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Talk to me about Baltimore, MD

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So my wife *may* get offered a job in Baltimore (Johns Hopkins Uni.) We currently live in Oakland, CA and I have a good paying job which I like. I'm a mechanical engineer who does new product development (non-consumer stuff right now, but would consider consumer stuff as well).

What is Baltimore like? The only thing I know about it is from The Wire and the one night I partied there like 10 years ago.

What are the good neighborhoods to live in? We prefer walkable, urban-ish neighborhoods, not suburban subdivision stuff. We don't have kids and own 1 small car.

What's the job market like for MEs or tech in general?

If you've lived there AND in the Bay Area, could you break down the differences? I've lived in LA, East Bay, Atlanta, and Madrid so you can draw comparisons to any of those.

TIA!

** Update 06/14/2011

OK, it's official. My wife was offered the job and has accepted it. She starts on July 11. My last day at my work will be July 1, and we'll be driving cross country shortly thereafter. We'll likely sublet an apartment for 2 months while we get our bearings. I'm updating my resume now...

** Update 07/18/2011

Wifey started work and we signed a lease for a townhouse (1880s vintage) in the Butcher's Hill neighborhood. Still living in Philly this week, but will officially move in next WE.

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I've lived in MD before, but in general it's probably a lot less hectic than I imagine NoCal to be. Some Charm City residents (Uri-Kai, Roadkill, etc.) could fill you in better on neighborhoods, etc.

I will tell you that you best be prepared for very warm and humid summers. "Spring" and "Fall" are relatively short seasons and summer seems to stretch from early May to early October.

There's a lot to do in and around the Inner Harbor; clubs, restaurants, museums, etc. The arts community seems to be pretty good. Plus, there's the sports and DC is only an hour away on the interstate. You can be in rural southern PA and Amish country in about 90 minutes. And, there's the eastern shore and Ocean City. :thumbup:

Just my :2cents:

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The whole city is like that McDonald's video.

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What are your thoughts on Ronald Reagan?

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Bithplace of both Al Kaline & Edgar Allan Poe. :thumbup:

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mount vernon and ten hills neighborhoods are nice, not sure if ten hills is too suburban for you though, as it borders along catonsville.

My biggest concern about living there would be the schools - any kids or plans for kids?

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I can only tell you about the inside of Max's.

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Bithplace of both Al Kaline & Edgar Allan Poe. :thumbup:

And Babe Ruth.

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DC is only an hour away on the interstate.

If you are lucky.

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mount vernon and ten hills neighborhoods are nice, not sure if ten hills is too suburban for you though, as it borders along catonsville. My biggest concern about living there would be the schools - any kids or plans for kids?

Isn't Federal Hill the yuppie spot in Balmer? Of course, you could move to Dundalk, hon.

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DC is only an hour OR TWO away on the interstate.

If you are lucky.FIXED. :thumbup:

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I can only tell you about the inside of Max's.

That's not in Fell's Point, is it? It's been a kajillion years since I lived there, but my gut tells me it's in Fell's Point.

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baltimore used to be a great american city. the afterglow has faded, i think. you may want to consider living in suburban DC or Philadelphia rather than living in B'more proper. your wife can commute easily to JH pretty easily, i think. the inner harbor isn't that special and it reminds me of the green zone in baghdad somehow.

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mount vernon and ten hills neighborhoods are nice, not sure if ten hills is too suburban for you though, as it borders along catonsville.

My biggest concern about living there would be the schools - any kids or plans for kids?

Isn't Federal Hill the yuppie spot in Balmer? Of course, you could move to Dundalk, hon.i thought that 'hood was in Providence.

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I can only tell you about the inside of Max's.

That's not in Fell's Point, is it? It's been a kajillion years since I lived there, but my gut tells me it's in Fell's Point.Yeah.http://www.maxs.com/

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What are your thoughts on Ronald Reagan?

Not a huge fan of his.

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baltimore used to be a great american city. the afterglow has faded, i think. you may want to consider living in suburban DC or Philadelphia rather than living in B'more proper. your wife can commute easily to JH pretty easily, i think. the inner harbor isn't that special and it reminds me of the green zone in baghdad somehow.

