Baltimore: It Really Is That Bad

baltimore flood

We recently had the chance to visit Baltimore, Maryland to see a baseball game. And though the stadium is very nice, we came off thinking that in a sense the HBO show The Wire, actually makes Baltimore seem better than it really is. Because if you watched The Wire, you might conclude that all the messed up parts were confined to some section of the city, rather than the whole thing itself. But it’s really all pretty miserable. We regret not putting it on our list of depressing cities.

Even downtown by day is pretty sad, given the prominence of once-glorious money manager Legg Mason (LM). And then at night it’s just kind of miserable.

Anyway, we’re not the only ones with no interest in The Charm City.

peHUB posts a copy of a letter to the editor from New Enterprise Ventures, a VC firm that’s moving out of Baltimore. This part is particularly rich:

Our decision was a result of the high level of crime in our neighbourhood.  Over the last several years, many of our cars have been broken into resulting in very expensive repairs, our employees have been robbed at gun point, drug needles and used condoms have been left on our front stoop, and psychotic homeless people have menaced our employees and threatened to kill them.  We have voiced our frustrations to the local community leaders and police, but the environment has only worsened.  The recent local beatings by roving teenagers during the day in this neighbourhood, the raucous club in the basement of the Belvedere, and other gang violence throughout the city reinforces the appropriateness of New Enterprise Associates’ decision to move in order to protect its employees.


All joking aside, it really is tragic, since on the surface there’s no reason the city needed to be that bad. It’s got a beautiful spot on the water, in what should be a successful Eastern Seaboard state. And unlike Detroit, it wasn’t married to a single industry that got absolutely gutted over the past several years. Why do we keep losing our cities? It’s an embarrassment.

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