Blame Baltimore

Sorry Baltimore, it’s not you it’s me. I know you have a lot of good to offer but I think of you in a really bad way. It’s not a rival city thing or anything like that, it’s just that my own experiences with Charm City, like the time my friend there got mugged by someone who peppersprayed her in the face and walked away with her purse while she writhed in pain, have happened to leave me with a less-than-optimal impression.

So, as unfair as it is, when I hear something bad about DC my gut response is always: Well, at least it’s not Baltimore.

That’s why I found it extra hilarious last night when on the Daily Show I heard the following while Jon Stewart and Aasif Mandvi were discussing White House Press Secretary Tony Snow’s comparison of Baghdad’s violence to Washington, DC’s:

JON STEWART: “But that’s insane! Washington, DC is violent, but they’re not, you know, finding thirty to fifty corpses in the street every day.”

AASIF MANDVI: “Well, no, of course not. It’s not Baltimore.”

Video here, the second clip from the 5/10 show.

By the way, did you know that Baltimore’s current motto is, get this, “Baltimore: The Greatest City in America”? I’m not kidding, check out this excellent Christian Science Monitor piece about B’more’s slogan identity crisis. Though I admit DC’s motto, Justitia Omnibus (Justice for All) could use some jazzing up.

4 Comments so far

  1. Carl Weaver (unregistered) on May 11th, 2007 @ 11:04 pm

    that’s like selling frozen turds on a stick and adopting the slogan, “Just as good as ice cream.”

  2. Tom Bridge (unregistered) on May 12th, 2007 @ 2:07 pm

    Now, I actually *like* a lot of Baltimore, but I recognize that it has its serious downsides.

    But places like Little Italy, Charles Village, the Harbor, there’s a lot to like in Baltimore. For more ideas, check out Stacey’s old What’s Good About Baltimore?

    And of course, there’s always Federal Hill…

  3. steve (unregistered) on May 13th, 2007 @ 8:53 am

    Joking about mostly young, mostly minority men killing each other over drug turf in post industrial inner city America.Ha Ha. Anyway DC’s murder rate historically has outpaced Baltimore , except for recent years where some of the mayhem has been gentrified out of town into inner ring suburbs of PG county.

    The “Greatest City in America” was a typical Martin O’Malley over the topism…most of us in Baltimore shrugged it off as typical city hall silliness (and the irony was not lost on us either).

  4. frank (unregistered) on May 14th, 2007 @ 6:41 am

    Generally, what Steve just said. Actually, the “Greatest City…” slogan predated the Believe campaign, and for painfully obvious reasons, was an immediate failure, and as with all things O’Malley, was mostly about his ambitions and had little to do with Baltimore. Everyone in Baltimore guffawed at its idiocy. The Believe campaign is also retired… so on a factual level, this post is incorrect. Also, I question whether D.C. has really turned a corner itself. As a metropolitan area, there was an adverse correlation between the reduction in violence and murder within the District, and the increase in violence and murder in P.G. County. Real estate values simply shifted your problems a couple of miles to the east. Hardly a matter worthy of self satisfaction, as the trend towards increased urban real estate values coupled with a decay of older inlying suburbs was a national phenomenon. The poverty displacing, demographic shifting real estate boom simply hit Baltimore a little softer than it did D.C.

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