16 Things to Know About Life in Baltimore

16 Things to Know About Life in Baltimore

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By Vince Mancuso, Storage.com

Storage.com takes pride in helping people move into their new homes, whether that involves providing a storage unit in between or by helping people discover more about their new city.

Whether you’re looking to live in Baltimore, MD to enjoy the culture, work in or need the exemplary healthcare, or enjoy the history, there are many excellent reasons to live there — especially if you’re a young professional. If you plan to move into Charm City, here are a few things you need to know.

1. BALTIMORE IS SEEING GROWTH.

Baltimore
Photo by Taber Andrew Bain

Despite recent years of population decrease, there is a growing demographic. With a variety of social scenes and communities, Charm City ranks among the best cities for college students according to a USA Today report. The report shows that the city has a lot to offer young people, such as ranking 10th in annual mean wages, 8th in the percentage of population using public transit, and 5th in percent of population attending college. All of this combined, the report shows that the number of college-educated people has increased 92 percent from 2000 to 2010.

Much of this growth can be seen downtown, with more than 25,000 young professionals living in the area as of 2014. This demographic shift has already made an impact on the city, whether that be the conversion of old buildings into new apartment complexes or the creation of neighborhood establishments like the Kickball League of Baltimore.

2. UNDERSTAND THE LANGUAGE.

Honfest
Photo by Doug Miller

While it’s best to not attempt to imitate the accent, you will be sure to notice a few ways that some natives pronounce certain words. For instance, the name Baltimore, while most of America pronounces it “Balty-more,” don’t be surprised if you hear “Bawdy-more.” Some may even all together eliminate that hard middle consonant sound and say “Bawlmer.”

Another thing you’re likely to hear a lot of is the word “hon.” Short for the word “honey,” this is a term of endearment in these parts. The people love using this friendly term so much they have a whole festival around it, Honfest. This festival takes place on four blocks along 36th Street in the Hampden neighborhood. People from all over come together, many dressed up with beehive hair and brightly-colored sunglasses, to embody and celebrate the hon lifestyle.

3. BALTIMOREANS ARE PROUD OF THEIR HISTORY.

Bmore
Photo by Maryland GovPics

Speaking of their accent, attend a single Orioles game and you’ll be sure to catch the over-pronounced “o” on the last line of the National Anthem. Aside from this unique way of singing, the city prides itself on that fact that Francis Scott Key penned The Star Spangled Banner while in the Baltimore Harbor as he witnessed the attack on Fort McHenry during the War of 1812.

Charm City loves its place in history so much it even held the Star-Spangled 200 event in 2014 to commemorate Baltimore’s role in the war 200 years ago. This even brought in more than 1.43 million people to the area to celebrate our nation’s history.

4. YOU CAN GET A TASTE FROM THE 1850S.

People eating "snowballs"
Photo by ramsey beyer

Depending on where you’ve moved from, you may have heard of shaved ice, snow cones, or slushies, but all of those concoctions and treats have nothing on the original: the snowball. The snowball has a history that dates back to the Industrial Revolution in the 1850s, when ice houses would bring huge blocks of ice through town on their way to Florida. Kids would ask for some ice scrapings in the summer, and soon their mothers would make flavors to add to the ice.

To this day, locals still love one of the original flavors: egg custard. Originally made because of its simple recipe—eggs, vanilla, and sugar—natives and newcomers alike can order this traditional favorite for a taste of life from more than 150 years ago.

5. BERGERS COOKIES—’NUFF SAID.

Berger's Cookies
Photo by Steve Snodgrass

Advertised as the anytime cookie, this local creation is consistently one of the favorite treats to the patrons of Baltimore. This cookie dates back to 1835, when German immigrant Henry Berger first set up his bakery in East Baltimore.

While the ownership of the company has changed hands throughout the generations, the recipe has remained mostly the same for these delicious, fudge-dipped cookies, which are a cultural icon for the town.

6. YOU WON’T FIND BETTER CRAB.

Crab
Photo by Alan Levine

This is likely one of the biggest things to know: never, under any circumstances, do you use a mallet to eat Baltimore’s famous Chesapeake Bay blue crabs. The proper way is to eat them by hand, after they are steamed and seasoned with Old Bay. Some people will tell you to use J.O. Crab Seasoning, but Old Bay is what home-cooked crabs go best with.

For those who do want to try steaming up some crabs on their own, it’s important to know what to look for when selecting some good-quality crab. Look for a brown, rust color on the underside and make sure the crab has some weight to it once you remove the claws.

