Please remind me why I love living in Baltimore - Mothering Forums
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#1 of 22 Old 01-07-2009, 08:38 AM - Thread Starter
 
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I'm feeling really down about living in the city, and I need a pick me up. I feel like we just can't win. I spent months working with my city councilman to get a problem property cleaned up and the owner fined. Months - and this was a really bad situation. Totally disgusting and a major security issue for my family. It was also impacting my property, with weeds as large as tress destroying my fence. Well, we got a citation for those weeds.

And now, we just got a citation for trash. We've purchased three trashcans in the last year, and all have been stolen. So, we started doing what all of our neighbors do - hanging our trash on the fence on trash day (we have alley pickup). Well, we got a citation for that. I don't know what to do - I live in a neighborhood where MOST people don't use trashcans, they just pile their trash up on the corner. I know that trash is a huge problem, but I don't see how fining me solves that. I know that the people who throw their trash on the corner on any old day aren't getting fined.

And to top it off, we just got our property tax assessment. It is so out of whack, it's crazy. The city assessed our house far higher than our bank did when we bought it two years ago. That's just ridiculous. We couldn't sell our house for anything close to that assessment.

I just feel like the city makes it so hard for decent people to catch a break. If you're a drug dealer or habitually threaten your neighbors with weapons, however, you're free to do as you please.

So someone, please remind me why I moved here in the first place. What do you love about Baltimore??

Mama to DS1 (2/08) and DS2 (9/10).
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#2 of 22 Old 01-07-2009, 01:38 PM
 
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You can fight the property tax assessment. My dad has done it in the past and been sucessful.

I love:

baltap- the Baltimore Attachment Parenting group

the abundance of homeschoolers, homeschooling groups, resources etc.

The fact that Maryland is a very easy state to homeschool in as far as requirements go.

All the awesome shops and restaraunts in the Hamilton/Lauraville area: Clementine, Bediboo, Rock Candy, the Red Canoe, etc.

The yearly holiday fair at the Waldorf School. Plus the fact that they let us bring our kids to the mini-mornings even though they know we have no intention of stopping homeschooling.

North Baltimore Mennonite Church!

The Harbor. The Science Center, the Aquarium, Avam. I have memberships to the first two, if you want to go

Chipotle

Midwife (CPM, LDM) and homeschooling mama to:
13yo ds   10yo dd  8yo ds and 6yo ds and 1yo ds  
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#3 of 22 Old 01-07-2009, 01:39 PM
 
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I'm a drug dealer, of course. That's why I love it here

JK

Truthfully, many, many, many things bug me about this city. It needs a complete revamping in management, but the current population makes it difficult to do so....as you point out, only decent citizens can even be counted on to pay for all the other problems.
The reason I'm here is because this is where my husband currently needs to be, and we have family here. I don't think we'll be staying here forever.
But I am not sure of any good alternatives -- the nicer counties in this area are more $ for the most part.
And I am loathe to move far from my midwife...I'm not sure how easy it is to get a homebirth midwife insurance will pay for. My husband thinks I'm pathetic to take that into account, but for me, birth and care is an integral part of my life.
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#4 of 22 Old 01-07-2009, 01:55 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Originally Posted by phathui5 View Post
You can fight the property tax assessment. My dad has done it in the past and been sucessful.

I love:

baltap- the Baltimore Attachment Parenting group

the abundance of homeschoolers, homeschooling groups, resources etc.

The fact that Maryland is a very easy state to homeschool in as far as requirements go.

All the awesome shops and restaraunts in the Hamilton/Lauraville area: Clementine, Bediboo, Rock Candy, the Red Canoe, etc.

The yearly holiday fair at the Waldorf School. Plus the fact that they let us bring our kids to the mini-mornings even though they know we have no intention of stopping homeschooling.

North Baltimore Mennonite Church!

