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Thread: Is Baltimore Screwed?
08-27-2007 10:33 AM #1
Is Baltimore Screwed?
Why or why not? You have 45 minutes to complete this essay. When you're finished, hand your blue books to the TA and exit in an orderly fashion.
Seriously, I'm curious to know what people think about this. I know a lot of people on this board live in the Baltimore suburbs or in fairly wealthy areas of town.
I don't. I'm close to Hampden and Charles Village - both stable areas - but my actual neighborhood of Remington is still a fairly rough place, although not nearly as bad as many other parts of the City.
In 1950, Baltimore City was the sixth-largest city in the country. From Wikipedia:
Baltimore's population peaked at 949,708 in the 1950 Census, which ranked it as the sixth-largest city in the country, behind Detroit, and ahead of Cleveland. For the next five decades, the city's population declined while its suburbs grew dramatically, bottoming out in 2000 at 636,251. In the 21st century, the city's population has stabilized and is again rising, mostly due to revitalization efforts in many city neighborhoods. The mid-July 2004 Census estimate was 641,943.
I believe that the single greatest impetus for the middle- and upper-class exodus was the MLK riots of 1968. Quite understandably, blacks were fed up with the tragic shortcomings of the Civil Rights movement, and equally understandably, the ownership class was scared of further property loss, and fled to where things were safer.
The problem, IMO, is that we as a region have never really aired our differences to each other. The whites are entrenched in their view of blacks as uneducated thugs, and blacks are entrenched in their view of whites as haughty racists. Just reading the local politics board on BaltimoreSun.com has convinced me that we need a Truth & Reconciliation Commission for Baltimore, a la South Africa. There's so much mutual hatred and mistrust.
I'm not stating this as eloquently as I might - it's still early. But here's my basic question: Does anyone think that Baltimore will once again be the economic center of the region? Will the middle- and upper-classes return to the City and revitalize it? Will captains of industry create jobs for the unemployed?
Are we, as a region, simply writing off the poor of East and West Baltimore? Have we decided that those people have no benefit to society whatsoever?
Will we ever become one metro area again? Or will future generations continue abandoning the City and building up Hunt Valley, Towson, Columbia, Owings Mills and Bel Air?
08-27-2007 10:37 AM #2
To put it another way...
To people who don't live in Baltimore: What would need to happen for you to move back? And how could those changes be made to happen?
08-27-2007 11:09 AM #3
08-27-2007 11:12 AM #4
08-27-2007 11:15 AM #5
08-27-2007 11:15 AM #6
I'd like to add, by the way, that I don't mean for this to be a flame war at all. I'm not trying to vilify anyone for where they choose to live and what they do with their time. I'm really just looking for honest answers and ideas.
08-27-2007 11:32 AM #7
Without getting too specific about your income or the value of your home, look at these stats:
('HOOD) (2006 avg. home sale price) (2006 median) (units sold)
Canton || 309,860 || 279,000 || 488 ( )
Fells Point || 343,042 || 275,000 || 67
Federal Hill || 390,327 || 334,000 || 95
Mt. Vernon || 311,855 || 247,950 || 22
Mt. Washington || 339,053 || 354,250 || 66
Charles Village || 284,187 || 293,000 || 75
Hampden || 196,612 || 199,000 || 207 (!)
Last edited by rolliefingers; 08-27-2007 at 11:34 AM.
08-27-2007 11:58 AM #8
08-27-2007 12:02 PM #9Plus Member Since 04/04
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- Sep 2003
08-27-2007 12:08 PM #10Plus member since 11/06 All-Star
- Join Date
- Dec 2003
- Beaverton, OR
I haven't lived in Baltimore since 2003 but I read The Sun online just about everyday. They make it appear as if the crime has gotten worse and I didn't think that was possible. Also, are the local politics still goofy?
I moved to Portland, OR in 2003. Let me tell you that it is a different world out here. While I still love Baltimore and miss it a great deal sometimes, I'm very appreciative of the things I have now, the things I don't have to worry about, and the west coast lifestyle that I can now enjoy.
People, attitudes, lifestyles are different everywhere you go, that's for sure.
08-27-2007 12:10 PM #11
08-27-2007 12:14 PM #12
I would never live in the city.
Hardly any parking, crime, property taxes are high, not a good place for dogs...
I mean it just doesn't match up well with what I am trying to do.
08-27-2007 12:20 PM #13Plus member since 11/06 All-Star
- Join Date
- Dec 2003
- Beaverton, OR
There was a time when I had a good job offer to come back and we decided against it. We looked at some houses downtown where its overpriced, small and get no parking, yet the price was ~$500k. Also, the property taxes are like $6k/yr and for what? Blue ribbon schools, safe streets, great schools? It was either that or take a 40 minute commute each way from Carroll County.
08-27-2007 12:39 PM #14
It seems like there are two main camps of anti-Baltimore people:
1.) People who just have no desire to live in a city, period; they want a lawn, 2-car garage and picket fence
2.) People who would live in a city, if it were safe with good schools.
The other thing I'm hearing here is parking. Would people use public transit if it were accessible, fast, clean and safe? Or are cars a permanent fixture in everyone's life? What if there were a service like Zipcar available (there already is, near JHU), where you could get a car for a few hours, do what you need to do, then return it?
08-27-2007 12:40 PM #15