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I Never Want To Go To Baltimore


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#1

Glark

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Posted Apr 6, 2007 @ 2:55 AM

A place to discuss the show's portrayal of the city of Baltimore. I for one never want to visit. Not even for an hour. I might avoid an airport stop over.

Well done Wire. Well done.

#2

watcha

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Posted Apr 6, 2007 @ 4:18 AM

I would want to stop there. It's so fascinating to see how it all works. Personal safety, whatever.

#3

ducky one

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Posted Apr 6, 2007 @ 6:09 AM

A place to discuss the show's portrayal of the city of Baltimore. I for one never want to visit. Not even for an hour. I might avoid an airport stop over.


Oh come now, I'm Baltimore born and bred and I've only been shot 3, 4 times tops.

#4

Season Pass

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Posted Apr 6, 2007 @ 6:42 AM

Here's a clever piece on the subject, brought over from the old thread.

#5

pomme de terre

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Posted Apr 6, 2007 @ 8:40 AM

Aw, Glark, come and visit us! Don't you want to get some steamed crabs? Or see a lacrosse game? Or go to the American Visionary Art Museum (locally known as the Museum for Crazy People) and see outsider art?

There's a lot of nice stuff here. The weird part is that West Baltimore is so isolated from the rest of the city. It's not that physically far from the nicer parts (Stringer's "New West Side" renewal projects are totally based in fact) but never the twain shall meet.

I do remember a funny quote from then-Mayor and now-Gov. O'Malley (aka Carcetti) a few years back, possibly when Homicide: Life on the Streets was still on the air. He said something like, "What's that show, Providence? With the nice doctor with the curly hair? It would be nice to have a show like that set in your city."

Edited by pomme de terre, Apr 6, 2007 @ 8:42 AM.


#6

Orion7

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Posted Apr 6, 2007 @ 11:58 AM

Robin Williams didn't have such a good trip there. Oh, wait, that was Homicide: LOTS.

I want to count the cans on top of the Police Station, and smash crabs open with a mallet in a bar that has brown paper tablecloths.

#7

dittus

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Posted Apr 6, 2007 @ 1:25 PM

I lived in Baltimore for 4 years before starting to watch the show. And the ONLY thing that I recognized was the gratuitous shots of the harbor...

#8

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Posted Apr 6, 2007 @ 1:39 PM

I live in Baltimore, and I don't want to visit David Simon's Baltimore either! That's not to say that it isn't realistic, because it is. But those pockets of Baltimore are isolated from the rest of the city, like pomme de terre said. There are plenty of things worth seeing in this city. Personally I can't imagine a better way to spend a summer evening than on the roof of LP Steamers with a pitcher of light beer and a couple dozen crabs. And you can't do that in most cities.

And don't worry, Glark. The airport is way out in the suburbs.

#9

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Posted Apr 6, 2007 @ 4:10 PM

I think that while the show makes Baltimore look pretty horrible, what show on television is showing an unromantic, realistic depiction of American ghettos and their relationship to the state, if Baltimore gets a little character assassinated it's worth it for the awesomeness.

#10

escpla

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Posted Apr 6, 2007 @ 4:55 PM

I just wanted to comment here on something which has come up a lot to me from friends of mine who watch the show. They commented on the show's depiction of Baltimore as being very negative and that the creators must really hate the city. I don't think that's true at all, in fact, if I remember correctly Simon has said on many occasions that he doesn't hate Baltimore (he lives there, as do most of the other writers, producers, and actors) but that he hates what's happened to his city. The indifference and neglect are where his anger is appropriated, not the city itself.

#11

ladevotchka

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Posted Apr 6, 2007 @ 4:58 PM

I've actually developed an affection for B'More after watching the show. After all, it is without a doubt the most tragic character on The Wire. I think only someone with a deep affinity for the city could produce a show like this.

