Baltimore: First Impressions

So, I moved to Baltimore about a week ago in preparation to start my MPH at The Johns Hopkins University Bloomberg School of Public Health.

This is my first time living in a big city. I grew up in the suburbs of Detroit, moved to Champaign-Urbana when I was 18 for my undergrad, and then moved to Lèba, Burkina Faso, (a small village of 2000 people, but also a Department and a Prefecture in the province of Zondoma) for two years. I was back in Suburban Detroit for 9 months, and now I’m in Baltimore.

Here are some things I have noticed:

The proper way to pronounce Baltimore sounds like “Bawlmer.” I’m still going to pronounce it Ball-tee-more…and I will get judged for that, but that’s ok.

There are lots of hills here. Detroit is flat, Champaign-Urbana is flat, Lèba was flat. (Not counting the “hills” you notice when biking to and from Ouahigouya, but whatever). I live in an area called Brewers Hill, which is near Highlandtown, which is, as you might expect, high.

Exit and Entrance ramps are very narrow.

Baltimore is an interesting place. Baltimore City is surrounded by Baltimore County and each is a separate entity.

Due to the altitude, you can sometimes see clouds of smog.

The people here are polite and friendly. (At least the ones I’ve met…anyway).

I’m in the process of honing my parallel parking skills.

Baltimore is a lot like Detroit, except with a bigger harbor. The neighborhoods are much more distinct, and there is a big transition from Downtown to Little Italy, to Fells Point, to Canton, to Highlandtown, to Greektown, (YES BALTIMORE HAS A GREEKTOWN) to East Baltimore.

Baltimore has a lot of dogs, and lots of people walking their dogs. My building is pet friendly, but it is very quiet and I rarely hear dogs barking.

I’m getting excited for my program to start. After sounding the call on facebook for people who have moved in and are waiting to meet people, I got a bunch of responses. I’m looking forward to this new life in Baltimore and new experiences!

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