Keurig Machines Suck Ass, And I Love Baltimore

Yesterday I was looking at real estate in nearby Baltimore. I found an unbelievable one bedroom townhouse for $1,250 a month (is that a joke?).  It was built in 1900 and has all kinds of sweet architectural features that small size necessitates; exposed interior brick, exposed ceiling beams, narrow third floor staircase. Not to mention its own backyard (!) and deck (!!!). $1,250, and under ten minutes walking from Camden Yards.

I started fantasizing. I could make that house incredible. It has a “study” – which I’d make into a sanctuary with everything I love. The kitchen appliances are dated but fuck it, I’d make do. I’d be totally alone. I hardly know anyone in Baltimore, so I could easily terminate my social life and become a hermit.

Hold on. Writing that last part gave me a personal record boner.

A friend of mine, born and raised in Brooklyn was lamenting Poseur Trash White America’s unending siege (via trebuchet loads of Crosley turntables and last year’s iPhone) of the once-mighty borough. He claimed a resemblance between current-day Baltimore and a Kings County of the past.

Baltimore real estate is cheap as hell. It’s mind blowing. I find that attractive. I want to live in a real house without having to drop most of my take-home. It’s got a thriving art community that I’ll likely never participate in… but at least it’s there. Orioles tickets behind home plate can go for $65!

Maybe it’ll get ruined if DC people (who often blow ass) move there en masse. But I don’t think the ass-blowers would “deign” to settle up there. It doesn’t have the cachet. They’re probably worried that people will respond with “Oh, I didn’t know you’re on heroin” or “But they don’t have list bars there”! Maybe they do, I don’t know.

I can’t help but thinking that my selfish instinct to get more for less is the genesis of Baltimore’s potential Brooklyn-ization. Look at what happened with DC. The city was full of territory considered “too edgy” for the post-grad crowd, and now developers can’t build fast enough. DC’s earned a high priority as a destination for young professionals who can’t see how boring they are (trailing only New York City and all MBA programs collectively). There’s been a huge amount of growth here, and the gentrification is obvious.

Baltimore’s economy doesn’t appear tied to DC’s. Most of Baltimore’s largest employers are in health sciences or academia, and then several locally headquartered businesses, so the connection seems minimal. DC is far enough away to be an unreasonable commute so it won’t get the yuppie spillover that the outer boroughs attract.

Even if a couple thousand young, reasonably well-off people annually settle there, I don’t see Baltimore ever attracting the “So I was at this vegan Tex-Cambodian place – so authentic – while diddling my butthole with the complete works of Malcolm Gladwell on a USB stick” crowd. It doesn’t have New York’s monolith of opportunity (unless you are a physician or want to be a longshoreman) and it’s never romanticized. It has “The Wire”, and (making no quality comparison) New York has “Frances Ha” and “Some Bildungsroman Dogshit With Celebrities’ Kids”.  No one sees Stringer Bell and says “THAT’s the guy I need to get my manuscript to!”.

Maybe I can move there without sapping its life force. I really want to. I could get a dream house without bankrupting myself to do it, and I could walk to a baseball game almost every day.

Also, Keurig Machines do suck ass. This article went in a totally different direction than I initially intended. TC Mark

image – l.burchfield

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