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Best Reason to Live Here

One degree of separation

Posted 9/17/1997

It never fails. We make our once-yearly expedition to Security Square Mall and run into our grandparents. Walking into the Safeway, we bump into a person who happens to be good friends with our mother. During an interview, it turns out the subject of an article is dating one of our best friends. Eerie? Undoubtedly. Rare? Not in Mobtown.

Even in the most remote places, one doesn't have to probe too deeply to find a connection with another person-as the theory goes, there are six degrees of separation between every human being and Kevin Bacon. But Baltimoreans push that theory to the extreme. Here, there seems to be only one degree of separation-it's commonplace to discover that the person to whom you're speaking went to the same high school you did, or dated the same girl, or shares the same dentist.

At times, these ties can prove a bit knotty. God forbid if a potential romantic partner turns out to be a heretofore unknown relation. You may laugh (or wince), but it has happened, and right here in the very small world we call Baltimore. Usually, though, the discovery of close ties is a blessing-that single degree can lead to a hug, an offer of assistance, or best of all, a lifelong friendship. And there's nothing grander 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

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

The architecture, 9/18/1996

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