So this week I thought I would go back to talking to you guys about my impressions or my take on what Baltimore is. I have seen videos on how Baltimore is such a great place and I have heard people talk about how much they love Baltimore or how is a great place to live.
Baltimore has a lot to offer don't get me wrong, it does. I have just been around a few people lately who have tried to sell me, the native baltimorean on how great a city it is. (Like selling milk to a cow or eggs to a hen!)
For some folk their vision of Baltimore comes from what they are around or word of mouth from others. For some the only bad or downside to Baltimore is what they have seen on TV (The Wire, it was a great show by the way) Further still Baltimore has a deep divide of social status in it. For some they see Baltimore as only confined to the downtown area. Venturing outside of downtown Baltimore takes you to some other worldly city that "money" has forgotten. There are blocks of rowhomes, where every house is boarded up save for one or two. Yet there are so many homeless people or people looking for places to live in the city. You venture downtown and you are greeted with new condos and lofts going up and opening up in old buildings. While still outside of downtown Baltimore things are in need of renovation and construction.
Getting back visions of the great "state" of Baltimore, Baltimore like most urban cities in America is plagued with crime. Sometimes walking through different neighborhoods, I think to myself if your aren't from Baltimore and decide to move here where would you move to. There are a numerous areas where I feel that if you aren't from here you should or would not definitely move to. Not saying that those neighborhoods are that bad but their " ne sais quois" is more suited for native baltimoreans. I actually know people who don't venture out of west Baltimore to go into east Baltimore and vice versa. Not necessarily for fear but because of not knowing and not being from that side of town. But those people will venture downtown. For them going downtown I assume would be the equivalent of baby boomers putting on their "Sunday's best" and going to Sears Roebuck back in the'50s and '60s. It's not a bad thing...its a good thing but I am still amazed by that.
I used to watch the Wire and think that they over exaggerated things. I mean there are Chrises' and Snoops in a lot of cities. Every city has it's share of Avon and Stringer Bell. So some where in my mind I had blocked out just how bad the "state of Baltimore" outside of downtown could get. Had it been my own naïveté denying me the common sense that I have inside to know that there were plenty of truths in the Wire? Maybe. Crime had been on the steady decline in Baltimore the last few years but recently it has seemed to spike. A few days ago, some kids were sitting on their porch watching the NBA playoffs when someone came around a corner and opened up fire hitting them. Tragic. Back in the day my friends and I would have no fear of enjoying time outside. Playing football and baseball in the streets. Nowadays the urban city can be almost as harrowing as a third world country. My Baltimore is filled with brazen people who have a blatant disregard for human life. My Baltimore is one, where the young generation don't see past the confines of Baltimore. My Baltimore is one that is more known for what you see on the 11 o'clock news rather than what comes out of it. Now don't get me wrong, I am not trying to badmouth my city. I love Baltimore. I am just portraying My Baltimore how its portrayed by it's inhabitants in the cardinal directions outside of downtown Baltimore. Wherever I go from Chicago to The Carolinas to NY, I am proud to say I am from Baltimore. One of the first things I do when I move away from here will be to get Baltimore tattooed on myself. My Baltimore has always been and will always be apart of what shaped me as a man. The last few days I have been really thinking about my time in Baltimore. In the past I have commented about how I feel my time here and how I feel my time here is over. The older and older I get the more it feels that it holds true. As a Son of Baltimore and a proud Baltimorean, I just feel this chapter of my life has begun it's descent. Time to move on to bigger and better things. People tell me that when I leave that I am going to want to come back. I have also had friends tell me that I don't really want to leave. As a self-professed lone wolf I have always felt that I was always the friend...the brother...the son who left. My heart is in Baltimore but my mind has always dreamed of worlds outside of the great "state of Baltimore."
Sorry for the long and drawn out ramble but once I started typing more thoughts kept popping into my head. I trust that my post this week is not too incoherent and that you guys enjoyed my musings. Until next week.
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