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Baltimore Living Winners

Best Reason to Live Here

You're already prepared for the collapse of society

Michelle Gienow

Posted 9/16/2009

If you've been around Baltimore for a while, you were probably a little freaked out five years ago or when property values started skyrocketing, new buildings started flying up, and decrepit old buildings morphed into luxury lofts seemingly overnight. After all, we like nice things, but we're not used to a bunch of them all at once. It just didn't seem real. And it turns out it wasn't.

And now, we're facing the worst thing to befall this nation and its citizens since the Sept. 11 attacks. Worst of all, this time we did it to ourselves. So now that the economy's tanked, things are tough all over. But you know what? Things have always been tough here, even at the height of townhomes-starting-from-the-300s mania. So now that the '00s gravy train has ground to a halt, the good news is that Baltimoreans are used to doing without gravy. If things are gonna get all Mad Max from here, well, welcome to the Thunderdome.

After all, plenty of Baltimoreans are used to making do with a house they can't unload, to piecing together an assortment of small jobs into a living, to eating low on the hog, to looking out for each other and watching out for trouble, to finding their entertainment and their reason to go on where they can.

As hard and heartbreaking as the months to come will be for many, Baltimoreans aren't hothouse flowers. A row of vacant storefronts doesn't freak us out. Crime's already horrific here and has been for years (we're maybe a little too used to that). Our favorite hometown delicacy is steamed bottom feeders. Our favorite summer treat is shaved water ice with a squirt of cheap syrup. We don't need much, and that seems like a good way to be for a bit.

This isn't a pep talk, it's just the facts. If there's a way to survive and thrive in the current climate, we'll find it. After all, we made it this far.

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Other Awards for Best Reason to Live Here:

The Eternal Return, 9/17/2008

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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