It’s a sad fact that when people disappear from the internet; their blogs, Facebook, email inbox, etc., I have a tendency to worry. In reality, they’re probably too busy living life, which is the case for me recently. Since coming home from France I’ve made visits up half the Eastern seaboard. I spent a week visiting across Kentucky. I started a summer job as a summer camp art teacher. And I’ve had eyes wide open to the good, bad and the ugly I never noticed before about my hometown and region.
Consider it a romantic comedy story arc: I have three months to try and learn what I can about a city that birthed me, Baltimore, and it has one summer to make me fall in love with it.
Most people think Baltimore and think “The Wire” and crabs. Yes, “The Wire” is kind of true, and it is the (marketing) Summer of Baytriotism. But the richness of the characters is more important than the number of drug-related murders–while I might not know the city’s best bars, I do know that the people who live there are generally honest, hardworking, down-to-earth and friendly. It’s an area with personality.
I researched the farms and markets. I’ve got area checklists, like these amazing maps with Baltimore’s more than 200 neighborhoods, including quite a few I’ve never heard of. What’s “Violetville”? I’m volunteering for Artscape and the Baltimore Office of Promotion of the Arts. And I’m hoping my new coworkers will be glad to tear up some of the places I’ve pulled off the beer special finder.
And while going to the inner harbor is nothing new for me, it was nice to be up there last weekend for Sailabration 2012 with the tall ships, bands, and some beautiful east coast weather. A lot has changed in the last five years, but a lot feels like it’s never changed at all.
Tips always, always welcome.
Even when you might have been the tourist, and I’ve been the local.