Baltimore Row Houses near Bond St

I was driving from Washington, DC to NYC yesterday, which brought me through Baltimore; a town I know mostly as the city where awesome show The Wire was based. A little Googling revealed quite a few sites around town worth checking out. I snapped the above photo along Bond Street:

6. Drug Corners And Bulletproof Bars
(Bond Street between Biddle and Federal streets)
This tour itinerary doesn’t include stops at any particular drug-corner locations, though they are central to The Wire’s plots. That’s because they’re everywhere. “Drug corners are so easy for me to find,” Peranio says while driving back north on Bond Street. “Almost any corner in this neighborhood could be one. Every time we get a script, there’s a list of 35 places to find in five days. If it’s an alley, a bar, or a drug corner, we just say [to the crew] set up where you want, because I’ll walk up the street and find a good drug corner.” Several of the corners on this stretch of Bond were used as drug corners in the third and fourth seasons.

The area along Bond Street, such as the shot above, shows that things really are what the show made them out to be in that part of town. Frankly, it’s worse in person than in the show. The show focused primarily on the drug dealers in that area, but driving around, the addicts are even more prominent than the dealers, which makes sense since one dealer can handle the needs of many addicts.

No neighborhood of Minneapolis is as run down as this part of Baltimore. Cleveland? Perhaps. Gary, IN? No. There aren’t enough people left.

That said, the city has many very nice areas as well. I ate at an empenada restaurant in Little Italy, which is a neighborhood of well maintained row houses a bit closer to downtown. That neighborhood seems very healthy, isn’t boarded up, and doesn’t have drug corners.

Row houses, at their best, look awesome, but at their worst, look pretty darn scary to me.