The Harbor. The Science Center, the Aquarium, Avam. I have memberships to the first two, if you want to go

Chipotle
You just reminded me that I wanted to take DS to the aquarium at some point, as he was totally fascinated by the tanks at the Rainforest Cafe the other day.

And Chipotle rocks, it's true.

Mama to DS1 (2/08) and DS2 (9/10).
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#5 of 22 Old 01-07-2009, 01:57 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I'm a drug dealer, of course. That's why I love it here

JK

Truthfully, many, many, many things bug me about this city. It needs a complete revamping in management, but the current population makes it difficult to do so....as you point out, only decent citizens can even be counted on to pay for all the other problems.
The reason I'm here is because this is where my husband currently needs to be, and we have family here. I don't think we'll be staying here forever.
But I am not sure of any good alternatives -- the nicer counties in this area are more $ for the most part.
And I am loathe to move far from my midwife...I'm not sure how easy it is to get a homebirth midwife insurance will pay for. My husband thinks I'm pathetic to take that into account, but for me, birth and care is an integral part of my life.
We moved here in part because we thought the cost of living would be cheaper than in many other places (that, and we actually do love city living). Maybe I'm just hating on Baltimore, but it seems to me like it's actually costing us a lot more.

Mama to DS1 (2/08) and DS2 (9/10).
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#6 of 22 Old 01-07-2009, 04:39 PM
 
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I'd love to have good news for you but we've been discouraged as well. First we had the city show up to make major changes to our street including paving a sidewalk on our formerly grass only front lawn without any notice to residents. Then, we had a wooded lot that juts into our neighborhood in a U shape off of the main road that we live off of (three of the streets in our neighborhood surround this lot) bulldozed and become a rental storage facility. The only notice given was a briefly posted sign on the main road that you would never see unless you were walking out there on foot. More recently, a car dealership on the main road (one block away from my home and directly bordering many homes) began illegally painting cars and causing fumes as far as a block into the neighborhood. The city enforcers wouldn't accept resident testimony or photographs as proof nor would they accept the word of the fire dept. who we called on more than one occasion to report the fumes. Finally, they caught the dealership in the act then allowed the guy to get a permit to do the painting (Baltimore City allows "light industrial zoning" directly adjacent to residential houses and car painting falls under this category) without so much as a fine. At least he was forced to put in air scrubbers but he continues to paint with the garage bay doors open making the fumes still travel into the neighborhood. The guy has also bought and knocked down two homes that border his business withouth proper permits and notice to the adjacent houses (who were literally awoken by the bullzoder knocking the house down) and I think his fine for that was just $250.

Oh, and when I reported a Dunkin Donuts near me for spraying pesticides INSIDE THE RESTAURANT while I sat just three feet away, pregnant and eating with my older child their response was "They weren't doing it when we visited them so we can't cite them."

-Barbara

-Barbara
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#7 of 22 Old 01-07-2009, 05:01 PM
 
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Funny... I feel the same way as the OP...but about Columbia.

We lived in King's Contrivance and ran into the same scenarios, but had to pay probably double the rent as you do in a lot of parts of Baltimore City. The crime got really scary at our complex, and I heard the same from friends who had lived in Steven's Forrest. When a guy got mugged and smacked over the head right in front of our window during the middle of the day, we decided it was time to buy a house in Carroll County.

It's a shame, bc I love (and miss) the culture and parks in both cities.

I hear a lot of Montgomery County is wonderful to live in bc you get all the perks of Baltimore City and Columbia, but not the crime. Unfortunately, it's super expensive.

Enjoying the adventure of NFL with my partner-in-crime , DD 03.09 , , &
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#8 of 22 Old 01-07-2009, 06:06 PM
 
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I am sorry you having bad experiences. It sounds like it is your neighborhood that is more the issue.
Can you move to Lauraville/Hamilton? It is quite peaceful here. We have all the perks of city living with very few of the downsides.

