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Introduction

Come Rain or Come Shine

Best of Baltimore 2005

Posted 9/21/2005

One of the things we like most about putting together our annual Best of Baltimore issue is that, amid all the screaming deadlines and late nights, we get to step back, take a look at life in the city where we live, and spend a few moments appreciating, and giving appreciation to, what we have. Thinking about the good things, large and small, that make up our daily routines has proven especially poignant this September, given the epic tragedy that has unfolded along our nation’s Gulf Coast. A bad day in Baltimore right now is like winning the lottery compared to the lives of those still dealing with the ruins of New Orleans, Biloxi, Gulfport, and other areas hard hit by Hurricane Katrina.

Such times remind us of the precarious balance that keeps our ordinary lives from descending into chaos and destruction. That balance remains more or less intact in Baltimore, for which we are most grateful, but we also know that many of the same inequities and the same lack of forethought and care and resources that have ripped society apart in New Orleans apply here, and they grind on many of our fellow citizens daily. We find ourselves not only pondering what would happen to our city and its citizens if we were faced with such an overwhelming blow, but we also find ourselves hoping that it won’t take such a blow to inspire us to do more to make life better here in the relative calm.

As much as Baltimoreans have opened our hearts and wallets to those affected by Katrina, we here at City Paper take this opportunity to ask that we all try to preserve that compassionate spirit and renew our efforts to spread it around closer to home. Our entire nation is reeling from the challenge of dealing with a wave of displaced suffering unseen since the Great Depression, but we have our own share of struggle and want right here at home. A few dollars, a few hours of your time, a kindness—these small things can add to the greater good. And the greater good is what we should all have in mind, every day.

 

City Paper’s 2005 Best of Baltimore issue was written by Rebecca Alvania, Meghan Ashlin Rich, John Barry, Laurence Bass, J. Bowers, Scott Carlson, Charles Cohen, Gadi Dechter, Auriane de Rudder, Edward Ericson Jr., R. Darryl Foxworth, Lee Gardner, Michelle Gienow, Violet Glaze, Richard Gorelick, Eric Allen Hatch, Tim Hill, Anne Howard, Jaye Hunnie, Stephen Janis, Brennen Jensen, Kate Leventhal, Laura Lewis Brown, Joe MacLeod, Bret McCabe, Dawn Mercurio, David Morley, Christopher Myers, Benn Ray, Christina Royster-Hemby, Al Shipley, Christopher Skokna, Van Smith, Jefferson Jackson Steele, Erin Sullivan, Julie Sumper, Jason Torres, Eden Unger Bowditch, Wendy Ward, Gabe Wardell, and Jill Yesko. Research assistants Laurence Bass, Auriane de Rudder, R. Darryl Foxworth, Anne Howard, Kate Leventhal, Jennifer Pitzer, Julie Sumper, and Ben Yaster compiled, tallied, and, uh, researched, while interns Jessica Bottalico, Mike Fila, Samantha Gendler, Ayala Miller, Jessie Reeder, and Nyeema Smalls did likewise, for free. John Ellsberry, Michelle Gienow, Sam Holden, Frank Klein, Uli Loskot, Christopher Myers, Michael Northrup, Ken Royster, Jefferson Jackson Steele, and Tony Ware took the photographs, with an assist from the City Paper Digi-Cam. And the foam hand illos and “Hustle and Escrow” game came courtesy M. Wartella.

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