Day 207 Defining Baltimore

July 4, 2015

(This is part of a 365 project during my 70th years where I write and illustrate a blog on each day’s gift.)

Fourth of July fireworks from a rooftop in Baltimore
Baltimore has had a bad rap over the years, in spite of local efforts to brand its special charm with succinct catchy phrases.

Under Mayor Schaefer, Charm City became twisted to Harm City. Under Mayor Schmoke, the official slogan The City That Reads became The City That Bleeds and The City That Breeds. Under Mayor O'Malley, Believe was twisted into Behive, Blieve Hon and Behave. The next slogan, Baltimore, the Greatest City in America was painted on city benches, which ironically became beds for the homeless.

Present Mayor Rawlings-Blake came up with,  Baltimore: A Great Place to Grow which can be twisted into Baltimore: A Great Place to Die. The latest slogan branding is now Baltimore: Birthplace of The Star-Spangled Banner. It will be a challenge but I’m sure some creative person will figure out a cynical twist.

Baltimore is having a problem defining itself. In my experience, Smalltimore and Bmore are appropriate slogans. Or maybe a new slogan committee could be created with artists. Baltimore has a strong arts community that is succeeding with making small pockets of change all around the city.

Tonight we attended a July 4th party at a friend’s Federal Hill home. Perhaps a good slogan for the city might be Quirky Baltimore. At the party children ran around in princess costumes and adults devoured beer and steamed crabs spread out on newspaper.  From our high vantage point, along with people from dozens of surrounding rooftops, we could see fireworks from the harbor. As I watched the light displays, I thought about how people from many different backgrounds in Baltimore all respond to fireworks in the same way, “Oooooh! Aaahh!”

My gift today is fireworks in quirky Baltimore.

 > Day 208: Flight Path

can find links to my other posts on this project here:

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