By Frances Stead Sellers (Washington Post, August 23, 2011)
Forget about Washington. Ask Baltimoreans about the benefits of Baltimore, and many will tell you that it’s the best place to live
That’s what 27-year-old Ken Wong told me when he was cutting my hair the other morning (and doing so for less than any salon I’ve tried in DC).
Yes, Washington’s got great museums on the mall and a better metro, says Ken, who’s tended to women’s hair in both cities. But Baltimore is the better place to be.
Ken’s got a point. And even though Baltimore is not the Nation’s Capital, it has its share of mall-like landmarks: It has an older and more architecturally interesting Washington Monument than Washington; Francis Scott Key wrote the Star Spangled Banner after witnessing the British bombardment of Fort McHenry; and the Enoch Pratt is one of the country’s oldest free public library systems.
But all in all, Baltimore’s not a Very Important Place — which is just what its residents like about it. People go to Washington for opportunity; when they come to Baltimore they find community. The one’s about work, while the other’s about life. And not la-di-da Georgetown-style life.
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