Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Neighborhoods and Vignettes

Like all of the stories that hold Sandra Cisneros' The House on Mango Street together, the neighborhoods of Baltimore function in the same respect. They bridge the gap between races, sexes, and income. They are an example of how diversity can coexist. Therefore, we can look at the myriad of different neighborhoods as little vignettes, each with a unique story to tell.

In class on Tuesday, one of our classmates, Brittnay, who is in the Real Estate industry, told us an anecdote about her boss' reaction to different zipcodes within the City of Baltimore, even going so far as to describing some of them as being "scary." The reputation of Baltimore is something that needs to be changed; it was given the moniker "Charm City," after all. When I tell people that I go to school in Baltimore, they give me this "are you kidding?" type of look. People who are not from the area, or have not spent prolonged periods of time here fabricate harsh and unfair opinions about the city. In addition to our efforts to forge stronger bonds between Loyola and the City of Baltimore, as part of the Year of the City campaign, we also have the obligation to promote the city in a positive light.

One of the guys that I work with is a couple of years older than me, he is African American, and he has lived in Baltimore his whole life. Today, we started talking about how Baltimore has such a bad reputation, and how unfair it is for people to draw such conclusions. Our conversation touched upon a lot of things: The Wire, of course; the weather here, and how Baltimore actually experiences all four seasons; a friend of his from California who mocks Baltimore at every chance she gets. I felt a sense of pride after this discussion; I was proud to go to school in Baltimore, something I never though possible.