Baltimore at night (Photo: Thinkstock)
Ahh Baltimore, Maryland — land of the birds and home of the brave. With its rich history, active nightlife, and beautiful countryside, “Charm City” has it all. I, like most Baltimoreans, take great pride in my hometown. To me, there is nothing better than spending a day at the National Aquarium, strolling down 34th Street during the holiday season, or cracking open a cold Natty Boh while watching the O’s at Camden Yards.
As a girl from the 410 who bleeds purple and can take down 10 crabs in a sitting, I take any crack made against Baltimore very seriously. If provoked, I may charge you like Ray Lewis taking down the Steelers running back.
To avoid injuries, here is a list of 12 simple things not to do:
Crabs and Boh — a Baltimore tradition (Photo: kslee/Flickr)
1. Compare Alaskan crabs to Maryland crabs
Do you even know what you’re saying right now? Have you even had Maryland crabs smothered in Old Bay? You shut your mouth when you’re talking to me.
Always remember, “Crab cakes and football — that’s what Maryland does!“
2. Make fun of our accent
We say our “o’s” weird—get over it hon!
3. Say the Orioles haven’t been the same since Cal Ripken
It’s hard to replace a 19-time American League All-Star and two-time American League MVP. That being said, the O’s have had their ups and downs, but we Baltimoreans don’t jump on any bandwagons.
Related: 12 Ways to P*ss Off a Nebraskan
Go O’s! (Photo: @wheelsee/Instagram)
4. Ask the question: “Oh, my God, have you seen The Wire?”
Yes — yes I have. It is one of the best shows ever created, and I agree, it is ridiculous that it never won an Emmy. Does this mean that the show represents the entire city of Baltimore? No. It’s almost as if people expect to see Omar’s ghost walking around the streets when they visit. Come on people, it’s a fictional show on HBO! Which brings me to the next point …
"The Wire” is Baltimore, but Baltimore is not “The Wire.” (Photo: iMDb)
5. Assume that my life is constantly in danger
This is one of the most common stereotypes about Baltimore that rubs us the wrong way. Baltimore has its shadier areas — just as any city does. However, the violence shown on “The Wire” does not reflect the state of the entire city. So fear not! And come see for yourself. There are many excellent neighborhoods downtown such as Fell’s Point, Federal Hill, Hampden, and Canton—all are perfect places to eat and walk around. Harbor East also has great restaurants like Fleet Street Kitchen which is a great stop for dinner.
So, to people who ask me when I’m visiting home, “Are you still alive?” — this article proves my existence.
6. North or South?
Stop trying to put us in a box! Northerners think we’re from the South, and Southerners say we’re from the North. Honestly, this battle is getting a bit old.
7. Ask, “Where did you go to college?”
Irrelevant. In this city, it’s where you went to high school that really matters.
8. Ask, “What is lacrosse?
Lacrosse is a lifestyle in Baltimore. To quote, hometown lax celeb Steele Stanwick: “Lacrosse is something that almost everyone can relate to in the Baltimore area. It keeps everyone connected and in a lot of ways becomes a staple of both the city and state as a whole. The lacrosse talent and scene are incredibly unique in comparison to anywhere else in the country. It is one of the things that separates Baltimore from other cities.”
Johns Hopkins Lacrosse plays Army in 2013. (Photo: West Point/Flickr)
9. Make the mistake of calling Baltimore the capital of Maryland
No, the capital is Annapolis, but now that you mention it, Francis Scott Key did pen the “Star Spangled Banner” after witnessing the battle of Fort McHenry — so we’ve got that going for us. Maybe I’ll let that one slide.
10. Call us Baltimorons
Can we grow up please? Name-calling is childish and inappropriate — not to mention, completely false. This city was once home to many intellectuals, including Johns Hopkins, Edgar Allan Poe, Frederick Douglass, and even the bizarre and creative John Waters. We are “The City That REEDS” … excuse me, “The City That Reads,” and don’t you forget it.
Baltimore bumper sticker (Photo: A. Currell/Flickr)
11. Call Baltimore, “Smalltimore”
Now this one might be up for debate. The close-knit nature of this city can be a good thing and a bad thing. Some may dread the act of constantly running into someone they know while they’re eating at The Mt. Washington Tavern or getting groceries at Eddie’s. But most, I believe, love the close connections within the city and thrive on a little “small” town gossip.
12. Talk about Ray Lewis and his previous legal woes
Birds flock together. We love Ray Ray no matter what. #RAYvensNation
Everyone do the Ray Lewis dance! (Photo:AP)
So to all those haters, take a lesson — B-MORE and do less.