Let that sink in for a second — a bloated orange schlub from QUEENS is throwing shade on Baltimore. Screw you, Donald Trump and drop dead (from either the heart attack or the stroke you’ve been working on — it’s time already)! Even coming from Brooklyn has more cachet than coming from Queens FFS.
I grew up in Baltimore. Well — I grew up in Pikesville, a mostly Jewish suburb northeast of the Beltway. Being a mostly Jewish suburb, anti-Semites called the place “Kikesville” because anti-Semites are clever that way.
Baltimore, while a city, never felt big or threatening the way Manhattan could. It always felt provincial to me — which it was; it’s changed a lot since I grew up there. As I was applying to colleges, the old harbor had been torn down and the Rouse Company was building a controversial project called Harbor Place. As a measure of how provincial Baltimore used to be, the biggest opposition to Harbor Place came from the restaurants in Little Italy, not far from where Harbor Place would open shops and lots of brand-spanking-new restaurants. On the one hand, the Little Italy Restaurant Association had a point — what if Harbor Place put them out of business? But that reflected the smallest of little picture thinking.
The Rouse Company had bona fides. They’d resurrected Faneuil Hall in Boston, turning it into a thriving tourist attraction and marketplace. They’d imagined and built Columbia, Maryland. They’d been building shopping centers in Baltimore for decades already. They were a local company who really did want to see all the boats floating in and around Baltimore’s Harbor rise on the tide and thrive.
I remember going to Harbor Place’s opening. It was thrilling (and tasty). And Harbor Place went on to do exactly what the Rouse Company said it would — it revitalized Baltimore, Baltimore’s downtown and even all the restaurants in Little Italy. Everyone benefited from the massive influx of tourists and locals eager to spend money and enjoy the feeling of a revitalized Baltimore.
Harbor Place’s success didn’t spread as far as it should have or could have however. We all still live in Reality, don’t we? Baltimore was always a hybrid — a Northern city with Southern leanings. Or a Southern city with Northern leanings. Hard to tell which sometimes. Urban blight is as constant as the tides. That’s because we’re a deeply racist society still — and Baltimore was always bad at hiding that fact.
I left Baltimore for college in 1977, returning for a year or so right after graduation in 1981 before moving up to White Plains, New York then Brooklyn then Los Angeles. I’ve always joked about Baltimore — and my need to escape it — that I moved 3,000 miles away and would have moved farther had I not out of real estate at the Pacific. I have not missed Baltimore for two seconds. I haven’t even missed New York, really.
But Baltimore is nothing at all like what Donald Trump called it. I won’t repeat his bullshit because why bother. It’s just more Trumpian bullshit. Suffice it to say that more great stuff has come out of Baltimore than has ever or will ever (or even COULD ever) come from a Trump — even if we let them cheat.
A short list of cool (and useful) things that came from, have history with or originated in Baltimore —
Edgar Allen Poe, Dashiell Hammett & Upton Sinclair
The Star Spangled Banner & Old Bay Seasoning
Harriet Tubman & Frederick Douglass
Gertrude Stein, H L Mencken & Te-Nihisi Coates
Babe Ruth & Brooks Robinson
Eubie Blake, Cab Calloway, Billie Holiday, Ric Ocasek & Frank Zappa
Thurgood Marshall, Elijah Cummings & Nancy Pelosi
Barry Levinson, John Waters, Jada Pinkett-Smith,
Blue crab cakes (all other crab cakes are bullshit — sorry)
That’s a short, short, SHORT list. By comparison — all the good things to come from or originate or have history with anything Trump. Are ya ready?
Aside from greed, incest, corruption, racism, rape & treason – what of any value has come from a Trump?
I rest my case.