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#9 of 22 Old 01-07-2009, 10:06 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Originally Posted by charmcitymama View Post
I am sorry you having bad experiences. It sounds like it is your neighborhood that is more the issue.
Can you move to Lauraville/Hamilton? It is quite peaceful here. We have all the perks of city living with very few of the downsides.
You know, I knew about the problems in my neighborhood before I bought a house here (we rented for a year), and I'm ok with it. Yeah, it sucks that the house next to me is owned by a complete loser, but I was eventually able to solve the problem, despite the city's bureaucracy. It just took a lot of work. What really gets me is when I work so hard to do something about a blight like that, and then I get slapped with a citation for something so minor that everyone else on my street does and doesn't hurt anything. Yeah, its technically against the letter of the code, I get that. But it's not hurting anything, and its a hell of a lot better than what others in the area do. They know I'll pay the fine, though.

I really like the Lauraville area, but dh commutes to DC so we need to be near the train (you know us, though we haven't been in your store in a while). And there's no way in hell we'll be able to sell in this market. A neighbor of mine just listed her house for 20k less than she paid three years ago. Yikes!

My problem is with how the city is managed. It's not the dealers or the crack heads that will drive us out; its the people who run the place.

Mama to DS1 (2/08) and DS2 (9/10).
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#10 of 22 Old 01-07-2009, 11:15 PM
 
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Originally Posted by russsk View Post
You just reminded me that I wanted to take DS to the aquarium at some point, as he was totally fascinated by the tanks at the Rainforest Cafe the other day.

And Chipotle rocks, it's true.
I could take you. We have a membership.

Midwife (CPM, LDM) and homeschooling mama to:
13yo ds   10yo dd  8yo ds and 6yo ds and 1yo ds  
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#11 of 22 Old 01-07-2009, 11:52 PM
 
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I know what you mean, but, the trash can thing really popped out at me. We have had the SAME trash can since we moved here 3 years ago! It still has our old Butcher's Hill address spray painted on it, as we constantly had to replace them there since they would be stolen frequently.

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#12 of 22 Old 01-07-2009, 11:57 PM
 
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Oh and I apologize for being so lassiez faire about "oh just move". Of course it is not that easy and of course not always the answer.

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#13 of 22 Old 01-08-2009, 01:24 AM
 
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I also live in the city and I can't help you with happy talk. This year I noticed our property tax bill is almost exactly the same amount of $ we pay in tuition to send ds to a private school because of course our public school is a complete disaster. I have also noticed there are many many Chipotles in the counties surrounding Baltimore so I'm afraid that's no reason to stay here. Plus, I was just at the Charles Village Chipotle this evening and they totally skimped me on the black beans which the ones in the counties NEVER do : )

Honestly, as a long-term resident of the city, I can't think of much that makes me want to stay. And those garbage citations are a new initiative of Mayor (soon to be indicted and sent to federal prison?) Dixon's to "clean up" this filthy city. A recent article in the City Paper said that inspectors show up early in the morning and go through your trash bags looking for identifying info so they can fine you. I wonder if it's a coincidence that they are targeting the more affluent neighborhoods...
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#14 of 22 Old 01-09-2009, 11:05 PM
 
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I am a 5 year Baltimore City resident that is also extremely discouraged with the city. We were fined for having tree overhanging our OWN PARKING PAD. Our assessment was completely ridiculous and we fought to lower it some, but the truth is, we couldn't sell it for what we are taxed at. Our car was broken into 3 times in 2 weeks and when I called the police, they seemed particularly uninterested. I asked if they could drive by our block an extra time or two during the week since clearly we were having a rash of break-ins and there response was, 'we have real problems that are more important than your car'. Yes, they do, but they also ticket our street like we are made of money -- if they had real problems wouldn't they overlook the fact my truck had been parked in the same spot for three days and the rule is only two?

Anyway, enough of my whining. We love the convenience of living close to family friendly things and cool people. Towson, which has alot of convenience too and better schools not to mention lower taxes, is looking better and better.
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#15 of 22 Old 01-10-2009, 01:02 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I could take you. We have a membership.
That would be awesome! Let me know the next time you plan on going.

