I love the BMA. It's a free museum with a great restaurant, cool exhibits, a nice park across the street. Nearby is The Book Thing, a free book store. Also another (non-free) book & record store, Normal's. And another, Urban Reads. And another bookstore/coffee shop, Bird in Hand. And a farmer's market. And a vegan restaurant. And the quirkiest diner ever, Papermoon. And a small rock venue. And a worker-owned co-op coffeeshop that President Obama visited. All in a four block radius.
Dang, I miss Baltimore.
In fact, I think there's a lot to like about the city right off the bat and that many people are drawn to it without feeling like they're being forced to live there.
I don't know, maybe we can start with the positive image of the city rather than having a base assumption that it's some kind of hellscape. Doesn't mean we should ignore the negatives, just that the negatives don't need to precede the rest. I don't hear NYC residents say "New York...it isn't all rats and homeless people!"
Likewise, I’ve never stepped foot into Baltimore, but I’ve watched The Wire so…
My grandparents came from Baltimore and I spent some time there with cousins. My grandpa owned a bar in West Baltimore during segregation. He was Russian. Lot of stories there. It seems like a cool town. It's definitely got a depressing, kinda inward vibe about it. I should probably go back and hang out again, but most of my family has moved away now.
In matters of taste like breweries vs vineyards, it doesn't matter if you encourage strangers to move and that they might like it; the risk is just that they find they preferred the other option. When the risks are becoming a victim of random crime just walking down the street or having an apt with ground-floor windows, it's irresponsible.
What is there to do for tech work in Baltimore? All jobs I've seen are in the MIC, which I dislike.
I lived there for 12 years. Generally speaking, Baltimore is good if you want relatively affordable housing. A number of neighborhoods are great for DINKS (dual-income, no kids). Public schooling is a hard no-go unless you really get involved and enroll your kids in a carefully selected charter or magnet school. There are some excellent private schools. Baltimore county has options too if you want something that's more suburban.
As far a crime goes, the city has some really profound problems that are the result of white flight and systematic disinvestment. It was hit hard by the crack epidemic and has not really recovered. The TV shows "The Wire" and especially "The Corner" capture the flavor of the rough parts of Baltimore more than residents would like to admit. As far as safety is concerned, like other big cities, it's not really a problem for folks that would read HN, unless you enjoy hanging out in bars at 2am and getting into arguments with armed drug-trade people. Don't leave anything in your car, get a security system for your house.
I think The Wire was pretty accurate and a lot of Baltimoreans aren't in denial about what kind of city it was/is. However, if you're only hanging out and working with folks who don't leave the White L, you'd think the rest of Baltimore is pretty awful and if it wasn't for work/family, they'd leave ASAP. Not to discredit the concerns folks have, just saying that the loudest voices also seem to be the most negative without being constructive (just check various FB "safety" groups, e.g., Mt Vernon Safety, or Nextdoor).
I recently moved from Baltimore to Philadelphia and in many ways it seems like a bigger version of Baltimore. Lots of white/black segregation, crime (it's already above 300 homicides for 2021), potholes and generally poor road maintenance, poorly run city gov't, etc. Yet somehow there doesn't seem to be the same level of negativity about the city here.
Baltimore has its merits… but Philly has a lot more going for it.
(Source: currently in Balto, went to college in Philly).
You mean Jobs? Philly definitely has more. But I found Balto to have more going for it, despite being tiny in comparison. Culture-wise, Baltimore has loads of everything (except the "we're pretending we're NYC-lite" that DC and Philly push). There's loads of green spaces, festivals, multicultural cuisines/neighborhoods, industries. Baltimore even exceeded Philly in things like hackerspaces/makerspaces/tool libraries. And Balt has [some] free public transit! And though the history isn't pushed much, there's a ton of it all around. I'd also argue the Inner Harbor exceeds any Philly tourist district in terms of interesting ways to waste a saturday for a wide range of people. Then you've got the stadiums right near the harbor, the light rail to whisk you up into the lush suburbs, and more quirkiness and charm than practically any city in the US.
But I might be biased.
Just like every city, it works hard to make sure upper-middle class white people are safe, but definitely don't leave anything valuable in your car. Don't even leave pennies in a tray visible from the outside.
This is my impression of how most gangs work. Did the Wire give a different impression?
“Is you taking notes on a criminal fucking conspiracy?”
“The Roberts Rules say the meeting got to have minutes!”
You can go to these schools, ultimately it is about whether you are okay with your child being a racial minority. BCC is one such example of a school (maybe you would put that in the carefully selected magnet category).
You're assuming crispyambulance is white. If crispyambulance is black then crispyambulance wouldn't be a racial minority in these schools (I think that's what you're saying). If crispyambulance is Indian then crispyambulance has no choice and will be a racial minority at every school.
Again, completely inaccurate and misleading statement, despite yourself pointing out how residents don't like to admit how bad Baltimore is. Having worked in IT in Baltimore, a coworker of mine got mugged, a black eye, and had to take the next day off work just because he was strolling through a very popular park on a weekday evening. Wealth and education don't protect you if somebody targets you on the street, and it happens way more than Baltimore residents will admit.
