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Baltimore Living

Best Reason to Live Here


Posted 9/13/2000

There are plenty of cities that are undoubtedly more livable than ours--cities with cleaner streets, better trash collection, lower crime, quality schools. But most would be hard-pressed to compete with Baltimore in terms of the places in which people actually live, or rather, make their lives--their neighborhoods. Some burgs, like our neighbor to the immediate south, don't even have them--not in the real sense of the word anyway--and in those that do, neighborhoods are typically chopped up and cordoned off, separating the stately from the struggling, the rich from the poor. We can hardly claim Baltimore has none of this; just look at Greenmount Avenue, a veritable Berlin Wall between bedraggled Govans and tony Guilford. But de facto borders aside, there's a stubbornness to neighborhoods here that has them bumping into each other every day--the same stubbornness that, rooted in time and tradition, has allowed them to collectively endure decades of urban exodus and rampant crime, and muster more festivals with sno-balls and sticky-handed kids in a summer than home O's games. Baltimore's neighborhoods are what, for good or ill, keep many folks from leaving, and lately some are even drawing people in. They're how Baltimoreans define themselves, and their cluttered alleys and towering churches, corner bars and cranky gossips are the stuff of day-in and day-out Mobtown living. They are, in short, the environs where we dwell, which in turn makes for a pretty good reason to live here.

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