2014 has been a big year for me: about 26 cities, 10 countries, 3 continents, 24 flights (8 of them trans-Atlantic), 10 road trips, five long train rides, and a bus. Add to that learning a new language, learning to cook, learning to live with S, navigating the German visa system, and a little bit of wedding planning, and it’s easy to say this ranks as one my biggest years yet. Throughout all of the traveling and the lovely little bits in between, it was a year full of growth, rest, excitement, food, and love. I can only imagine what 2015 has in store.
Anyone can love a perfect place. Loving Baltimore takes some resilience. – Laura Lippman
It’s not always easy to love Baltimore. It takes a while to warm up to you and it may disappoint you from time to time with its traffic and ongoing fight against crime and poverty, but if you stick it out, you’ll find it’s well worth the ups and downs. Every time I meet someone new, this is, without fail, part of the conversation: “Where are you from?” “Baltimore.” “So you grew up in The Wire?” “Ugh.” There’s a reason people associate Baltimore with violence. I won’t sugar coat it. It’s a major problem. But beyond the Barksdale Crew and Omar, Baltimore is so much more. It’s a place where families grow and stay forever. Where you walk down the street and see your eighth grade English teacher, your high school classmate, you’re cousin’s best friend who you met at party, your aunt’s friend who cuts your hair, and your childhood lacrosse coach. It’s a place so full of charm that you just can’t shake it. It’s where the endearment “honey” is shortened to “hon” but comes out with the “h” heavy with breath and the “o” twisted into some sort of infinity symbol. Maybe try YouTubing it – I’ve never quite mastered verbal descriptions of pronunciation. It’s a place where people who may originally come off as gruff, turn out to be the types who would do anything for you when you’re in a jam and they’ll serve you the best crab cake ever made.