Baltimore - How does it stack up to Columbus?
July 31, 2015 10:37 am at 10:37 am #1087389
My wife is entertaining a job opportunity in Baltimore. I love Columbus and after living here for 12+ years, I feel I have the City pretty figured out. I have done a good bit of reading up on Baltimore, but I am looking for first hand accounts of how it compares. I know it is smaller, denser, and has higher crime and poverty, but it also houses some pretty significant companies and institutions. It seems to be a city in transition, though decades behind Columbus in some areas. We have 2 young children, and live in an urban neighborhood now, and I am trying to figure out how that would translate to Baltimore.
Any insight would be greatly appreciated!July 31, 2015 2:08 pm at 2:08 pm #1087421
Baltimore City has plenty of history and plenty of rough areas to go with it. I know nothing of the schooling situation there. In Baltimore County, you might consider Towson for an urban-ish experience but better safety and schools.July 31, 2015 6:27 pm at 6:27 pm #1087445
Over the years, I’ve spent a lot of time in Baltimore, both for work and to visit family that moved and has lived there for many decades. It’s an older, more blue collar, east coast city, which sets it apart from Columbus in lots of ways. Many of it’s more historically appealing inner city neighborhoods have been redeveloped and gentrified. There are also many lower income inner city neighborhoods that are crime ridden and less attractive. Towson is a nice area, with a walkable core, but as implied by Analogue, it’s not really a part of Baltimore City.
It’s probably fair to assume that Baltimore City’s school system shares problems similar to our city school system or any big city school system. If it is viewed to lag Columbus by “decades in some areas”, I assume that’s probably because Baltimore City faced much bigger challenges earlier on (say from the 60s thru 80s) that Columbus faced. Even today, Baltimore probably continues to face larger problems. But the nice historic areas are very nice! I’ve always enjoyed visiting there. It has great culture, history, academics, sports, food, and natural settings. It’s also within striking distance to nearly all other major east coast cities, by rail, air, and auto.
If you have questions about specific neighborhoods, or wonder about where to locate, PM me and I’ll try to help.August 23, 2015 10:45 pm at 10:45 pm #1090006
Thanks for the replies so far. Bumping this thread as my wife is about to receive an offer. The more research I do on Baltimore, the more it seems to fall short of what I am used to here. If we were already living in a small town, or a large city that has not prospered as well as CBUS, then I might be looking at this more openly. Maybe I am just stuck in my ways, but I can’t find too many “pros” in Baltimore, versus the “cons”.August 24, 2015 7:23 am at 7:23 am #1090019
Baltimore had The Wire, which was a cooler show than Columbus has had.August 24, 2015 8:45 am at 8:45 am #1090020
Baltimore had The Wire, which was a cooler show than Columbus has had.
I mean Family Ties was pretty much the most critically acclaimed show ever.August 24, 2015 9:20 am at 9:20 am #1090024
I have some family in Baltimore. It always struck me as a pretty cool, laid back place. Columbus and Baltimore are pretty much apples and oranges. Baltimore kind of reminds me of New Orleans minus the music scene. It has that same relaxed, from-another-time vibe.
Plus it has spectacular old real estate that is within reach of mere mortals and DC is very close. But you have to love Old Bay and Natty Boh.August 24, 2015 1:28 pm at 1:28 pm #1090067
I grew up in Columbus and have lived in DC for the past 11+ years, and have spent quite a bit of time in Baltimore (almost moved there 6-7 years ago). My experience is solely with Baltimore City; I know very little of Baltimore County and other suburban areas. As some have noted, Columbus and Baltimore are very different cities. First, the obvious: Baltimore is a more blue collar/industrial city, significantly denser, has an established Mid-Atlantic/east coast culture and is generally a more active city than Columbus, particularly in its urban core. Although population-wise in the city proper Columbus may be larger, the Baltimore region–particularly when considered as part of the greater DC-Baltimore region, is significantly larger. Baltimore definitely has more of a “large city’ feel to it than Columbus does.
It’s also true that many central Baltimore neighborhoods have seen significant redevelopment and gentrification over the last 10-15 years. Much of that is focused around the Inner Harbor and Harbor East, but has also included neighborhoods such as Federal Hill, Fells Point, Canton, Patterson Park, Mount Vernon, Bolton Hill and Charles Village.
Despite that, vast swaths of the city, mainly its east and west sides, remain cripplingly poor, under-invested and ridden with all the associated urban ills you would expect to find in such neighborhoods. This has ramifications across the city: property taxes in many “developed” neighborhoods are startlingly high, due in part to the fact that so much of the city is home to underdeveloped or blighted neighborhoods. This also has an impact on city services: roads are continually in chronically poor condition, the transit system, is underfunded and not nearly as well-developed as it should be, and schools are overcrowded and under-performing, by far the worst in the state of Maryland.
Baltimore is home to many older, attractive neighborhoods with a laid-back feel, good restaurants and bars and nice parks, museums and other amenities. And while it is more expensive than Columbus, it’s much more affordable than its southern neighbor (where I live), and the somewhat slower pace of life leads some to view it as an alternative to Type A DC. But the city is undoubtedly facing many, many issues right now. I enjoy spending weekends there and visiting friends, but am happy that my wife and I did not follow through on our explorations of moving there some years back.August 24, 2015 1:43 pm at 1:43 pm #1090074
I mean Family Ties was pretty much the most critically acclaimed show ever.August 24, 2015 1:49 pm at 1:49 pm #1090075
MichaelCParticipantAugust 24, 2015 2:31 pm at 2:31 pm #1090078
Walker EvansKeymasterAugust 24, 2015 2:48 pm at 2:48 pm #1090080
heresthecaseyParticipantAugust 24, 2015 9:11 pm at 9:11 pm #1090129
I’ve been in the C-bus area for 6 years now, and like the poster above, I lived on the MD side of DC and visited Baltimore often for the 6 years before that. If I could afford to, I’d move to Baltimore in a heartbeat. I think it depends on what you value in a city.
Baltimore has a solid food scene–way more variety and choice, especially in terms of ethnic food. Plus, it’s so close to both DC and Philly for even more good eats. Columbus has some great places to eat, but far less in terms of variety. Baltimore has a stronger arts scene; again, there’s just more of everything. And again, you’re so close to other big cities. There is more walkability. I love my walkable C-bus neighborhood. But it’s not really reasonable to walk from one walkable neighborhood–say, the Short North–to another–say, German Village. This is much more doable in Baltimore and the public transit is better. You can get around the city easily; you can hop on a train to Philly, DC, New York. You can be at a beach or in Annapolis. It definitely feels like more of a big city; there is more happening. If you like to travel, you can get direct and nonstop flights to many places; here, you almost always need a connecting flight.
C-bus is a nice town. It’s really, really reasonable to live here, from house prices to taxes, to grocery and restaurant prices. It’s so much cheaper here that you can do a lot more with your money. The traffic here is so easy. The traffic in Baltimore and everywhere from basically Richmond to Boston is a nightmare. You can go from one side of C-bus to the next in 15 minutes. For us, the quality of life in C-bus is that everything is easier–it’s inexpensive and accessible.
I think the choice between is really about what you value in your city.
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