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Right, you grew up in the "Baltimore area." Lemme guess, Towson? Your post betrays your suburban-bubble.

Seriously, what slums next to campus? Hamden? Charles Village? Give me a break. Development happened in Charles Village not because it was a slum, but because developers realized they could make a killing buying out rowhouses near campus (owned by middle class people) in a Starbucks, Borders, Condos, etc. Damn right the city is upset---they were beautiful buildings, well maintained, and what replaced them is gross, soulless architecture.

Also, I know it's a harsh thing say, and I don't say it lightly, but those grad students who told your girlfriend "not to make eye contact" with "anyone in the streets" (now that's a nice euphemism to remember) are racists. As someone who has spent countless hours driving Baltimore streets (and get this, even parking in bad areas, and not just on how you define them!) I can say that that warning is a lie. Are there drug addicts in Baltimore? Yes. Is there crime? Yes. Are there homeless people? Yes. But chances are, if you're white, and not involved in dealing/buying hard drugs, the worst thing that is going to happen to you is you will misinterpret a black person on the street as giving you the evil eye. Which says more about you than the city itself. Sure, there are places in the city I wouldn't ideally walk alone at night, but unless you're an idiot about it Baltimore is safe. Especially the areas around JHU.

Because you've written a whole response colored with the idea that I'm from Towson and therefore look down on my opinion, I'm not going to be bothered to try to defend myself too much over this. A few words however are needed: No, I'm not from Towson, I've spent alot of time working in the city, and I don't need your opinion on how the city is. What you think of as beautiful is clearly the opposite of what I do. When you say "soulless architecture," it really throws out red flags about your own tastes and biases. Obviously being a History PhD you'd appreciate more historic buildings, but they're not for everyone, and to many people it doesn't speak to us the way it does to you and we'd prefer them out.

I am not going to be as assumptive as you are, but you seem oversensitive on the whole race issue-- being so quick to go to "racist" when other people would just call it prudent. Obviously you have not lived in an area where you are told repeatedly by people in authority to be alert at all times. In College Park, for example, where I live, we are sent crime reports by e-mail. In my four years living here, only once has there been a report of a strong arm robbery carried out by a white person. Is it racist of me to shed light on this fact? I don't think so. So when this is realized as the norm, what wrong is there in being prudent? Are you saying I should be oblivious to the environment I'm in at the risk of being politically incorrect? There's a fundamental difference there. At JHU, it had been reinforced to the grad students that the area was dangerous by the school, and so they responded prudently. Obviously I'm sure if they saw "someone in the streets" wearing scrubs they wouldn't be afraid to look at them regardless of their race, but because of the warnings of the department, they decided to be careful. It is not a race issue as it is an area issue-- it just so happens that many people living in that area may be of a certain race. If Baltimore didn't proudly wear the Murder Capital of the USA in recent memory, maybe this would not be an issue. However, they advised against looking at anyone in the streets (which you took to be a racist term), while several poor looking white people were there as well (I double checked this). So really, if anything they're classist.

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I have been accepted to JHU BCMB program and am from India.. so my knowledge abt Baltimore is frankly zero. I read o various other sites that the place is pretty crime infested but everyone here is advising me to go because the JHU PhD program is too good to miss.

I have been told that the homedown area is really safe and has some asian grocery stores around. Therefore it should be an ideal place to live.

Apart from the post prior to mine, everyone seems to be positive about the city. The thing is I am not too much into the night club and the party scene and am definitely not interested in making it to the crime stats Also I am interested in sports and all so anyone who has been to JHU, can you please let me know about the sports and gym classes etc. Can someone please guide me as to the places to live? and also say something about the homedown area?

My apologies if my post sounds too repetitive to the previous ones. I am just a big anxious about the negativity associated with the city

Since no one mentioned it to you, I wanted to let you know that UMBC (which is very close to JHU) has a large thriving Indian community. I'm sure you could reach out to them and they would help you find an Indian centric area to live.

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As an international student, I have thoroughly read this thread. So, you all recommend Charles Village and Mt.Vernon for living. Most of you.

Two questions:

1. I saw that no one recommends living in Reed hall? Why?

2. If I study at JHSPH, can I consider housing on the "main" campus of JHU? Is that smart/possible? Or you still recommend off-campus housing?

