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March 11, 2009

I'm mad as hell and I'm not going to take it anymore

I'm tired of groveling.

Something snapped in me today when a reader e-mailed me complaining that I said Brasserie Tatin was in Homewood instead of Tuscany-Canterbury. (My thinking was that very few people outside the neighborhood know where Tuscany-Canterbury is, while most Baltimoreans know where the Johns Hopkins Homewood campus is.)

These neighborhood boundaries aren't handed down by God, are they?

So I did what any right-thinking Sun reporter would do. I went to Professor McIntyre. Here's what he told me.

Posted by Elizabeth Large at 4:06 PM | | Comments (71)


Hear, hear!

I agree with Professor McIntyre! (Isn't there some sort of rule about agreeing with him?) Don't people have something more important to worry about than the precise names of neighborhoods? If not, I want to know their secret to life.

(And for the record, I wouldn't know Tuscany-Canterbury if it bit me on the nose, but Homewood I've got covered.)

I believe "Homewood" is one of those discretionary neighborhood names, isn't it?

Give us a name. The Sandbox is ready, willing and quite able to heap scorn and ridicule on anyone who attacks our Glorious Leader.

To The Battlements

Why is the neighborhood even mentioned? Isn't an address enough? If you are reading this blog you have access to mapquest. Save yourself some grief and go hoodless.

just say it's in baltimore somewhere. if they want to find it, go look it up

The boundaries keep changing, too. Canton is eating Highlandtown. Federal Hill is eating Locust Point and...that other neighbourhood over there, by the sports places...Riverside?

The best reason to go to David and Dad's (with the possible exception of their Thursday chicken pot pie) is their huge map of the city and its neighbourhoods. Of course, according to it, I live in Baltimore Linwood, which at least has the advantage of not getting confused with Canton or Upper Fells.

I have seen my address on a handful of different maps identified as Remington, Hamdpen and Wyman Park, so apparently it's all relative.

I do like neighborhood information in reviews though. If I just saw a street address, I might not realize, oh, that's by my friend's house, or by that client I have to run and see next week.

Owlie, that map changes every year or so anyway. It is difficult to take it seriously.

"We're working on it" means that they asked for a bigger server but were turned down and are now hoping that people use the server less.

As Ted the network programmer once said to me, "The network would be great if there were no users".

The map is fun to look at. Who knew there was a neighborhood called Langston Hughes or Better Waverly? I'm setting up my own breakway nieghborhood called Littler Italy maybe Owl Meatopia.

Sort by neighborhood.

Neighborhoods in Baltimore have very fluid boundaries. You can ask any denizen of Hamilton where the boundaries are and get many different answers.

I like Matt's answer.

Besides, most Baltimoreans can find their way around town without neighborhood names. Give us an address and we'll find it. And we can keep our favorite neighborhood restaurants our own little secret if the tourists can't find them.

Oh, puh-leeze! I'd pump up Prof. McIntyre's advice to say that your reader/chastiser DESPERATELY needs to get a life!

I'm thinking that a map identifying "Waverly" and "Better Waverly" as two distinct neighborhoods has not changed in a long time!

I am sorry people get angry and take it out on Ms. Large, but it is nice to see people worried about neighborhood identification in order to claim restaurants rather than to deny crime for a change!!!

On the other hand, I can still remember how confusing it was when we moved to Baltimore in the 70s and would try to locate a store or shopping center. We would see an ad with a name but no address. Why, everybody knows where
Generic Mall is, hon! Eventually we figured out what we needed to know, but keep in mind this was before Mapquest or Google Maps, let alone GPS.

And what gives "Better Waverly" the right to put down regular old Waverly, anyway?

Dahlink -- according to Wikipedia, at least, the "Better" in "Better Waverly" comes from the old English use of the word to mean "greater" or "larger" (as in "the better part of [something]", I guess).

What happens when some of the residents want to change the name (Pigtown to Washington Village?) If I said Washington Village I would get a strange look, if I said Pigtown everyone would know where I lived. Names change or get fought over too. No one said living in Baltimore was easy.