Wut??? :lmao::lmao::lmao:

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Baltimore is ok but it sure isn't CA.

Depends where you guys would live. Nice parts of the city come with big $ and high property taxes. Great parts of the surrounding counties may make sense depending in your respective commutes. Getting to DC from above Baltimore daily is not an enviable commute.

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you may want to consider living in suburban DC or Philadelphia rather than living in B'more proper. your wife can commute easily to JH pretty easily, i think.

If he owns a helicopter, this could work.

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My wife's mother lives in Philly, and we both like Philly and know it well. We'd consider living there, but how long is the commute to Baltimore from there? Can it be done by train?

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Nice parts of the city come with big $ and high property taxes.

Coming from CA, I doubt he's going to have sticker shock in B'more.

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What are your thoughts on Ronald Reagan?

Not a huge fan of his.Ok, then stay away from Ropewalk Tavern... Max's is where it's at.

My wife's mother lives in Philly, and we both like Philly and know it well. We'd consider living there, but how long is the commute to Baltimore from there? Can it be done by train?

You don't want that commute.

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My wife's mother lives in Philly, and we both like Philly and know it well. We'd consider living there, but how long is the commute to Baltimore from there? Can it be done by train?

It's about 100 miles from Philly to Baltimore. I think you'd have to use a combination of Amtrak, MARC, subway, and light rail to reach Hopkins by train from Philly.

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baltimore used to be a great american city. the afterglow has faded, i think. you may want to consider living in suburban DC or Philadelphia rather than living in B'more proper. your wife can commute easily to JH pretty easily, i think. the inner harbor isn't that special and it reminds me of the green zone in baghdad somehow.

Wut??? :lmao::lmao::lmao:you know what i mean. it's this artificial environment created to give the illusion of prosperity, safety and entertainment to those people living/working within it. if you go only a couple of blocks outside that green zone then it's a crummy and unsafe.

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So my wife *may* get offered a job in Baltimore (Johns Hopkins Uni.) We currently live in Oakland, CA and I have a good paying job which I like. I'm a mechanical engineer who does new product development (non-consumer stuff right now, but would consider consumer stuff as well).

What is Baltimore like? The only thing I know about it is from The Wire and the one night I partied there like 10 years ago.

What are the good neighborhoods to live in? We prefer walkable, urban-ish neighborhoods, not suburban subdivision stuff. We don't have kids and own 1 small car.

What's the job market like for MEs or tech in general?

If you've lived there AND in the Bay Area, could you break down the differences? I've lived in LA, East Bay, Atlanta, and Madrid so you can draw comparisons to any of those.

TIA!

Homewood, Charles Village, Guilford, and Roland Park are urban areas surrounding the undergraduate Hopkins campus that are all somewhat walkable and safe. Guilford and Roland Park are more suburban with pricy single family homes while Homewood and Charles Village have a lot of multi-unit and student housing options. Hampden is also a cool neighborhood with a distinct vibe of its own (mix of arty hipsters with rednecks). Hampden is stocked with rowhouses, many renovated and affordable for young couples.

Closer to the Hopkins medical school are the Canton and Patterson Park neighborhoods, again with lots of renovated rowhouses that popular with yuppies and dinks due to proximity to nightlife in Canton and Fells Point. These areas do share some of the problems with crime that the surrounding areas are plagued by.

There's also Mount Vernon, which is more centrally located and is the closest to a real downtown feel. Mostly condominium and apartment living here.

You will most likely need a car, as none of these neighborhoods are truly walkable in the NYC or San Fran sense, and public transportation is not so good in the city.

I loved living in Baltimore but honestly every Californian I know that lived there #####ed constantly about it, although none of them came from the East Bay area. I do think weather will take some adjustment as Baltimore gets real winters and uncomfortably sticky summers.

Link to map of Baltimore neighborhoods

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My wife's mother lives in Philly, and we both like Philly and know it well. We'd consider living there, but how long is the commute to Baltimore from there? Can it be done by train?

