city is reason enough to avoid these far-flung places.

As others have said, Baltimore has its challenges. But you will be able to afford a better neighborhood than you likely have in NYC just because it's so cheap to live there that you can avoid many of the problems.

I agree with those who suggest Mt. Vernon or Federal Hill. If mass transit is important, look for lines near the light-rail system and realize the subway isn't very useful.
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Old Nov 21st, 2006, 12:33 PM
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Just a clarification for rv224:

The commute, in rush hour traffic, from Annapolis to Baltimore was never more than twenty five minutes-I drove it all the time, hee hee! Maybe I just got lucky every day!?



Im not an internet tough guy; please understand that I post this clarification solely for the purpose of providing helpful information based on my own experiences-not at all for the purpose of directly opposing what Mike T has said-even though I realize it does…

Have a great Thanksgiving all!


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