7. B’MORE HAS EXCELLENT SEAFOOD RESTAURANTS.

Crab cake with mac n cheese
Photo by Navin Rajagopalan

If cooking isn’t exactly your forte, don’t worry, Baltimore has a wealth of restaurants to meet your seafood needs. While there are tons of good places to eat, locals love places like Thames Street Oyster House. If you like crab, go for their Jonah Crab Claw. Not in the mood for crab? They have other delicious options as well, such as a variety of oysters and the highly recommended lobster rolls.

You should also check out Faidley’s Seafood. While it’s up for debate, many Baltimoreans claim this establishment to have the best crab cakes in B’more. People say you can’t go wrong with what you order, but you need to get a side of their mac and cheese.

8. IF SEAFOOD ISN’T YOUR THING, HAVE SOME PIT BEEF.

Chaps
Photo by Krista

Chaps Pit Beef can meet your meat needs if crab and fish aren’t what you’re craving. This restaurant is a favorite for its sandwiches, platters, and home-cooked sides. If you go, you have to try sandwiches such as the Guy’s Triple D, a sub that includes beef, corned beef, and sausage.

You have a variety of sides to choose from, such as gravy or cheese fries, as well as condiments. People here love the tiger sauce, which is believed to be a mixture of horseradish and mayo and will clear up your sinuses.

9. PLENTY OF BEER TO ENJOY.

Natty Bo
Photo by Dave Hosford

Many people love a good beer alongside their meals, and the Land of Pleasant Living has its residents covered there as well. People love local bars such as The Brewer’s Art, Union Craft Brewing, and Of Love & Regret to enjoy native brews such as Resurrection, Oliver, and Stillwater beers. Another go-to beer in Baltimore is National Bohemian, or Natty ‘Bo to the locals. While now owned by Pabst Brewing Company, this beloved beer got its start in Baltimore.

B’more loves beer so much, they created the Baltimore Beer Week. This week-long event to raise awareness of all things beer in Baltimore began in 2009 and has since grown to include beer tastings, brunches, pub crawls, and football games.

10. THE INNER HARBOR IS FOR EVERYONE.

Girl at Inner Harbor
Photo by m01229

Don’t let the label of tourist attraction fool you, the downtown Inner Harbor is a place for all to enjoy. This centralized location serves as a hub for attractions such as the Maryland Science Center, Reginald F. Lewis Museum of Marlyand African American History & Culture, and the National Aquarium as well as a variety of restaurants, bars, and shops.

You can also enjoy the water of the Inner Harbor with the marina and other docks nearby to take your boat out. If you don’t own a boat, there are often party cruises and other options, such as paddle boats, to experience the city from the Patapsco River.

11. B’MORE HAS PLENTY OF NIGHTLIFE.

Ottobar
Photo by Rachel Elaine

Mobtown has a variety of hotspots to enjoy at night. Many will recommend Power Plant Live! This venue is just off of the Inner Harbor and offers 16 bars, restaurants, and other entertainment options to enjoy while downtown, as well as live shows from national acts such as Irish-punk band Flogging Molly or indie rock band The Airborne Toxic Event.

If you’re looking to experience something a bit more local, check out the Ottobar in Old Groucher. This B’more favorite is a two-story dive bar and concert area where you can eat, dance, and enjoy the night. You can even check the place out on Wednesdays to compete in a bit of trivia!

12. YOU’LL BE DOING PLENTY OF “BIRD WATCHING”.

Camden Park
Photo by Daniel Betts

You have your choice of birds in Baltimore depending on the season: Ravens or Orioles. With baseball season well underway, Orioles fans can enjoy MLB home games at Oriole Park at Camden Yards. While built in the 1990’s, Camden Yards still sets the standard for new fields and still ranks among the best ballparks in the MLB.

When football season comes around, Baltimoreans cheer for the NFL Ravens, which have consistently been among the top-performing teams in the country, winning a Super Bowl in 2012. The team also has had six of its previous members go on to be named to the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

13. BENGIE’S IS A ONE-OF-A-KIND MOVIE EXPERIENCE.

Drive In Theate
Photo by allisonmseward12

As one of the last drive-ins in the country, Bengie’s Drive-In Theater claims to be the largest film screen in the USA. In a throwback to the good old days, this is a great place to go with family and friends to enjoy a cheap night out to the movies with a bucket of fresh popcorn bought from the concession stand.

For those who have never experienced a drive-in before, one price of admission will give you screening to all the movies played that night—including cheesy previews in between films. However, be mindful if your car has automatic running headlights as well as keeping the brightness on your cellphone set to low. Any additional light can diminish the overall display for other patrons.