Mama to DS1 (2/08) and DS2 (9/10).
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#16 of 22 Old 01-12-2009, 05:29 PM
 
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Towson, which has alot of convenience too and better schools not to mention lower taxes, is looking better and better.
we left the city for Towson We're one block into the county but it's a world of difference.

we moved for many reasons, but the mobile command unit blocking our one way street so that the riot squad could smash in our neighbor's door (we shared a common wall) was the last straw...

The city does have a lot of things to recommend it, but I did not feel safe there. Most of the things mentioned can still be easily accessed if you live in the surrounding areas.

Sorry I could not be more positive.
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#17 of 22 Old 03-14-2009, 09:01 PM
 
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phathui5...

What are the Waldorf school mini-mornings?

Thanks.
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#18 of 22 Old 03-15-2009, 09:54 AM
 
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phathui5...

What are the Waldorf school mini-mornings?

Thanks.
Every few months the Waldorf school will do a sample class of their parent/child programs for potential new students. It is on Saturday morning and free.

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#19 of 22 Old 03-16-2009, 11:48 AM
 
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Yup. That's what I was referring to.

Let's see, what else do we love about Baltimore...

- Baltimore City letting you reserve books online and then pick them up at the library

- the fact that it seems like no matter where we go to hang out, we run into people we know

Midwife (CPM, LDM) and homeschooling mama to:
13yo ds   10yo dd  8yo ds and 6yo ds and 1yo ds  
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#20 of 22 Old 03-18-2009, 06:05 PM
 
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Funny... I feel the same way as the OP...but about Columbia.

We lived in King's Contrivance and ran into the same scenarios, but had to pay probably double the rent as you do in a lot of parts of Baltimore City. The crime got really scary at our complex, and I heard the same from friends who had lived in Steven's Forrest. When a guy got mugged and smacked over the head right in front of our window during the middle of the day, we decided it was time to buy a house in Carroll County.

It's a shame, bc I love (and miss) the culture and parks in both cities.

I hear a lot of Montgomery County is wonderful to live in bc you get all the perks of Baltimore City and Columbia, but not the crime. Unfortunately, it's super expensive.
sorry- Montgomery county is pretty close to columbia in terms of crime. probably more in most places. there are those pockets that are so pricey that there isn't any real crime, but most places in montgomery county are getting pretty tough. i would still live there over the city in a minute, but it isn't all its cracked up to be.
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#21 of 22 Old 03-31-2009, 12:59 PM
 
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Hi everyone,
We moved back to Baltimore a little more than a year ago and it looks like I'll be leaving soon too. The city seems so corrupt from the tow truck drivers to the police not responding, or worse. I heard they are cutting the trash pick up- but our crew who picks up ( I live near Paper Moon has been great. Our recycling bin got stolen tho.

It seems most of the things I loved about it here are not so child friendly.

There are some fun places to go...the park in Hampden, Aquarium etc. But I'm drawing a blank. If I knew some cool mamas like you all before, maybe things would change

I'm Probably moving to S. Maryland near tha beach.

Dana
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#22 of 22 Old 04-01-2009, 04:54 PM
 
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I don't live IN the city, but just outside, and I love it. I love the aquarium, the AVAM, the fact that it is a short drive to DC, Philly, NYC, when I get the urge for roadtrips... I love the music and art scene in Baltimore...most of my friends are musicians, DJs, artists, or otherwise creative, and there is a lot going on for us in that area.

Oh, and MD homeschooling that someone else mentioned...I'm a big fan of the large homeschooling population here. I'm nervous about going into HSing as a single mom, but determined to make it work. I love that there is a lot of support here for that!

stillheart.gif = Pariah, Super Mom + The Amazing Wiggy (1/06)superhero.gifangel.gif  (6/08)  52 Projects: 0/52  Decluttering Challenge: 37/2013

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