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Best Reason to Live Here

It's cheap

Posted 9/15/1999

Yeah, we know all about "charm," John Waters' provincial irony, the "intimacy" of rowhouses, and the delight one finds in mangling and eating a certain Old Bay-encrusted crustacean. All serve Baltimoreans' interests well; each has been touted a few million times too often when The City That Shrinks' dwindling good points are ticked off. For us, "livability" centers on something even more basic: It's the economy, stupid--or, more precisely, it's the relatively few dollars city residents need to find a decent home, a bag or two of groceries, and cheap, nontoxic restaurants. Think we're kidding? Just look at Seattle, San Francisco or New York, where $1,000 a month--the price of a floor of spacious splendor in Bolton Hill--gets you a nicely appointed closet. Even in similarly sized burgs such as Minneapolis/St. Paul and Washington, D.C., it's common to get gouged just to put a freakin' roof over your head. No, we'll take Baltimore, where strongly built homes in some solid neighborhoods routinely sell for five figures, and where a good ethnic lunch can be had for $4 to $6 (unless you're splurging). Of course, living here brings the attendant, er, "atmosphere"--the sounds of gunshots and breaking glass, high car-insurance rates, troubled schools. Which points up the one caveat to our selection: In this town, you often get what you pay for.

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Other Awards for Best Reason to Live Here:

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

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

One degree of separation, 9/17/1997

The architecture, 9/18/1996

All Awards for It''s cheap:

Best Reason to Live Here, 9/18/2002

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