Been missing "Balti" a bit recently. I know, I'm surprised too...
|September 2011 - Inner Harbor, Baltimore, MD|
It's a bit of an underdog (an afterthought, or D.C.'s shadow). It is home to some of the worst crime, the worst stats, the worst you-can't-even-imagine-it situations for a kid to grow up in.
But there's something about being down at the harbor on a Spring day and smelling that harbor-water breeze as the sunset saturates every color and glint of light from the lapping crests. There's just something about riding the bus or the Charm City Circulator on a lazy weekend afternoon and watching your driver slow down in the middle of the street to call out a "Hey, friend!" out the window to an acquaintance.
It's not a pretentious city.
And it's certainly not one note - from Hampden to Canton, the Hopkins campuses to Fed Hill, Fells Point, Mt. Vernon, and then the blight of West and East Baltimore, you happen upon different people, a different tempo, a different style. But it's all part of Bawlmore. You get comfortable there, wrapped up in a small town feeling, despite its size and population, which outranked D.C. in 2011.
To tell you the truth though, there is a sadness that hangs in the sticky, humid air in the summer and in the wind that fiercely whips at your face and hands in the winter. Or maybe that's just the way I remember it. But it's why I refused to love this city. I've been heartbroken too many times.
I came across a poetic and brutally honest article recently: When You're in Love with a Broken City. It's quite short; definitely worth a read.
See ya next time, Hon.