Philly would be a pretty ridiculous commute (for train, you would need to take Amtrak).I think the MARC train goes up to Aberdeen, which might be a better option (about 30 miles outside Baltimore towards Philly).

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Lived in Maryland area for 16 years and went to Grad school in Baltimore. Wife's family is from the Bay Area.

Recommendation: Stay in Oakland.

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My wife's mother lives in Philly, and we both like Philly and know it well. We'd consider living there, but how long is the commute to Baltimore from there? Can it be done by train?

Easily done by train. The train station is centrally located and would be about a $10 cab ride from most of the neighborhoods I listed above.ETA: Oh, I thought you meant visiting. Philly to Baltimore is a pretty long and expensive daily commute.

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This was 12+ years ago, so take it for what it's worth

I liked federal hill quite a bit.

The suburbs between bmore and dc made me want to develop a serious heroin habit

Love the history of the area, the big cities in the NE come the closest to European cities

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you may want to consider living in suburban DC or Philadelphia rather than living in B'more proper. your wife can commute easily to JH pretty easily, i think.

If he owns a helicopter, this could work.his wife is the one that would have to make the commute into B'more. some people don't mind long commutes, especially if the quality of life thing works in their favor. i had friends that commuted 2 hours every day to/from NYC. i know people that commute 90 minutes to/from chicago every day. commuter trains are fine for many people.

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It is pretty conservative for your tastes.

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It is pretty conservative for your tastes.

In what sense?

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Also, no one has commented on the employment aspect in Baltimore. Is it growing in any way? What sort of industries are around the area? What's the start-up scene like? Are tehre spin-offs from Hopkins or other Unis in the area? I see lots of listing for HVAC stuff, but I don't know crap about that, nor am I interested in it. Should I just say screw it and work as a consultant "gun for hire" and maybe go back to school for an MBA?

Lots of questions...

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Lived in and around Baltimore since 1997. I have lots of advice I can offer, but I'm away on business until tomorrow. I'll try to remember to chime back in with some toughts, but feel free to send me a PM with any specific questions. I promise to steer you in as good of a directon as possible. I also do some work at Hopkins, so I know the commutes.

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baltimore used to be a great american city. the afterglow has faded, i think. you may want to consider living in suburban DC or Philadelphia rather than living in B'more proper. your wife can commute easily to JH pretty easily, i think. the inner harbor isn't that special and it reminds me of the green zone in baghdad somehow.

LOLI've lived in Bmore for 12 years now, and it looks like we're staying for the duration since our older kid is only a couple of years away from high school. I grew up in DC, then lived in some idyllic New England small cities for several years and then when we decided to move back to near DC, we picked Baltimore because of the quality of life - we could afford a nice house in a good neighborhood with a very short commute. In Boston, we would have had to have lived in New Hampshire to afford what we have in Baltimore. In DC, I'm not sure a short commute exists anymore.PM if/when this gets serious. My wife works at JHU, so I can even give you some insight there. If it's just the two of you and you want urban hipster living, you want Canton and Federal Hill. At this point, I think Canton has surpassed Federal Hill. If you want city but maybe want a yard and don't want drunks (be there college kids or local streetfolk) on your front stoop at night there are a lot of good places, including Charles Village which would make walk to work a definite possibility for your wife (if she's at the main campus; if she's at the medical campus, you do NOT want to walk to work). Also Mount Vernon or Bolton Hill (a little too much crime there for my taste). Roland Park and Homeland are both super-nice but maybe too family-oriented for you at this stage of life. Hampden gets a lot of hype, but I don't like it - it's an uneasy mix of white trash and pseudo-hipster.I live a half-mile over the city's northern border into Baltimore County. To most people it would be considered Towson, though in fiercely tribal Baltimore, there are hundreds of tiny sub-neighborhoods that nobody from anywhere else has ever heard of but that around here are viewed as vital distinctions. My wife has a four-mile commute down Charles Street to JHU. Our whole area is 1940s colonials, leafy neighborhoods, with great schools because we are in the County. Also, property taxes are less than half what they are in the city. Neighborhoods in this area include Stoneleigh, Anneslie, West Towson, Wiltondale. Don't know if it's too suburban for you or not.Don't really know much about your field, though I do know there are lots of jobs being created by the Base Realignment Commission, especially at the Aberdeen Proving Grounds. In general, the job market here is pretty good because it seems to be driven by the few growth sectors of the economy - government, health care, and education. As you can tell, I am a big Baltimore proponent. It's not Boston or DC but it's not bad. Lots of great places to go, very livable and affordable, great access to all the other cities on the East Coast, plus beaches nearby.

