Alex Palmer's Natural History Notes and Thoughts

Thoughts and reflections on various social and environmental issues, as well as naturalist observations from the great outdoors.

Ahhh, city life. The clear skies, the gorgeous skyline, and exciting places to walk around and meet people. That city in the photo above is Baltimore, MD on a warm and sunny spring day. My brother, who lives in Baltimore, often has to hear me criticizing the hell out of the city and of its host of problems with poverty, crime, pollution, and lack of urban planning. While certainly most cities exhibit some or all of these issues, Baltimore is a text-book example of a urban metropolis with suffering with these problems.

I was talking with a friend about my hatred for Baltimore, when I was stopped by a point my friend made: while the city certainly does have its seemingly unsolvable problems, the people who work on improving the city are some of the most motivated and incredible people she had ever met. This seems to be the case many times in cities that are facing similar troubles as Baltimore, such as Cleveland and Detroit.

Two days from now, I will be visiting my brother in Baltimore. It is a rough city, with homeless people on nearly every corner and dark grey buildings that tower over me. But there is hope for this community, and I can choose to either look down upon it as I have been, or I can acknowledge that there is hope for this area, even if only a spark at the moment. Finally, by not becoming overwhelmed with my feelings for the city, I can enjoy myself and the good times Baltimore and other struggling cities have to offer.

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