We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
I travel all over the U.S. and Baltimore is not a safe city. The only city that has scared me more was Atlanta. East St Louis and St Louis is probably worse but everyone already knows this and stays away from them. Chicago and Kansas City are bad but you just have to know where not to go. Ditto for LA and San Deigo.
When I stay in Baltimore I try to get back to my hotel before dark and I actually wear running shoes when I go to the inner harbor for dinner in case I need to get out of a bad situation.
I spent considerable time in every city you mentioned in the '50s and '60s. Went wherever I wanted to. Personal safety never entered my mind - no reason for it to. Times they are a'changin surely have changed. Thanks Lyndon et al.
I fly out of Baltimore and always hear business travelers talking about how shocked they are at the criminality of the city.
Don't forget the most dangerous small cities. They are just as violent and often worse. My beloved circa 1900 studio with perfect north light and a little courtyard is in this nearby city, and it is getting scarier all the time just to get out of the car:
That is absolutely true. In the 60's my friends and I would go to the worst part of Boston (Roxbury) and get someone to buy us beer so we could go over to Harvard or BU to party. It was different then in that a black guy on the corner might ignore you or bum a cigarette, he wouldn't turn down a couple of bucks to buy us some beer but otherwise he ignored two or three white guys in his nieghborhood.
For what it's worth BU was more fun then Harvard back then. You could walk down Marlborough St. and listen for the sound of a party and walk on up with a couple of six packs and join the fun no questions. MIT was so quiet you could fire a gun down Massachusetts Ave. after 10pm on a Friday night and hit nothing.
I don't doubt that things in Baltimore have gotten bad, but I have a hard time believing this story. It sounds too much like current Democratic talking points and perhaps this guy was saying what he thought that crowd wanted to hear.