intrigued

baltimore

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Hey all,

Does anybody have any opinions to share about baltimore? My girl friend and I are thinking of moving there late next year. We both graduate in may and I can easily get another senior paralegal or project manager job in DC. We both like the idea of Baltimore because it is so much cheaper then the greater NYC area where we live now even though we would both be working in DC and we would be getting paid roughly equal to NY wages.

From what I've gathered Baltimore has parts you wouldn't want to be caught dead in but has great parts along the river like Ferderal hill. We're both suckers for row houses and we've been to some of the good areas and really like the night life, a little more arty with lots of small bands playing when compared to NY. We don't have a ton of savings but we were thinking of moving there to rent for a year or two while we save. Given the median cost of a house being only 150000 and some of the nicer ones in the area we are looking at coming in at only 250000 we could save a 25 percent downpayment for something within two year and then buy it at the start of our third if we liked the area and had a good time during our first two years. If not we can always move back to the NYC area and have our savings.

So what do you all think of Baltimore?

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Baltimore is definitely a tough city. It has nicer parts, but while cheaper than DC, it's still not really a bargain. It's also not as close to DC as you would think given the distance on a map (the traffic is impenetrable on weekdays). That said, Baltimore is definitely a city in its own right and has plenty to do. BWI is the home of the discount carrier, and the city has a cruise terminal. As long as you're sure you can afford whatever you end up buying, and also that it's not in a rough neighborhood, Baltimore is a fine destination.

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When I went to school there a few decades ago, it was worse, IMO.

I came home to my apartment one night and there was a man wedged under a parked car. I called 911 and within minutes about 7 cruisers responded. Guy has escaped from prison- they were looking for his ass alright. This was in the northern section of the city. I used to walk around a lot, but I developed a 'crazy man' walk that I hoped would make me less approachable.

There was the coolest original porcelin-paneled White Castle there- no dining room, just a walk-up window. Must've been from the '40s. I hope it got preserved, but I never did find out what happened to it.

Went back around '07 and it was much nicer overall, most of the rack-n-ruin has been bulldozed... and that time we hung around the harbor / Federal Hill area. That area seems nice from a cursory observation. Not at all like the creepy dark vibes I used to get in Bolton Hill.

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balthazar, Inner Harbor underwent an incredible transformation in the 80s. I was there on Sunday night and had a lovely dinner on the water. However, once you get a few blocks north of Hopkins (medical campus), you're in some serious trouble.

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About all I know of Baltimore is from watching The Wire on HBO. Lots of poverty, crime, corruption. :)

But seriously, I was there for a few days in 1997 for a conference at a hotel in the Inner Harbor...took a harbor dinner cruise, went to some bars in Fell's Point. Seemed like some pretty nice areas mixed in w/ sketchy areas, not unlike Cleveland in the '90s that I was pretty familiar with.

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balthazar, Inner Harbor underwent an incredible transformation in the 80s. I was there on Sunday night and had a lovely dinner on the water. However, once you get a few blocks north of Hopkins (medical campus), you're in some serious trouble.

Inner Harbor was always nice the many many times I was there. My sons got a kick out of the street performers there we saw in '07.

But I remember the 'red light' district a number of blocks north of the IH- that's been long gone, too.

I wonder how it truly stacks up: 1990 vs today in the 'serious trouble areas'.

It felt creepy to me (I'm NOT a city person), but I never had any trouble in 3 years, and I wandered all over.

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Traffic around here is terrible. We have consistently fallen behind only Los Angeles and San Francisco (I think we're actually only second to LA now) in terms of traffic congestion. So if you're gonna be working in DC or the surrounding suburbs (especially Virginia), don't move to Baltimore. You will hate yourself everyday you're sitting on 95, 295, 29 or 1.

That said, I like Baltimore. It has its bad parts, but so does every other city on the east coast. The Inner Harbor and Downtown are very nice. I've lived here all my life and I never get tired of going to the National Aquarium and the Maryland Science Center always has interesting exhibits. BWI is the only airport you'll ever need, and you can catch a Metrobus from there that will take you to Greenbelt and you can take Metro into DC from there. Some of the best hospitals around are here, as well as urban campuses of the University System of Maryland. The public primary schools aren't the best, though.

The better neighborhoods are around the Inner Harbor and Downtown, but there are enclaves in other parts of the city, like Patterson Park in the east, Homeland, Roland Park, Cold Spring and Pimlico in the north. The better neighborhoods are cheaper than their equivalents in DC.

That said, I highly recommend moving closer to DC if that's where you'll be spending the workday.

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The crime and social unrest is pretty bad. I'd look elsewhere, honestly. I've two friends who have attended Johns Hopkins University, and the stories they've told are pretty shocking, even for me in the South Central "ghetto" surrounding USC.

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