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I spent a most enjoyable couple of hours in the charming company of the shinyredtype and marginalia the other night. The subject of the Great American Roadtrip plan came up, and I mentioned that our first stop was Baltimore. At this they burst out laughing. When they finally calmed down they declared:
"You've got a 50/50 chance of getting shot."
An appraising glance.
"Maybe 60/40. You've got a smart mouth."
Does anyone have anything more to add to this? rahaeli? sarahq? Anyone?


( 15 comments — Leave a comment )
Jan. 25th, 2008 05:48 pm (UTC)
Well, it can be a dangerous city, but it depends where in Baltimore you want to go. Many areas, you're safe as houses. Some areas you might want to steer clear of, if only because there's nothing much of interest there. If you're just driving through on a major road during daylight, I think you should be okay.
Jan. 25th, 2008 06:03 pm (UTC)
Perusing the FBI 2006 crime in the United States data tells me that there were 10,816 violent crimes in Baltimore (pop. 637,556) in 2006, which is 1 for every 59 people. Compare this with 1 for 70 for Washington DC, 1 for 157 for New York City, 1 for 126 for Los Angeles, 1 for 42 for Detroit, 1 in 50 for Orlando. Not that the raw stats can tell you that much, but it would suggest Baltimore is among the more violent metropolitan areas there is.

I don't think this should worry you or stop you going - I would guess that you'll be fine if you don't do anything stupid like wandering round neighbourhoods you don't know at 2am in the morning or mouthing off to people who might have guns. Might be a good idea to take advice on where the bad neighbourhoods are from a Baltimore resident and avoid them.

Jan. 25th, 2008 07:36 pm (UTC)
But what the FBI data doesn't tell you is the demographics of the people involved. The City Paper (our alternative weekly) did some investigative reporting a few years back; something like 91% of violent deaths involved the drug trade in some fashion (buyer, user, dealer, etc).

B'more's certainly not perfect, but it's got a very undeserved bad rap. Despite what the TV tells people, we don't shoot and kill random tourists (at most, we pen 'em up in the Inner Harbor). Sure, there are places I wouldn't go alone after dark unarmed -- but the city police have oh-so-kindly identified them for us by putting up blinking blue lights over street cameras. *g* We live downtown, and sure, west of us it starts getting a little more sketch, but I have never once felt unsafe -- even as a woman walking alone in the middle of the night. I can't say that about a lot of other major metropolii I've visited.
Jan. 25th, 2008 07:40 pm (UTC)
Oh, and Alex -- would you and Jo be interested in going to a baseball game while you're here? There's a home game on Friday night, and that's the perfect time of year to really view the ballpark in all its glory. (It's okay if you don't grok baseball. It's not about the baseball; it's about sitting outside on a nice spring evening and yelling invective at people who don't know what they're doing, and we can tell you exactly who to yell at. *g*)
Jan. 27th, 2008 04:02 pm (UTC)
My first instinct would be to say "Thanks, but I think I'd rather be shot. At least that's quick, and make an interesting anecdote." However, tinyjo likes the idea and, if nothing else, I'm sure I could enjoy not enjoying it with your (plural) leavening prescence.

That said, I'm given to understand that baseball can only be enjoyed while drunk. Is there any chance that we could acquire drinks other than carbonated piss American beer?
Jan. 27th, 2008 07:19 pm (UTC)
Re: Baseball?
They have Guinness on tap at the ballpark :)
Jan. 28th, 2008 10:39 am (UTC)
Hey, I think that sounds cool! I once went to a game in Pittsburg as part of a business trip but no-one who I was with actually knew what was going on, so we didn't really get much out of it. Are foam fingers compulsary?
Jan. 28th, 2008 07:31 pm (UTC)
No, that's football. For baseball, the required equipment is a bottle of beer and a firm conviction that you could do better than the pitcher is doing. (Which, given our pitchers, is not hard.)
Jan. 29th, 2008 09:10 am (UTC)
Illusion of own sporting prowess, check! I'll just substitute the beer for a bottle of g&t and I'm good to go!
Jan. 25th, 2008 11:23 pm (UTC)
Bettering the odds
Keep to the waterfront, with lots of lights, and tourists. That tends to attract the police presence that more-or-less keeps the peace.

I did mention the indoor market didn't I? Definitely fun & tastey! If the season is right, consider some Maryland crabcake or softshell crabs. :-)

Edited at 2008-01-26 12:24 am (UTC)
Jan. 25th, 2008 11:24 pm (UTC)
San Francisco
I am somewhat concerned that I may miss you on your attempted leg to drive to San Francisco from Vegas. Alas, I leave for my AIDS ride 1-7 June, barring any irrecoverable training injuries.

Edited at 2008-01-26 12:22 am (UTC)
Jan. 25th, 2008 11:33 pm (UTC)
$0.50 interviews
Play your cards right, and you may get interviewed on the Baltimore waterfront.


Edited at 2008-01-25 11:34 pm (UTC)
Jan. 25th, 2008 11:50 pm (UTC)
It is often referred to as Bodymore, Murderland.

But I had to visit the place often, for work, and I never had any problem. The same rules apply there as any major American city: keep your head about you, don't develop a meth habit, and don't wear solid gold sneakers.
Jan. 25th, 2008 11:50 pm (UTC)
It is often referred to as Bodymore, Murderland.

But I had to visit the place often, for work, and I never had any problem. The same rules apply there as any major American city: keep your head about you, don't develop a meth habit, and don't wear solid gold sneakers.
Feb. 2nd, 2008 04:50 pm (UTC)
Baltimore is a shithole, and I personally have horrible luck there, but who knows? Just don't leave anything of value visible in your empty car.
( 15 comments — Leave a comment )


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