Baltimore isn't called "Charm City" for nothing, and New York-based travel magazine Travel + Leisure has taken note — crediting the city for discreetly becoming a city that New York and Philadelphia should reckon with.
In the ode, Amsden analyzes the city's rise to the top level of coolness by winding through various Baltimore neighborhoods — starting with Fells Point and ending with Hollins Market — surveying each area's evolution and the various venues, restaurants, creatives and changemakers that inhabit them.
His first few days "quickly dispelled [his] preconceptions," he wrote.
"It also lent credence to a theory of mine: that America's smaller cities are usurping their larger, more expensive counterparts in providing compelling urban experiences. Finding the Baltimore I loved when I was younger wasn't hard, but now it coexists with a city I never could have imagined, with new restaurants, new cultural arbiters, and a new vitality triggered by millennial transplants."
From Sagamore Pendry to the Crown, to chatting it up with social activist Kwame Rose and Lane Harlan, owner of speakeasy W.C. Harlan, Amsden makes an attempt to capture a thriving Baltimore scene and follows it all up with a quick Baltimore to-do guide, featuring bars and restaurants like Bottega, Woodberry Kitchen and R. House.