As an international student I am not sure how will I arrange all this without previous visit, so it is quite important for me to get clear on all the facts presented here.

And thank you all for posting, it is rather helpful to read every opinion and suggestion!

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Hoping to reawaken this thread... Does anyone live in Baltimore or know anything about it? Can anyone recommend:

-places to live/areas not to live

-Food options (i.e. supermarkets, outdoor markets)

-how to navigate the public transportation system

-Other things to do in Baltimore!

-Free/Cheap things to do in Baltimore?

Thanks!!

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I can't wait to move to Baltimore this summer! I will be attending loyola university for speech pathology in the fall.. I've been researching apartments non stop but definitely need / want roommates... If your moving to this area n need a roommate as well private message :-) !

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I can't wait to move to Baltimore this summer! I will be attending loyola university for speech pathology in the fall.. I've been researching apartments non stop but definitely need / want roommates... If your moving to this area n need a roommate as well private message :-) !

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Where are the best/cheapest/safest places to live in and around Johns Hopkins?

 

I'm not in love with the idea of on-campus grad housing, but I also don't want to go bankrupt or have to fear for my safety.

 

Any advice appreciated!

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Where are the best/cheapest/safest places to live in and around Johns Hopkins?

 

I'm not in love with the idea of on-campus grad housing, but I also don't want to go bankrupt or have to fear for my safety.

 

Any advice appreciated!

 

I think you might find the answer to this question in one of the many previous posts on that topic...

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Where are the best/cheapest/safest places to live in and around Johns Hopkins?

 

I'm not in love with the idea of on-campus grad housing, but I also don't want to go bankrupt or have to fear for my safety.

 

Any advice appreciated!

I went to JHU undergrad and have been working on the homewood campus for a few years (the area around campus is called charles village).  Most housing near campus is pretty safe and fairly priced.  The farther you go south (past 27th street) the neighborhood gets a bit less secure and rents get cheaper.  You also don't want to go too far east for safety reasons (i wouldn't reccomend going past Greenmount) If you are looking for a more luxurious apartment they may be a bit more expensive in Charles village but renting a room in a row house is a fairly affordable option (I'm not sure the budget you are hoping to stick to but from my experience you can generally find studios for 600-800, 1brs for 700-1000, 2 bedrooms are around 1200 if you wanted to live with a roommate.).  Other options are hampden (to the west of campus) and mount vernon (near the train station but also more expensive) which both have good food and bars around and are pretty safe.   

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Fed Hill might be a good fit. You are close to a lot of the highways I'd also consider Fells Point, very close to 83 and everything else you said. You may want to check out Mount Vernon, as well. 

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Where are the best/cheapest/safest places to live in and around Johns Hopkins?

 

I'm not in love with the idea of on-campus grad housing, but I also don't want to go bankrupt or have to fear for my safety.

 

Any advice appreciated!

 

If I were going to Hopkins, I would probably look in the Wyman Park/Keswick area, over towards Hampden. You can find a pretty nice place for not too much, and I would feel very comfortable with the location. I live in Mount Vernon, but it's not the cheapest and is a bit further from Homewood.

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Thanks all. 

 

If I have it right, basically just stay close-ish to campus, not too far in any direction, and rents are decent?

 

What about the car/parking situation? I currently have a car that I might like to bring with me. I wish someone had told me not to when I brought my car to Chicago because it's almost more hassle than it's worth and parking is hella expensive. Is it the same in/around Baltimore? I understand paying more for a parking space when you rent an apartment, but, just for example, there are some places in Chicago where that will run you an extra $200 a month. Is it the same, or similar, in Baltimore?

 

Any other tidbits or advice for a prospie looking at Baltimore/JHU?

 

Thanks again

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I'm planning to go without a car. I'm looking at apartments near the JHU shuttle, and will use that for day-to-day travel to/from school. I did the math, and even if I get a ZipCar for half a day every weekend, it's still cheaper than parking, insurance, gas and maintenance. My car is currently on its last leg anyway, I'd rather sell it for scrap and put that money in savings. If I find I really do need a car, I'll find a cheap used one.

