So here I am, trapped in Baltimore against my will, because my heart happens to have it bad for one of the nicest people ever who got us transferred here. Being with him in Baltimore is a helluva lot better than being anywhere else by myself, Disneyland included.
Baltimore is NOT like John Water's Baltimore. John Waters "Baltimore" is a thing seen in a gauzy rear-view mirror. The women wear their hair in every style except beehives. People of the opposite sex will still call you "Hon" but its just out of regional laziness.
They call this place "Charm City", but in actuality, it is today, in 2017, a sarcastic reality. There is very little about Baltimore that is charming.
Baltimore is dangerous, the kind of dangerous that gets you killed for being on the wrong corner at the wrong time.
Baltimore is racist, and that racism cuts through every every race, every hostility.
Baltimore is dirty, and not in the fun sense of the word. For a town with dying industries in its city center, their is filth and grime everywhere.
Baltimore is dangerous II, because the people who drive here think that traffic and speed laws don't exist for them, and when they get done running you off the road by their speed and horn honking, they will park in a lot and take up two, sometime three spaces. You know one of the tests that they give people to test their cognitive levels is to copy a line image of two interconnected pentagons. The further down the road to Alzheimer's you are the sloppier your drawing gets. These people here cannot seem to get a car into a parking space without the front of the car at 11 o'clock and the rear of the car at four or five.
Baltimore is rude, and Baltimore residents, by and large don't give a flying fuck about you unless they know you, and even that seems to take forever. We've been here five years and it has taken this long for us to make friendships beyond the smile you give people because there is little else you want to do with a stranger.
What do I mean by that?
We're from the Midwest. When new people move in near you, you at least say hello and if they are next door neighbors you invite them over for a cocktail, a beer, or even a game of cards - euchre or Bridge.
No one plays cards here. Mention "Canasta" and they look at you like you sneezed on them without warning.
When we moved into our neighborhood WE threw the party at our old house because the neighbors were so not getting involved with the new people. When new people move into our neighborhood, we're the folks holding the party for them.
I really, really want to love this place, but even at its best, its middling.
And how bad is it, really?
In Divine, you have an icon. You have an icon from which there would be no clue from the rest of modern America that this place exists. And there is no statue to Divine. None. The best that anyone has attempted to do is a wall mural on an alley.
Divine was larger than life, and Divine deserves a larger than life statue. 16 feet tall and cast bronze. THAT would be something. But in this city, nothing, because Divine is a mirror of what these people have allowed themselves to become and they deny it instead of owning it.
And finally, like Krab with "K", Baltimore is the cheapest imitation of what its wants you think it is. It could be great. But by and large, the attitude of most people who are made of Baltimore hurt their own city by failing to address its problems and make things work.
Baltimore makes Philadelphia look like Xanadu.