#12

Eegah

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Posted Apr 6, 2007 @ 5:49 PM

I was born in Baltimore and lived there a couple years before moving to Sparta, New Jersey. This show really makes me glad of that. Seeing as my major memory of the city is getting the shit scared out of me by an animatronic Pacycepholasarus in the Art and Science Museum, I don't see much reason to doubt it either.

#13

pomme de terre

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Posted Apr 6, 2007 @ 6:16 PM

As tiresome as it is to constantly explain to people that Baltimore is more than the Inner Harbor, Camden Yards and the ghetto, you'd have to be nuts to watch The Wire and think that Simon's portrayal is wholly negative. He clearly loves the city and its people.

#14

Puds38

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Posted Apr 6, 2007 @ 7:05 PM

ITA with pomme de terres. I lived in Baltimore for a student internship. I always thought the show was fairly accurate of the areas it depicted, which were primarily low income. Mind you there are other area of Baltimore. Go visit, if you're a seafood lover you'll get the best meal of your life outside of New England.

#15

Aggycat

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Posted Apr 6, 2007 @ 7:27 PM

I live in DC (and if we're having a depressing, blighted city contest, don't forget to enter our nation's capital), but I'm pretty familiar with our neighbor to the North, and everything above is true. There are some craptastic areas, but that's true of every big city, including DC (and New York and Chicago and LA). But it's not called Charm City for nothing.

#16

alex90028

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Posted Apr 6, 2007 @ 8:09 PM

I dont recall having anything close to the areas we see on the wire in los angeles. There are places like compton or watts that would come in mind in regards of corners or drugs, but most of these areas are single family houses, not projects

#17

ixoy

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Posted Apr 6, 2007 @ 9:13 PM

I see plenty of murders in L&O world, but none of them put me off New York. However, I never now want to go to Baltimore. Maybe it's the fact that the show seems that much more "real" than other TV shows, so much closer to a documentary of what really happens that I'd have trouble disassociating with it that much quicker.

Of course having watched "The Corner" and 7 seasons of "Homicide: Life on the Street", I can't think of an actual positive depiction of the place. But then there's one person all those shows have in common - the worst promoter for the city ever, even if it's clear, as posted above, that David Simons clearly has a love for the place.

But no, if I ever tour the US, Baltimore is off alas...

#18

Carabosse

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Posted Apr 7, 2007 @ 3:07 AM

I went to Baltimore for a work-related convention once and I had a lovely time. For me, the city has always been a mix of "Homicide" and "The Wire", but also John Waters movies. The weather was great, people were nice, and I'd definitely go back. The only hazard was people trying to get me to eat crabs when I'm allergic to shellfish.

I figure, I wouldn't want to live here in Seattle if all I knew was "Millennium", so I can't hold Baltimore-based crime shows against the real city.

#19

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Posted Apr 7, 2007 @ 9:35 PM

David Simon has said several times in the past that his favorite character from both The Wire and Homicide: Life on the Street was the City of Baltimore.

#20

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Posted Apr 7, 2007 @ 10:15 PM

Not sure if I should post this here or in a separate thread, but I always love the scenes with food. Here's a question for Baltimore natives. What are the lake trout subs that the corner boys are always eating (mainly in season 1 I think - WeeBay puts too much hot sauce on his in one scene...hahahaha)? Do they in fact have lake trout in them or is that a place called "Lake Trout"?

#21

Puds38

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Posted Apr 7, 2007 @ 10:29 PM

I only lived in Baltimore for six months, but I don't recall any stores named Lake Trout. I'm pretty sure the trout isn't really trout either, just some cheap whitefish the corner stores and bodegas sell & call trout. It's just popular in the neighborhoods, along with those sugary grape & strawberry sodas.
This reminds me. There are many terms and slang exclusive to only Baltimore that may not appear in urban online dictionaries, HBO at one point had a list on their site, would it be okay to start a thread for that?

Edited by Puds38, Apr 8, 2007 @ 1:16 PM.


