“The rats on the street/ All dance around my feet”
— from “Good Morning Baltimore”
President Trump’s fly-in to Baltimore earlier this month felt like an arsonist’s return to the scene of the crime. In July, he set off a firestorm when he tweeted Baltimore “is a disgusting, rat and rodent infested mess,” a “very dangerous & filthy place” and “No human being would want to live there.”
But we know the truth. It’s time others did as well. Here are 10 reasons to love Baltimore:
Baltimore is consistently ranked (by Charity Navigator) as one of America’s most charitable cities.
2. Arts and entertainment
Even The Wall Street Journal praised Baltimore’s Everyman Theatre as one of the best troupes in America. Plus, we’re home to the world-class museums (the BMA, the Walters and the Visionary Arts Museum), the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra, the Creative Alliance, Center Stage, Chesapeake Shakespeare Company, Baltimore School for the Arts and MICA, to name a few other hubs for the arts.
3. Health care
Nationally, Baltimore ranked the fifth-healthiest city among top cities leading the way in health care, according to Healthgrades.
4. Quality of life
Baltimore is named one of the best places to live in the country by U.S. News: “Baltimore’s elegant architecture, friendly people and lively pockets of nightlife and music make Charm City a pleasant and fun place to call home.”
Baltimore lost the Red Line, but it is still ranked among the top shipping ports in the U.S. BWI Marshall Airport is a powerhouse hub for Spirit and Southwest airlines. And train service and interstate highways make getting around the Northeast Corridor a breeze.
6. We’re on the edge of greatness
Sperling’s Best Places placed Baltimore 22 out of 50 cities poised for greatness. Categories examined included housing, job market, population, income, education level, music, arts, sports, construction, opportunities for advancement and achieving personal growth.
7. Dating scene
Sperling’s Best found Baltimore No. 34 out of 80 best cities to find love.
8. We’re not among the worst cities to live in America
Regardless of what POTUS claims, according to USA Today Baltimore is not on the worst list, though at least 50 other cities are.
9. We’re not the most dangerous city
It is no surprise that big cities have problems. But according to Forbes, Baltimore ranks seventh out of the 10 most dangerous U.S. cities. Baltimore, plagued with drugs and poverty, has an unacceptable violent crime rate of 1,417 per 100,000. Atlanta, Birmingham, Memphis, Oakland, St. Louis and Detroit are worse.
10 . Best crab cakes in America
Food and Wine magazine drops the “Best Crab Cakes in the U.S.” award smack dab on Faidley’s in Baltimore.
Of course, it’s not all wine and roses, dear Baltimore. We have many critically urgent real challenges in our beloved city. But who benefits from the most powerful leader on earth stepping on our neck when we’re trying to get back on our feet?
I leave you with this, lyrics from the signature song from “Hairspray,” a signature film from Baltimore’s beloved John Waters:
Good morning, Baltimore
Every day’s like an open door
Every night is a fantasy
Every sound’s like a symphony …
Abe Wasserberger is a semi-retired fundraiser, strategic planner, general manager of nonprofits and a proud resident of Baltimore. His email is firstname.lastname@example.org.