I grew up in some of the loveliest countryside imaginable in northern Baltimore County. Yet I've been a committed and proud Baltimore City resident since 1987.

To me the suburbs are a bore and designed exclusively for cars. Prolonged exposure to suburban environs produces mind-numbing ennui.

Every suburb looks the same whether you live in Maryland, Arizona or North Carolina. You can move further out from the city, but then you have to worry about being surrounded by McMansions — which is why that lovely countryside in northern Baltimore County is not so lovely anymore.

The city certainly has it's share of problems. But warts and all, it's still a better place to live than anywhere in Baltimore County. Everything in the suburbs will invariably get worse. And when cheap energy eventually comes to an end, the suburban build-out will be over.

Paul R. Schlitz Jr., Baltimore