#22

WithoutFeathers

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Posted Apr 9, 2007 @ 8:20 AM

I'd certainly support, provided it's more helpful than what Jacob Weisberg provided us with in Slate:

In the Baltimore ghetto, yo is both a salutation and the third-person singular pronoun; "feel me," means "listen to what I'm telling you"



#23

Navin

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Posted Apr 9, 2007 @ 10:27 AM

I love Baltimore, hon. I never feel unsafe when I'm there, but I don't go there looking to buy crack or heroin (I can easily do that where I live, in PG County :).

My band is based there, and we practice in the suburbs (Randallstown) and play a lot in the city. Our most recent gig there was supposedly in a "bad neighborhood" (on N. Calvert St.), but it seemed fine to me. The club has its own parking lot and it was well lit. There were a couple of homeless people outisde, but nobody really shady looking.

We've also played in Lexington Market a few times. That's another area with a bad reputation, and I've never had any problems there.

If you ever do get to Charm City, don't just eat crabs, try some pit beef!

#24

pomme de terre

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Posted Apr 9, 2007 @ 12:52 PM

I'm pretty sure the trout isn't really trout either, just some cheap whitefish the corner stores and bodegas sell & call trout.


Agreed. There are a lot of soul food carryouts in those neighborhoods, and "lake trout" is one of the most popular items. It harkens back to the origin of soul food in the Deep South, where people probably actually did fish in lakes, before the Great Migration northward to industrial cities like Baltimore.

#25

johnnyd80

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Posted Apr 9, 2007 @ 12:59 PM

It's all relative. I've been a Baltimorean my whole life... and I teach at a school in the city. Like any other major city, you find what you're looking for. You want to find crime - yep, we got it. You want to find good food and a safe place to eat it? Yep, we got that too. It all depends on where you go, who you go with, and what your frame of mind is when you go there.

What Simon hits straight on the head is the SELF-IDENTITY of the city of Baltimore. I've said this for years - that Baltimore has an inferiority complex - and it's more than just what happens when we watch our baseball team! The psyche of the city itself doesn't feel like it's worth anything. If Baltimore has the taint of "urban blight" it's largely due to how the city feels when it looks in the mirror - we are the scrappy, blue-collar, kinda dangerous, underdog; and we love being that, but with a soul dying to be anything else, if only for a minute.

Simon weaves that sense of self for a city's psyche straight into the heart of THE WIRE. Everything else is just, well, life in a city!

Edited by johnnyd80, Apr 9, 2007 @ 1:00 PM.


#26

Navin

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Posted Apr 9, 2007 @ 1:16 PM

johnnyd80, I don't think I've ever read a better description of Baltimore and Baltimoreans. Except maybe what John Waters said (I'm paraphrasing here): "A city where everyone is fucked up but nobody realizes it."

Edited by Navin, Apr 9, 2007 @ 1:14 PM.


#27

XeRocks81

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Posted Apr 9, 2007 @ 9:31 PM

I also got a question for B'more peeps, wtf is up with Crab chips?

#28

Sibella

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Posted Apr 10, 2007 @ 12:15 AM

Utz brand potato chips, flavored with the Old Bay seasoning used on steamed crabs. (Actually, I don't remember whether the chips are seasoned with Old Bay--a trademarked brand--or with a similar spice blend.)

There's no shellfish in 'em. I know that, because I'm a native Marylander who somehow didn't get the crab gene, and I still like the chips. Old Bay's good on fries as well.

#29

escpla

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Posted Apr 10, 2007 @ 7:03 AM

Utz is one of the main reasons to live in the Northeast U.S. I almost moved back just because I couldn't get crab chips anywhere else.

#30

Puds38

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Posted Apr 10, 2007 @ 7:51 AM

Utz chips are flavored with crab seasoning, Herrs boast that they use old bay. Isecond the recommendation. I am allergic to seafood & love these.