What happened to your coworker can and does happen in any large city with lots of people. Are you saying this could not have happened in NYC, Los Angeles, DC, or Philly?
I perhaps should not have said "not really a problem". Crime/safety is a problem in Baltimore, but it's not drastically different than many other urban areas.
Sorry you had a rough time in Baltimore. I was there through the O'Malley years and saw amazing improvement in my old neighborhood, Patterson Park/Butcher's Hill. Some other places didn't fare so well despite occasional promising signs (Sandtown-Winchester, Hollins Market).
Baltimore is not for everyone, and that's OK. We all have/had our reasons for being there. There's no good reason to trash Baltimore or call any city "a hell-scape". It didn't get the way it is overnight, and it won't improve overnight. It will take many years.
> There's no good reason to trash Baltimore or call any city "a hell-scape"
I will call Baltimore a hellscape 7 days of the week and I consider it 100% justified. I actively hope people don't move their for their own sake; I already left, it doesn't matter to me what happens there anymore.
I also encourage anybody who hasn't visited and doubts me to check for yourself and make your own opinion, not believe me or crispyambulance. Look up crime/violence statistics, reddit.com/r/baltimore, facebook groups, government corruption, illiteracy rates, crime maps, etc and decide for yourself whether what happens in Baltimore is "normal" for the US (let alone the entire world when there are many cities much bigger than Baltimore with a fraction of the crime).
A few off the top of my head. I'm currently working (remotely) for a BigCo that acquired my startup employer last year.
Technical.ly can be a good resource for local postings. I've worked as a SWE in Baltimore for 10 years and have never had employment issues. I don't quite make SV money, but I make solid 6 figures and can afford a very nice home on just my salary and send my kids to private school, etc.
Maryland/Northern Virginia are _not_ the places to be if you want career options outside of government [contracting] work. It's not un-doable but you'll be much better served looking for work in a place where 80% of the value of the economy doesn't revolve around Washington-type work.
While it's true that .gov work is huge in DC metro (and extending to Baltimore), there are MANY companies completely outside, or on the periphery, and even more if you just want to eliminate military jobs.
Amazon has large AWS offices, plus HQ2 is spinning up.
Google and Microsoft both have substantial presences (albeit much of that is .gov work). Walmart has their innovation centre here (Walmart Labs?).
Oracle. VW of A. Several universities. Smaller companies like Ellucian (my employer). Freddie and Fannie (.gov-adjacent). The list is long.
And Capital One Bank has a massive complex in McLean/Tysons. It's not their HQ (which is in Richmond), but there has to be a few thousand employees here.
I think people are misinterpreting my comment... there _are_ non-defense/government jobs in the area but they are dwarfed by the number of such jobs because of the pervasive nature of the aforementioned entities. When I lived in the area more than 90% of LinkedIn recruiter messages that I got were about these jobs. This ceased being the case after I moved even when I was still in the defense contracting industry.
Baltimore is a cool town. People have a perception of it based on national media, and don’t get me wrong, it has it’s share of issues, but every city does. It is one of the quirkiest, weirdest cities in the US. It is not quite a northern city and not quite southern either.
That's because it is in the mid-atlantic!
Baltimore reminds me of DC ~20 years ago.
I am curious why someone would do this commute, it seems like there are lots of cheaper options closer to DC with their own semi-urban area.
Google has given me many music venues…
— left coaster
The answer is the one you would most likely guess: two body problem. We both miss NH quite a bit, but we're along for the ride until they finish their PhD.
My optimism is based on the consistent development in the L and it's expansion outwards. Hopkins medical will soon be connected to harbor east with the Perkins development. Station north continues to fill out. There's also been lots of development in federal hill and locust point.
The murder rate is indeed ridiculously high, but I think it will subside as more development happens in the city as there will be more opportunity available.
I'm not entirely sure how to feel about the expansion of the L. it's definitely good if you already live there (I do) and plan to stay (I hope to), and some of the areas being annexed are/were fairly close to hell on earth. it's not clear to me that the butterfly residents will benefit from the increased opportunities like you suggest; I think it's more likely they get gradually pushed out to less desirable parts of the county. but we'll see, and I'd rather be wrong!
Don’t take this as an insult or anything, it is what it is.
Luckily though greenmount is starting to clean up. Red Emma's is moving into the neighborhood soon as well
They're just exploiting the hard work of the coffee bushes. (And their customers since the product is addictive.)
Arts workers need to be paid well and also have enriching roles in the museums. And I don't think this sort of thing necessarily requires a 4-year degree or whatnot. I believe people are naturally curious, and we need to lean into that.
It must put a lot of pressure on a security guard to do double duty like that. What if someone defaces a Warhol while they're talking to someone else about it? I'm sure The Broad probably has redundant controls in place, but in general, you shouldn't really expect to be able to bother or distract security guards.
It's not about leaning into a person's natural curiosity; most museums take care of all the staff with regards to entrance & tours if requested. It's about liability, insurance, etc.
Are people not allowed to build houses currently?