14. BALTIMORE LOVES THE ARTS.

artscape
Photo by Ted Eytan

Charm City is home to Artscape, the country’s largest free arts festival. Each year, Artscape brings in more than 400,000 guests for the three-day festival to see more than 150 artists. These artists can include fashion designers, craftspeople, visual artists, sculpture artists, photographers and more. Exhibits also include live concerts on an outdoor stage, which can have dance, opera, and experimental music.

You can even explore some of the local culinary arts with an international menu of food and drinks throughout the festival.

15. BOOK-LOVERS ARE WELCOME.

Poe's grave
Photo by Natalie Maynor

With so much to do in B’more, you may want a night in every once in awhile. Fortunately, Baltimore can supply that as well. The “City that Reads” is home to the CityLit Project, which has the mission of connecting a community of readers and writers to draw people in to embrace in the literary arts. Atomic Books is one of the local favorite bookstores. This Hampden shop is often labeled “eclectic” due to its carefully-curated selection, which can range from new comic books to a city writing selection.

There’s good reason bookworms love it here, as writers such as Gertrude Stein, Ogden Nash, and Frederick Douglass called Baltimore home. However, Baltimoreans are especially proud of their connection to Edgar Allan Poe, who died and was buried in Baltimore. You can visit both his grave and the Edgar Allan Poe House and Museum.

16. IT’S EASY TO GET OUT OF TOWN.

Baltimore
Photo by Doug Kerr

While there are plenty of reasons to stay in Baltimore, the city does offer a short drive to a number of major cities in the Northeast, such as New York City, Philadelphia, and Washington, D.C. So, should you feel the need to explore other cities, you can make a day trip or a weekend getaway fast and simple.

Is there anything we missed? Let us know in the comments below!

All images have either been provided by a listed organization or are licensed under the Creative Commons.
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How Self Storage Helps with Living Downtown

How Self Storage Helps with Living Downtown

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By Graci Woodworth, Storage.com

Finding your place in this world can be pretty difficult, not to mention how hard it can be to move there. Storage.com is here to help with the moving process, either by providing storage or helping you find the ideal place to call home.

An apartment or loft right above the hustle and bustle of downtown is ideal for many young professionals today—and for good reason. The proximity to local hot spots, job opportunities, and vibrant cultural atmosphere are a few of the reasons why people are drawn to life in the heart of downtown areas.

Unfortunately, there’s a trade-off for living downtown. Apartments and lofts are pricey in urban areas. To put things in perspective, the median price for a one-bedroom apartment in Lincoln Park, Chicago would cost you somewhere near $1,540 per month. Add another bedroom to that equation, and your price per month jumps up to around $2,295 on average. Move to a coastal city like San Francisco, and the median rent for a one-bedroom downtown apartment is $3,400 per month with the two-bedroom coming in at a whopping $4,580 per month. So your options are either ditch downtown or get used to being cramped.

That said, you do have another option, one that will make it easy to get both the cool downtown apartment or loft you’ve always wanted and enough space for all of your things. That option is self storage.

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Save Serious Cash

While it’s logical to go with the smaller space that lines up with your budget, you don’t have to sacrifice space altogether—you can gain roughly the same amount of space as an extra bedroom with a 5×5 or 5×10 storage unit. With prices starting as low as $39 in Chicago and $49 in San Francisco, you can get more space for all of your belongings. Start searching for storage units in your city now!

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CALL 866-432-8525 TODAY!

Safer Spots for Your Valuables

If your living space comes without a place to keep things locked up, let a storage unit do the safekeeping for you. In a city with so many people, a secure unit nearby is an easy way to keep your mind at ease when storing valuable items (or even just the things you want out of your roommate’s reach). When searching for downtown storage units, look for storage facilities that offer security features like gated access, alarmed units, on-site management, or video surveillance to better protect your belongings.

A Short Walk Away

Storing your belongings at a downtown storage facility that’s not too far from your living space is extremely convenient—especially if you’re a walker or rely on public transportation to get around. Many facilities are open 24/7 and offer a free or discounted moving truck with initial rentals, so be sure to inquire about those options to help make your visits for drop-off and pick-up as convenient as possible.

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Before you pour an entire paycheck into one month’s rent for more room in your downtown living space, find a storage unit! That way, you can have the best of both worlds: a great pad downtown and a unit nearby to keep any valuables, seasonal clothing, recreational gear, or extra furniture safe and out of the way.

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