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Best Reason to Live Here

The Eternal Return

Posted 9/17/2008

A local barstool truism that you probably never want to hear again: Anyone with the temerity to leave Baltimore invariably finds his or her way back. You may find the idea of Baltimore as an inescapable black hole a little stifling; it certainly makes it easier to paint the city as a place where people wash up again with tails tucked after their ambition runs out. But you can also look at the eternal return as a sign that, despite being a frontier space for urban blight, Charm City remains a peculiarly hospitable place, one where it's easy to quickly put down the kind of roots that can survive extended periods away. The fact that the decision to move away becomes more difficult the longer you stay here is one of the better signs that Baltimore's economic/cultural/communal pros really do outweigh its well-advertised cons. And if lifers and transplants that make the jump so often choose to return, surely it shows these prodigals knew where "home" was all along, that Baltimore instills a sense of community even in self-professed nomads. True, if you come back, you will have to suffer a few months of bemused acquaintances asking "didn't you move?" and cockeyed looks from suspicious permanent residents. But hell, if you've lived in Baltimore, you've lived through worse than that.

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Other Awards for Best Reason to Live Here:

You're already prepared for the collapse of society, 9/16/2009

Crime, 9/19/2007

To keep it from being taken over, 9/20/2006

We Can’t Wait To See What Happens Next, 9/21/2005

Because of What We’re Not, 9/22/2004

Baltimore Needs You, 9/17/2003

It's Cheap, 9/18/2002

We're So Cool, 9/19/2001

Neighborhoods, 9/13/2000

It's cheap, 9/15/1999

One degree of separation, 9/17/1997

The architecture, 9/18/1996

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