I was hoping it would be more about burglaries, stealing famous works of arts, selling stolen works etc. The law enforcement / security perspective. Instead it appears to be a pretty standard exhibition except with an unusual method of selecting curators.
After years of viewing exhibits (both permanent and temporary), many on the non-curator staff do end up with a substantially deep view of the art that they protect. This exhibit should be really fascinating.
I still find it a bit condescending / annoying. I read things like "offering a particularly human-centered lens through which to consider the objects" as let the plebs have their night out once in a while. They'll still get "mentored" by curators apparently, so it's not like they're just using their understanding to pick, they'll probably get brainwashed a bit.
One interesting experiment would be to put a button / ticket scanner near each artwork and ask the visitors to vote on what they liked. Maybe give them a theme and ask them to pick 2-3 pieces of art that matched that theme and put an exhibition on at the end of a month or so with the most picked works.
Sure, there is a chance of your so-called brainwashing (influence, in more generous terms), but an exhibition benefits from coherence and thought-out message.
Indeed, in the US, there are museum guards who only work in museums. Sometimes, they are called docents. As with most things in the states, however, there is a lot of regional variation.
What's especially interesting here is that an organisation is treating its employees like human beings, as you said. It would be weird for any museum here to say, "I think people would like to know what our employees appreciate in art." Not weird in that it's unthinkable; weird in that it just never happens that way in the States.
and that's just the ones that wanted to partake
It's not much more than 1 watching cameras and 3 rovers.
Other great places for awesome museums within a day-drive of D.C.:
Richmond, VA - Virginia Museum of Fine Arts
Dulles, VA - Udvar-Hazy Air & Space Museum
Various National Battlefields sprinkled all over the area
A bit further out, but possible in a day and easily world class, the Philadelphia Museum of Art
Also in DC, don't forget the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden. It's one of my favorite modern art museums in the world, and I live 20 minutes from it. I don't go anywhere near often enough.
One of the best in DC, although it is currently closed.
While the art collection is fantastic (hosted in an older set of gallery buildings by Charles Gwathmey, and a newer building by Thomas Phifer and Partners), the huge park it's located in makes it a particularly unique experience, featuring permanent outdoor pieces by the likes of Andy Goldsworthy, Richard Serra, and Michael Heizer.
I've been to many of the art and science museums in D.C. and Baltimore, but Glenstone is my favourite.
The Walters and Baltimore Art Museum are also free.
Note that Udvar-Hazy is in the slightly odd position that it's technically free but parking is $15. It's very far from downtown, and driving is pretty much the best way there. But the exhibits are beyond cool -- a Space Shuttle, a Concorde, a Blackbird, and a ton of other very cool aircraft.
In my utopian vision of the world, museum guards are given rolling pedestals and pencils and told to roam the galleries copying. They can pay attention to what's going on around them and draw.
The result is that we have people there to answer questions and make sure nothing bad happens, but also is someone who's just getting better and better at drawing and painting. Then that person can become a great artist in their own right.
Our society's reward is an enormous amount of people who can paint really well. Murals everywhere. Good paintings everywhere.
A guard, on the other hand, will probably not have any of these biases, while being exposed to far more art than the general public on an incidental basis. I wonder how many picked he job because of an existing love of art, vs just being a job?
"The group reflects a broad range of backgrounds and interests with officers who are also artists, chefs, musicians, scholars, and writers."
Something similar is the Archibald Prize's 'Packing Room Prize'.
The award is chosen by the gallery staff who receive, unpack and hang the entries, with 52 per cent of the vote given to head packer Brett Cuthbertson. 
It's almost as prestigious as winning the main prize!
It seems to have done well!
A truly innovative and interesting DEI initiative. I hope we see more of this elsewhere.
>In addition, the team is working with renowned art historian and curator Dr. Lowery Stokes Sims, who is providing additional mentorship and professional development.
In art as in politics - nothing says grassroots like the additional mentorship and professional development by a renowned establishment member.
Smaltimore home sweet home
The US is a very big place, closer to the European Union than it is generally portrayed. And, within the US, each city is its own complex ecosystem (as all cities are).
In Baltimore, class boundaries and class-related issues are common discussion points. It is often painted in racial terms (especially to outside audiences), but it's pretty widely acknowledged from the inside that the racial issue is primarily a class issue. I think being a majority-black democratic city helps make this frank acknowledgement possible.
Baltimore also has some relatively old (in US terms) institutions that inherit some class politics from "the Old World." There is very much a "Johns Hopkins" subclass with its own rules of aristocracy...along with other institutions founded around the same time like Peabody Conservatory. In part because housing is cheaply available, Baltimore has a thriving arts scene, supported by a number of different colleges and universities, but especially MICA.
"The Wire" is a pretty good investigation of the class system in Baltimore in many respects, although I think it's a bit dated now. In particular, the Port City crowd often gets left out of casual conversation, but it's still a powerful force in the city.
This is very partial list, just trying to give a sense that there's a lot of awareness and acknowledgement of class within the city. The rules of conduct between the various groups are very, very different. More obviously so than in most other places that I've lived.
There is a pretty healthy tech/entrepreneur environment in Baltimore too, that lives sort of at the place where the various class-groups wash into each-other.