I’ll be honest, I’m not a city person. In graduate school, I lived in a city. I tried to like it. I desperately tried to embrace and thrive in the city. But the truth is, I like trees. I love the mountains. The color green in nature brings me joy and a sense of safety. So, when I took my job as the Communication Associate, I did hesitate because it meant moving from a small mountain town in Pennsylvania to Baltimore. Not just any city, but Baltimore, where the reputation made a country girl like me scared. But here I am, three and a half years later, and I love Baltimore.
Baltimore has its problems, but every community has problems and struggles. What national media fails to share is what we see in local news and by being involved in the local community. In the City of Neighborhoods (no really, that’s one of our nicknames and there are a lot of neighborhoods) community organizations thrive. The Enoch Pratt Free Library was voted as a top 10 finalist in the Reader’s Digest’s 2018 Nicest Places in America (I wrote a blog about it). Our marathon may not be famous like New York City, Boston or Chicago, but the Baltimore Running Festival aims to get everyone involved with a 5K for all ages, team relay (14 and up), a half marathon, the marathon and for those crazy runners that want to embrace their bit of crazy the BaltiMORON-a-thon that is the 5k and the half-Marathon. Whether in Little Italy with multi-colored strung lights across the street or Butcher’s Hill with easy access to Patterson Park, every community has a defining vibe and community characteristics.
Weekend mornings in Baltimore can be a variety of things, from the Baltimore Farmers’ Market & Bazaar and smaller neighborhood famers’ markets to street festivals like Hon Fest. Every fall the Baltimore Book Festival takes over Federal Hill and this year will be partnering with Light City for the first time. Community gardens are becoming more and more popular throughout the city and offer more opportunities for the people to come together.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m still not a city girl, but Baltimore has become a home for me because of the people. Despite what national media coverage on Baltimore would imply, it is a city made up of hardworking, committed individuals who work together to improve city conditions in their communities. It’s a wonderful place to call home.