I personally think the acrimonious battles over Pigtown (vs Washington Village) and their bounderies are pretty funny. BTW, there's the same thing in the county too. Try telling someone in Reisterstown that they live in Glyndon. Uh uh - won't fly.

I agree with Dottie (and JM) these people just need to move on!

And what gives "Better Waverly" the right to put down regular old Waverly, anyway?

Fewer cracks in the sidewalks?

Where is Tuscany-Canterbury, anyway? Sounds like the travel route of a well-to-do Anglican Canon.

Washington Village is so generic... there's Mount Washington, Washington Hill, Washtingtonville, all in Baltimore. It's Pigtown, Hon!

OK, today is a day in which I am absolutely not going to be amused. I will not laugh, I will not be in a good mood. And then, the first 4 posts here made me laugh out loud.

Soot! I had b*tch mode rolling, too!

What is the difference between Reisterstown and Glyndon exactly?

Having spent 10 years in Baltimore and all of them around Patterson Park, I still confuse Homeland, Guilford, and Roland Park.

I simply refer to them as that place with nice houses with lawns and no crackheads.

T-C is the area between University Pkwy and Cold Spring just west of JHU.

What is the difference between Reisterstown and Glyndon exactly?

They're on opposite sides of the tracks.

Owl Meat -- Tuscany-Canterbury is north of the JHU Homewood campus, and west of Charles Street. (University Parkway separates T-C from JHU.)

Some developments across the tracks in Reisterstown have adopted Glyndon in the name, much to the consternation of long time Historical Glydonites. ex of mine lived in what she called Hampden, I called Medfield...and which that map Owlie linked to calls Hoes Heights.

Ted, I guess that explains why I live by Patterson Park. I think of HGRP as "the scary rich north place."

Clearly that's why you live in PP, Lissa. Rich does not equal scary. PP=Scary.

I live in Bookyville, which is 75' south of Foster Ave. and 125' north of Fait Ave.

Some developments across the tracks in Reisterstown have adopted Glyndon in the name, much to the consternation of long time Historical Glydonites.

Someone from Pigtown is calling Patterson Park (or Baltimore Linwood) scary? That is pretty hysterical.

I'm convinced that if I set foot in the scary rich north place, I'll be arrested as a vagrant or worse.

If I lived in a palce called Hoes Heights, I'd call it something else too.

Bookyville, RayRay? Are you behind bars?

Judging by RayRay's comment, Bookyville sounds like that new Hopkins hospital off 895.

I'm not behind bars. I'm frequently in bars. :-)

Clearly that's why you live in PP, Lissa. Rich does not equal scary. PP=Scary.

As a Pigtown resident, you might want to take care of your own neighborhood's issues before you make derogatory comments about other Baltimore neighborhoods. You know what they say about people who live in glass houses.

I thought Hoes Heights was a bad joke, but no it's for real. Wasn't Pigtown ironically a Jewish neighborhood at one point?

By New Hopkins Hospital, do you mean Bayview?

The reference to Hoes Heights reminds me of a friend of a friend who was teaching music at a city elementary school. One Spring he introduced something called "The Garden Song," which he regretted as soon as he innocently asked, "Now, who knows what a hoe is?" "I do! I do!"

Don't know about Pigtown, but Patterson Park used to be heavily Jewish.

Patterson Park used to be heavily Jewish.

Butchers HIll as well (although it wasn't called that back then, I don't think). Many houses here (including ours) still have mezuzahs on some doorframes.

To be fair, MCG, Patterson Park certain has its share of working girls and johns from the county.

It is fun to grab my cell phone and stare at their license plates.

I once heard an expression regarding the proliferation of prostitutes in Patterson Park – the daffodils are blooming. I presume that it is because both are in abundance?

The working girls are around the park, they don't go in the park until they've got a customer. When I'm picking up trash in the park, my two least favourite items are sharps and condoms. I guess I should be happy the johns are using rubbers, but I wish they used the trashcans.

We don't have that many daffodils around here. There are a few in the giant pots some people put outside (presumably to block the postman from the letter slot). I think there are some crocuses on the Butchers Hill/Upper Fells side of the park.

Anon.--how do you know where the johns are coming from?

