Baltimore General Information
Baltimore is the Rodney Dangerfield of the East Coast. Not as cutting-edge as
Manhattan and short of the political intrigue of Washington, it rarely gets the
respect or attention it deserves. But "Charm City," as locals call it, is a mix
of grit and refinement. Vestiges of the past mingle with modern development,
creating a vibrant waterfront city with a fascinating history, charming
neighborhoods and eclectic culture.
|Today, Baltimore is home to 650,000 residents.
With 18 hospitals and two medical schools in the vicinity, it's not
surprising that the city's main industry is health care, followed closely by
By the end of 2004, the city had hoped to welcome at least one luxury hotel.
Insiders thought it would be the Ritz-Carlton, but it looks like the Four
Seasons will win out. Groundbreaking is on hold until the fall, with the
opening of the city's first super lux hotel scheduled for spring 2005.
In May of 2005, the Baltimore Convention and Visitors Association opened a
$5 million visitors center at the northern end of the bustling Inner Harbor.
The 8,000-square-foot facility allows visitors to get instant information
about events and attractions from touch screen kiosks. Reservation staff is
on hand to assist guests with lodging and dining recommendations. An
11-minute film called Baltimore Experiences provides a quick overview of
Charm City highlights.
In the same month, the $35 million expansion of the Maryland Science Center
was unveiled. The museum is now completely interactive and features special
attractions including an IMAX theater and a replica of the world-famous
Other notable developments include the East Coast's largest museum devoted to
African-American history, the B&O Railroad Museum and the multimillion dollar
National Aquarium. The most interesting development may be the city government's
campaign to lure disgruntled Washingtonians northward to a smallish city where
traffic is gentle and homeownership is affordable. But if a visit to the city
leaves you longing to call it home, contact a realtor pronto. Prices are
definitely on the rise.
There is a vitality to the city, stretching out from the campuses of the
University of Maryland near the Downtown and Johns Hopkins University to the
north. Johns Hopkins, who in the 19th century, rose from a humble greengrocer to
a wealthy philanthropist, embodies Baltimore's work ethic and the American
The city was the birthplace of both legendary baseball player George Herman
'Babe' Ruth and literary critic H L Mencken. Writer Edgar Allan Poe and singer
Billie Holiday have also left their mark, as has British Royalty. Wallis
Warfield, the double divorcee, who married King Edward VIII, causing his
abdication, lived for many years in the Mount Vernon district of Baltimore.
Baltimore is a city with distinct seasons - warm summers, sometimes snowy, cold
winters and moderate temperatures in-between. Residents are not only proud of
its heritage but also confident of the future, preferring to shape the
inevitable changes rather than be subject to them. Nonetheless, one thing has
never changed - it is considered almost a crime for one to leave the city
without tasting Baltimore's speciality, Maryland crabs.
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