Remember Baltimore

I wrote this in 2009 after visiting my friend Rosita in Baltimore. I love that city and am praying for the shalom the total well-being of charm city this week. I would write this post differently today, but regardless, here is what I wrote/thought in 2009.

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Vacation – Part One Baltimore
Baltimore was relaxing. I stayed with my friend Rosita, who is perhaps the kindest soul that you’ll ever meet and the best hostess. She showed me fun neighborhoods, fed me good food, let me swim in her pool and watch cable tv. I needed some downtime. I went to an art museum, ate crab cakes and sushi, toured a neo-classical bassilica, wrote in my journal, drank coffee, it was slow and peaceful and pretty much what was needed for the start of my time away.

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This is from the Basillica in Baltimore, it's done in a Neo-Classical style, like the Capitol and White house, which is kinda cool. This was actually the slave balcony, which struck me. I haven't ever considered the Catholic church's role in slavery but I guess on the Mason Dixon line at the turn of the 19th century this is an issue.

One of the most startling things about Baltimore is the homicide rate, and how it almost seems to be celebrated. For instance, one of the famous “tourist” destinations is the building where “Homicide Life on the Street” was filmed. And have you seen “The Wire”? Wow!
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The first two nights that I was in Baltimore the lead story on the evening news was that Baltimore was now the city in the U.S. with the highest homicide rate. The third night, they reported that Detroit had reported their numbers incorrectly, so actually, Detroit was number one, making Baltimore number two.

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Someone, I’m guessing that it was Brian, Allison’s old boss, once told her that each city has a sin that grips it. An injustice that pervades the culture and the landscape of that city. Whether rage, or greed, or arrogance, or sloth. If that’s true, what would Minneapolis’ biggest stronghold be? St. Paul’s? Duluth’s?

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