Dahlink, it is the little things like the "My child is an honor student at..." bumper stickers, the suburban soccer team stickers, etc.

My ex at one time worked at Midatlantic Bakery. I don't want to get yelled at by the neighborhood boundary police, but I believe it's in Highlandtown. Yes, there is also one in Canton, but that's not where he worked. Anyway, one day, the cops had a sting operation going on where they had placed decoy ladies to trap potential johns. This one real working girl had an issue with the decoy working her corner and was about to get physical with her about it until someone explained to her to scenerio. My ex couldn't keep his workers in the plant that night, they all wanted to run out to watch the drama unfolding.

As Roseanne Roseanna D'anna would say "it just goes to show ya, it's always something!"!

By New Hopkins Hospital, do you mean Bayview?

Yes, that's the place. I forgot its name. The state cut in exits to it from 895.
Wasn't that the old City Hospitals that JH took over?

Wasn't that the old City Hospitals that JH took over?

Yes, it was.

little things like the "My child is an honor student at..." bumper stickers, the suburban soccer team stickers, etc

That's hilarious. Someone who works or lives around Little Italy has the most rude/funny parody of the "My honor student" bumper sticker that I have EVER seen. It's just horrible. Don't click on that, it will pollute your brain.

Wasn't that the old City Hospitals that JH took over?

Yup. I've been told that it began life as Bayview Asylum.

That is funny, Owlie, but you maybe should warn folks when content is NSFW.

Good shirt, Owl.

Have you seen those stickers in the backs of car windows announcing to the world what university the driver attended? I like the ones that are in fancy Gothic type that read: "Your University Sucks".

Yes Lissa, but I thought saying that it was the most offensive bumper sticker EVER was a good clue. Does everyone know what NSFW mean?

Does everyone know what NSFW mean?

Impossible question to answer, without seriously constraining the definition of "everyone". :-)

For those who don't know, NSFW stands for Not Safe For Work.

The bail out of the banks is offensive, too, but it isn't NSFW.

If anyone doesn't know what NSFW means, it means Not Safe For Work. Do not look at this while your boss is walking behind you.

Pretty much all of Bird's links are Not Safe For Work.

Ironically, there appears to be a Pigtown turf battle in progress right now on Midnight Sun (for those of us who enjoy such things).

Pretty much all of Bird's links are Not Safe For Work.

so untrue

In case anyone's still reading this entry (and interested), Better Waverly is only slightly larger than regular Waverly and is certainly not "better" in the normal sense. More crime and such down my way in B.W. -- amazing, since it's such a small area. And it has plenty of cracks in the sidewalk, even after the city redid many of them and then billed us for it. Also, we sometimes get lumped in together with "Greater Homewood."

How's that for confusing?

I know where the Book Thing is, and where the Waverly Market is. Oh, and the library. I have no idea if those places are in Waverly, Better Waverly or, possibly, Lauraville.

Welcome back!

Rest assured, if you post something on a topic that hasn't been posted to in hours, (or days, or weeks, even months) it will get a response.

We're like that.

An out-of-towner was moving to Baltimore and asked a mutual friend for neighborhood suggestions. Our friend suggested that she look at Dickeyville. Some weeks later she reported that she didn't find anything in Cockeysville. "Cockeysville?" "Well, you said 'Dickeyville' but I thought you were just trying to be polite..." Priceless!

One other thing re: Glyndon and Reisterstown. Glyndon's roots are as a chruch camp (Methodist, I believe) and the community remained dry until the shopping center with Santoni's and a couple of other restaurants was built about 15 years ago or so. And there was a big fight over granting those licenses. Reisterstown is decidedly NOT dry, as anyone who has ever been to the Harryman House on a Friday or Saturday night would know!

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About this blog
Richard Gorelick was appointed The Baltimore Sun's restaurant critic in September 2010. Before joining the paper staff fulltime, he contributed freelance criticism and features articles about food to area and regional publications. Along the way, he dispatched for short-distance trucking companies, shilled for cultural non-profits, and assisted in cognitive neurology research – never the subject, always the control.

He takes restaurants seriously but not himself, and his favorite restaurant is the one you love, too.

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