“Hey, you! Can I be your sugar daddy?”
This has so far been the most hilarious comment I have heard hooted to me on the streets of Baltimore, the city I have called home for nearly two years.
That day began with mishap after mishap.
It was raining hard, I didn’t have an umbrella, I missed the train to an important meeting, I arrived an hour late to my destination due to misguidance by Google Maps (don’t get me started on that) and now standing by the street, drenched with rainwater, I was listening to a man catcall me with that statement.
I was so shocked by the confidence and assurance he seemed to exude that I burst out laughing. I think he got the message that I was not interested in his “kind” offer, and he quickly drove off.
Now don’t get me wrong, I was not offended by this comment. Despite its rudeness, his impertinent statement shocked and amused me so much that it actually gave me the positivity I needed to make my day brighter amid the woes I was having. Odd, right?
Moments of surprise and amusement like this one have endeared me to Baltimore. I have grown to love this city for all the daily drama that it bestows on me.
I moved to this city from the bustling high life of Lagos State in Nigeria. In Lagos State, I felt that I lived on a constantly high dose of adrenaline, and I had prayed that Baltimore was not going to be anything like that. I wanted some peace and quiet compared to where I was coming from.
Baltimore gave me some of that desired tranquility, even with occasional moments of excitement from daring catcallers.
My absolute first reason for this candid love for Charm City (as it is popularly known) is that it houses my beloved school Hopkins. Outside of that, I have many reasons to love this city, like all the great and helpful people that I’ve met, the rich history and the food.
When I first moved to this city, I was struck by the buildings. When you look at the houses in Baltimore, you’ll immediately notice the common use of bricks for rowhouses. I love the old, artistic look that they give to the city. The aged feeling of the bricks reminds me daily that this city has a rich and long history that I am slowly becoming a part of.
I live in a brick-walled townhouse, and my room in particular has two pillars made of bricks. This may be hard to picture mentally, but trust me it took a lot of time for me to get used to having those pillars by my bedside. Now I look at the bricks and feel myself a part of an etched story on the ancient walls of Baltimore. This is one of the most pleasant feelings I’ve experienced in this city.
I cannot speak of the city I love without talking about the waterfront near downtown, which is conspicuously exquisite.
The best time to walk past the water is at night, probably after an ice cream date, when the luminescence of the surrounding houses is reflected by the water, illuminating glints of light across the surface. It is absolutely magnificent.
The waterside has numerous restaurants where one can sit and eat crab cakes as they gaze into the ocean. I always imagine that a mermaid will emerge one day. Or better still, that I will witness a wedding by the splendid waterside. To me that feels perfect: exchanging conjugal vows with your partner in one of the most impressive parts of the city.
I really can go on and on about the Charm City. Baltimore gives the best feeling to those who decide to live here. As a resident I feel protected, like I’m never left stranded or unguarded.
I may be biased in my glorification of Baltimore, but I genuinely feel like it’s a beautiful place that one must visit at one point in a lifetime. Each passing day that I spend in this city, I’m drawn closer and closer to its charm.
Chidimma Ezeilo is a Master’s of Public Health / MBA student from Aguluezechukwu, Anambra State, Nigeria.