Contra our Insulter-in-Chief, I really like the parts of Baltimore I have visited through the years.


I really, really like Camden Yards. After years of ugly, cookie-cutter baseball stadiums, Camden Yards restored personality, class, and charm to the national pastime. Plus, it gave us Cal Ripken’s consecutive-games streak. If karma were combined with justice, the Orioles would be good again, just because Camden Yards deserves a good team.


Speaking of which, just for being the home of the Ripkens, I like Baltimore. I also like Baltimore because it was the professional home of Johnny Unitas, and Frank Robinson, and Brooks Robinson, and Eddie Murray. Class acts, all.


I like the blue-collar ethos that once was Baltimore, and that was memorialized in the sometimes-hilarious movie Diner. And I’ll never again reach into a box of movie popcorn without laughing.


I like the Preakness Stakes. I like black-eyed Susans.


I really like the Baltimore Inner Harbor. It makes the waterfront wonderfully accessible. It has character. It’s a delightful place to visit.


I really like the Walters Art Museum. I saw a wonderful exhibit there once on relics and reliquaries. It was a stunning collection – beautiful, moving, soul-stirring. I’m not big on worshipping alleged bodily remains; but the way our forbears had a sense of the sacred, and venerated it, was truly inspirational.



What I really, really, really love is Baltimore’s Fort McHenry. If you haven’t been there: Go. Watch the filmed introduction. It’s superb. So is the presentation of the rest of the fort. Get a sense of the history. Revere the star-spangled banner that waved there, giving hope to the land of the free. If you have any pride of country in your bones, any patriotism for these blessed United States, you will feel chills when you visit. And you will feel good about Baltimore, too.


If parts of Baltimore are poverty-stricken and rodent-infested, then the president of the United States should work to improve the situation. After all, his son-in-law appears to be a slumlord there.


Once upon a time Republicans were energized by Jack Kemp, who made it his mission to lift up the residents of “tenements and barrios,” not insult them. Especially because of all the good things Baltimore offers, it would be nice if the current president would focus on lifting the rest of the city up to the quality of its better parts. It’s a high quality indeed, because Baltimore is a great American city.


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