Saturday, November 29, 2008

Question Me Good - Pt. 14

After a long day touring DC I'm exhausted, so I'll get straight to the point of this post.

MommyK's question is next on the list and she wonders about my migration to the big city.

What brought you to Baltimore? What do you like best about the city and what's the biggest downside to city living?

The first time I visited Baltimore, I fell in love with the Inner Harbor and had a feeling I might end up living here some day. It was about four years until that actually happened, though. Looking back on my history, it seems like maybe I was fated to come here, if one believes in such things. When I was contemplating medical school, Johns Hopkins was my first choice. When medical school was no longer my plan, I applied for the Teach for America program and my first-choice placement was Baltimore. When that didn't work out, I ended up at Kennedy Krieger Institute. Fate, I tell you.

The details on how and why I ended up here are long and complicated story, but I basically moved to Baltimore to work at Kennedy, a renowned hospital that treats children with a variety of developmental disabilities and disorders. I worked on an inpatient unit that treated children with severe behavior disorders as well as developmental disabilities. I'd been working with children with autism for a couple of years and had developed an interest in Applied Behavior Analysis, so it seemed a place like Kennedy was the logical next step.

The thing I like best about living in Baltimore (and a city in general) are all the available opportunities and resources. Where I grew up, cultural, social, educational, and professional opportunities were pretty limited. In the city I can go to a movie, a mall, a museum, a play or musical, a club, a natural food store, or a park without much planning (or driving). I also love that I'm so close to DC and NYC.

The biggest downside of living in the city is that I don't always feel as safe as I did in my tiny little hometown. There, walking alone at night isn't a problem. Here, at least in my current neighborhood, I wouldn't dare. Don't get me wrong, I feel safe parking and walking to my house and I feel safe in my neighborhood in general. But I wouldn't tempt the fates by, say, taking a jog in the park alone after dark.

It's your turn. What's your favorite thing about your current town? What's the thing you least like?

If you've got a burning question for me but haven't had a chance to ask it, you can go to the original post and leave your question in a comment. I'll keep answering a question or two a day until they're all answered.

If you're just tuning in, check out the rest of the series.


Over Coffee - the green edition said...

You summed it up perfectly. The things you mentioned about living in a big city are the things I miss now that I live in a small town and the thing you mentioned about a small town is what I like about living in one. I also miss the sun of SoCal but that is a different story. ;-)
I have never been to Baltimore though…sounds like I might have to visit it someday.

Ami said...

Over Coffee - I guess it's pretty universal, the desire to be safe but have access to a variety of opportunities and resources. Too bad I haven't found the best of both worlds yet. I'm sure it must be out there, though. :)

Kayris said...

I feel pretty safe in my neighborhood, and I feel like I can take a jog along the water at 8PM. But not at 11PM.

I love how close we are the everything and how many cultural opportunities we have. And I love how my children are exposed to so many different ethnicities.

I don't like the rats. I don't like the crappy parking. And I'm definitely not a fan of the noise. Sharing walls with other people has been quite an experience.

patresa hartman said...

oh, cool! you almost did teach for america! i have a friend who did that in...texas? california? i don't remember. she had a terrific experience.

i thought about it, but did americorps instead.

applied behavior analysis. also cool. where i worked as a school psych, we were all about the functional behavior assessment -- which, i think is similar. ?

any hoo.

my favorite thing about des moines is the summer -- lots of out door markets and concerts.

Ami said...

MommyK - How could I forget the rats? I guess I try to pretend they're not really there...And the noise of neighbors is another issue. Although I'm usually more concerned that I'm too loud for them than I am that they're too loud for me. :)

P - Yeah, I interviewed for T for A but wasn't accepted. Probably for the better, knowing what I know about myself now. And yes, ABA is similar to functional behavior assessment. I love outdoor markets and concerts, too!

Greener Pastures--A City Girl Goes Country said...

What I like about the little country town that I live in now is that the people are so friendly and old fashioned. They bring me pies and give me rides when my truck is broke down. But what I don't like about it is the bigotry and the intolerance for people who are different. I miss that kind of open-mindedness and acceptance of all kinds of people that I used to live with up north in the city. But no one ever brought me a pie...

Ami said...

Debi - If only we could have it both ways...

Greener Pastures--A City Girl Goes Country said...

You mean we can't have our pie and eat it too?

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