Baltimore and Baltimore-A Tale of Two Cities
April 12, 2016 3:50 AM   Subscribe

“That’s the thing, though,” he continues. “All that is surrounded by vacant lots, boarded-up homes, and that junkyard—the scrap metal and salvage place where there’s always a line of people hauling stuff in. Down the street from Jubilee Arts, where those little girls do ballet in their pink leotards, I saw a metal coffin once being scrapped for cash.” Nell pauses. “But that’s the way Baltimore has always been",he says. “It’s what a good friend of mine who is no longer around used to say: ‘In Baltimore, beauty and chaos live side by side.’”
posted by josher71 (6 comments total) 17 users marked this as a favorite
I've only been to Baltimore once, well before Freddie Gray, and it was obvious then that it was a city that needed saving. And also that it would have to save itself.

One thing that's really heartening is that (from my distant perspective) Freddie Gray seems to have been something of a turning point. I read a really good piece on 538 about DeRay McKesson's mayoral bid, which makes it clear that there are plenty of Baltimoreans who are willing to fight long and hard for the city and who believe that it not only can be saved, but is worth saving.
posted by 256 at 7:11 AM on April 12, 2016

Encouraging everybody concerned about Baltimore to read this.

The Third Rail - Places Journal
posted by newdaddy at 7:21 AM on April 12, 2016 [1 favorite]

I'm voting for Christopher Ervin for City Council.
posted by Faint of Butt at 8:59 AM on April 12, 2016

There's some irony in this being tied as the least popular thread by comments today. Nobody wants to talk about it. It's just too hard and depressing.
posted by leotrotsky at 10:22 AM on April 12, 2016

Baltimore is a heartbreaker. There's so much to love, but such crushing segregation and poverty. There are amazing pockets of resistance and hope, but such huge and complex issues to confront.

There's a new radio program and podcast about Baltimore, The Rise of Charm City, that's done a few episodes relevant to this article - their first was a great one on the Shake and Bake, and they did one on the Afro, and one of their latest was on the Mayor's office, which I wish had gotten into a bit more depth on the strong-mayor system and it's implications for the city.
posted by EvaDestruction at 10:47 AM on April 12, 2016 [4 favorites]

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