Shiny Metal Tiger

Experiences in Baltimore, MD

Westside

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This weekend my dad came to visit, since he had business in New York. Friday night was a standard evening full of good times: First, dinner at Bertha’s Mussels (Eat Bertha’s Mussels!). They have fantastic mussels with a variety of sauces, and probably the best crabcakes I’ve tried. Then on to Birds of a Feather, a lovely local scotch whiskey bar. Come closing time proceed to Carducci’s, a new bar just down the street from us, featuring 1$ Natty Bohs (hm, you don’t know what Natty Bohs are. Stay tuned for future blog post). Made lots of new friends, including the bartender Chris who claims to make the best Long Islands in town, and to be a great kisser… naturally, as the evening progresses we invite our new friends back to the rooftop deck for more drinks, singalong blues guitar and other escapades.

All of this is really just a prelude for the point of the post, which is imminent. On Saturday, we had a nice brunch down by the harbor, and checked out some of the quirky stores in Fell’s Point. But after all these nice things, I felt obligated to show some of the less appealing but far more common parts of Baltimore. So we took a ride to the West side, with doors locked. Here’s some of what we saw:

You don't really want to stop the car to take pictures

Not what it used to be

Once you get out to what I imagine used to be nice suburban neighborhoods, you see some really great buildings, fallen completely into disrepair. It’s pretty odd. And of course there’s little incentive for any investors to improve the area, so the decline continue. You see lots of rubble where a building has collapsed and nobody has bothered to reconstruct, and countless boarded up houses.

Nobody home...

There area 637,455 people in Baltimore City, and 239 homicides per year.  That’s six times as many murders per capita as New York City, or three times more than LA. 0.0375% of the population murdered yearly; at first it sounds like a really small number, and compared to say Mexico, it probably is. But when you think about it, that’s roughly one in 3000 people living in the city, murdered. Every year. So live there for 30 years, and you have a 1% chance of getting shot.

Well, obviously not, because the crime isn’t spread evenly. But it’s something to keep in mind; while the areas of Bmore I frequent are honestly fantastic, most of the city is pretty much a slum. Don’t go west, young man, and grow up with the country!

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Written by Martin

2010/03/23 at 19:26

Posted in Places, Uncategorized

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