Friday, August 22, 2014

So you're leaving Baltimore.

I’ve wanted to officially retire this little blog for some time now. I fell out of the blogging habit after my Neighbor Incident of 2013™, then I moved, and then I started volunteering for this amazing group, Force. My blog time turned into volunteer time, and I have zero regrets. Then, this past June I accepted a job in DC and made the official move down in August. It all feels shockingly reminiscent to 2011 when I had just moved to Baltimore and abhorred it because it was anything but little Roanoke, VA with mountains galore.
Baltimore: It'll Charm Your Pants Off
DC is, it’s true, anything but Baltimore, MD. All those stupid lists and battles that have gone back and forth over the past year or so about who is better carry some truths to them. By “truths” I of course mean “gross generalizations and regional stereotypes,” but that’s neither here nor there.  Yes, DC has politics, Big Historical Events and maddeningly high rent. Yes, Baltimore has an annual parade where kinetic sculptures are required to have a sock monkey affixed to them, along with an unbearably high murder rate and a great combination of city/small town feel. I’ve spent my first few weeks waxing poetic over Charm City – its people, its events, the way it made me realize that I went from hating it to adoring it much like a middle school crush fully realized.

Thank you, Baltimore, for three unbelievable years. Thank you for introducing me to wonderful people, for giving me a chance to write more, connecting me to groups doing powerful work. Thanks for introducing me to a great guy, one who truly is a keeper! Thanks for bringing Bubba out of his shell, for the runs around the Hopkins campus and up and down the Jones Falls trail. Thanks for Mondo Baltimore’s terrible movies each month, for Single Carrot Theater’s masterful shows, for Charmington’s lattes and Sweet 27’s cupcakes. Thanks for the number 3, 11 and 61 buses that could all get me home from downtown. Thanks for never kicking me off of the Hopkins shuttle. Thanks for Bocce in Fed Hill Park, for rock climbing out in Timonium, for O’s games, The Book Thing, happy hours at Peter’s Pourhouse, First Fridays, WTMD, WYPR, the Monument Lighting each December and for each and every plate of drunken noodles at Stang of Siam (and, this goes without saying, every bowl of pho from Mekong Delta). Thank you for the halal cart in front of the courthouse, and thanks for the $20 that day I came in for jury duty and never had to sit on a jury. Thanks for winning a Superbowl while I lived there!

But really. The people, Baltimore, the people. They are amazing and you better take damn good care of them, you hear?

DC will grow on me eventually, I’m sure. The lack of bad movie nights saddens me, as does the hour plus trek out the climbing gym. My initial impression is really just that everyone is competitive and everything is expensive. DC, I’m begging to be proven wrong here, so please help me out here!

I am no longer new to Baltimore. If you are, congratulations! You are luckier than you could ever have imagined. My biggest recommendation to you is to go out there and get involved. Baltimore has so much, so much, to choose from that you really have no excuse. Club sports, groups that meet at bars just to play board games, people that meet at bars just to play drinking games while watching atrocious movies, Bike Party, homebrews, volunteer gigs, stand-up shows, art shows, a festival purely for books, an amazing music scene and so much more. Go get out there, get involved, soak it up and don’t miss a minute. Who knows how long you’ll be lucky enough to call Baltimore home; don’t ever take the city for granted.