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The Wire should tell you everything you need to know

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Also, no one has commented on the employment aspect in Baltimore. Is it growing in any way? What sort of industries are around the area? What's the start-up scene like? Are tehre spin-offs from Hopkins or other Unis in the area? I see lots of listing for HVAC stuff, but I don't know crap about that, nor am I interested in it. Should I just say screw it and work as a consultant "gun for hire" and maybe go back to school for an MBA?Lots of questions...

Baltimore itself has Johns Hopkins and the U of Maryland medical and law schools. The main U of Maryland campus is in College Park, which is a DC suburb. There's an art museum up by the Hopkins undergrad campus. Goddard Spaceflight Center isn't far and Ft. Meade is the HQ of the NSA and other intelligence agencies. Basically there's lots of government contractors or one flavor or another floating around.

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Also, check out Black and Decker for mechanical engineering product development work. They were bought by Stanley but still have a sizable presence here

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baltimore used to be a great american city. the afterglow has faded, i think. you may want to consider living in suburban DC or Philadelphia rather than living in B'more proper. your wife can commute easily to JH pretty easily, i think. the inner harbor isn't that special and it reminds me of the green zone in baghdad somehow.

LOLI've lived in Bmore for 12 years now, and it looks like we're staying for the duration since our older kid is only a couple of years away from high school. I grew up in DC, then lived in some idyllic New England small cities for several years and then when we decided to move back to near DC, we picked Baltimore because of the quality of life - we could afford a nice house in a good neighborhood with a very short commute. In Boston, we would have had to have lived in New Hampshire to afford what we have in Baltimore. In DC, I'm not sure a short commute exists anymore.PM if/when this gets serious. My wife works at JHU, so I can even give you some insight there. If it's just the two of you and you want urban hipster living, you want Canton and Federal Hill. At this point, I think Canton has surpassed Federal Hill. If you want city but maybe want a yard and don't want drunks (be there college kids or local streetfolk) on your front stoop at night there are a lot of good places, including Charles Village which would make walk to work a definite possibility for your wife (if she's at the main campus; if she's at the medical campus, you do NOT want to walk to work). Also Mount Vernon or Bolton Hill (a little too much crime there for my taste). Roland Park and Homeland are both super-nice but maybe too family-oriented for you at this stage of life. Hampden gets a lot of hype, but I don't like it - it's an uneasy mix of white trash and pseudo-hipster.I live a half-mile over the city's northern border into Baltimore County. To most people it would be considered Towson, though in fiercely tribal Baltimore, there are hundreds of tiny sub-neighborhoods that nobody from anywhere else has ever heard of but that around here are viewed as vital distinctions. My wife has a four-mile commute down Charles Street to JHU. Our whole area is 1940s colonials, leafy neighborhoods, with great schools because we are in the County. Also, property taxes are less than half what they are in the city. Neighborhoods in this area include Stoneleigh, Anneslie, West Towson, Wiltondale. Don't know if it's too suburban for you or not.Don't really know much about your field, though I do know there are lots of jobs being created by the Base Realignment Commission, especially at the Aberdeen Proving Grounds. In general, the job market here is pretty good because it seems to be driven by the few growth sectors of the economy - government, health care, and education. As you can tell, I am a big Baltimore proponent. It's not Boston or DC but it's not bad. Lots of great places to go, very livable and affordable, great access to all the other cities on the East Coast, plus beaches nearby.baltimore county is pretty different from b'more city. glad you pointed that out.

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If you're willing to give up the urban living, you could live in Howard County (halfway between DC and Baltimore) and open up more of the DC area for potential jobs.

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