Baltimore Paradox

A year ago today I arrived in Baltimore.  Admittedly, I had no idea what I was getting into moving here, but Baltimore was a city unlike any I had ever visited and it just felt right somehow.  A year later, I still don’t begin to understand Baltimore… but it feels more like home than most places I have lived. And I think that it fits because Baltimore is a city of paradoxes… and my fickle nature thrives among the unstable. 
A city of small neighborhoods, but with big city challenges.
A city that gave us Babe Ruth and Michael Phelps, but also David Hasselhoff, John Waters, and Divine.
The innermost Eastern seaport, a couple hours from sea.
Where the American Revolution may have been won, and the Civil War may have begun.
Where the largest pre-Civil War population of free blacks worked alongside slaves sold on the same street.
Where Morse shrank the world with the phrase “What hath God wrought?” but the city cannot reconcile its two halves.
Where the Star Spangled Banner was penned and sewn following a battle with the British, but where no city is more proud of their state flag — a flag based on English heraldry.
Where young educated millennials migrate and generational poverty struggles to survive.
Where social mobility is as much a dream as getting potholes filled.
Where a yesterday’s rejected governor is today’s presidential candidate.
Where the football team is named after a poem, and the city’s mascot is the face of a Bohemian beer.
Where bookstores and bars are housed in power plants, power is purchased from other states.
Where blue crabs are hammered and the mention of red lines start fights.
Where Under Armor and a Sugar Refinery stare down across the Harbor.
Where “Bergers” are cookies, and cakes are made of crab.
You’re a hot ass mess, Baltimore. But you’re home, and I love you.

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