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I had a few friends who lived in University West and never heard any real complaints and their places seemed pretty nice (much better than my place at the time in the Marylander...stay away from the marylander) but that's about all I can really say about it.

 

I lived without a car for a long time (I used public transportation and zipcar) and I always thought it was easy to get around.  There are a lot of free shuttles and the bus system is decent.  Then I got a car and my I would definitely recommend bringing one if you can.  There is a lot to do in the area surrounding baltimore and in areas of Baltimore that are a bit harder to get to by public transportation.  Plus it makes it really easy to head over to DC for the day (there's a 7 dollar commuter train to DC but it doesn't run on weekends).  Depending on where you live, there is a lot of available street parking if you pay a 20 dollar yearly fee for a residential parking permit.  Some apartments have also have spots for rent but it isn't that expensive from what I've heard.

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Yeah, I've heard bad things about the Marylander... I was looking at the Carlyle too, because it's cheaper and still has the amenities, until I saw that it has some sort of mouse problem. Not my deal.

I think right now that I'm primarily looking at Charles Village. Maybe Guilford. Ideally, I want to be able to walk from my doorstep to the university in under 15 minutes.

 

Is the Hampden/Wyman Park area better/cheaper/safer/funner(?) than the Charles Village side of the university?

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Any advice on when/how to look for apartments in Baltimore? I'm coming from a mid-size college town where the rental market is dominated by the academic calendar. I've been in the same town for 13 years and 4 apartments, so I'm used to committing to a property 6-8 months before moving in. I know the Baltimore market will be different, but I'm having a hard time getting a handle on the timing. I've contacted a couple of places and confirmed they require 60 days notice. Can I really wait until mid-June to find a place for mid-August? I'm looking for a studio or one bedroom in Mount Vernon, if that makes any difference.

 

I was thinking about a trip to Balitmore over Memorial Day weekend to look at apartments (on Friday and Saturday) and get a feel for the city - is it worth visiting then when many properties won't have definitive availibility for two weeks? I could visit later, but like the idea of having the holiday weekend to relax and get to know the area.

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I have just been accepted to the JHU chemistry program. Unfortunately, I am being bombarded by talks of dangers in baltimore and everybody is trying to talk me out of it but JHU is my favorite graduate school. Can somebody here please clarify about the issues of living there?

 

Another questions is that if I move in with my wife, who is not a student, can she also use the JHU shuttle and the escort security of JHU?

 

Thnx in advance

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I was also recently accepted to JHU for Ph.D. in ChemBE and I've been hearing many devastating stories about the city...as well as links to news articles dealing with various murders and robberies.

The general consensus seems to be "you get what you pay for".  High-end luxurious apartments seem to be the safest....

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I technically do not live in Baltimore, but moved to the area two years ago when my GF began attendance at JHU for grad school.  Baltimore is simultaneously the coolest place you will ever live and quite possibly the worst.  On one hand The Wire is an accurate portrayal of Baltimore, on the other, it gives the false impression that the entire city is like that.  One thing to keep in mind though is that the ghetto is never far.  Unlike other major U.S. cities that are decent through-out with pockets of bad areas, Baltimore is ghetto throughout with pockets of decent areas.  And those decent areas are really cool, eccentric, and fun with lots of stuff to do/see.  There is also something like 14 colleges/universities within the Baltimore area, so a decent number of students living off campus.  Most students seem to live in Mt. Vernon or Charles Village as they are the cheaper "good" areas.  Mt. Vernon offers a lot to do, great restaurants and cool bars, etc.  It is also probably the 'hipster' part of Baltimore.  Fells Point and Canton are good, too, but pricey.  Federal Hill is also a great area, but also pricey.  Pigtown and the area around the University of Maryland Medical campus is in the process of revitalization and gentrification, but still has a few pockets of griminess. There are a few buildings downtown that might be worth living in...the closer to the Inner Harbor, the better.  Many Medical students seem to live here and based on my experience grad students are all but guaranteed a unit without need of background check.  

 

I am not too sure about Homeland, but the neighborhood itself is considered one of the best in the city, and JHU is also near Roland Park, with is probably without a doubt the richest neighborhood in Baltimore.  Both areas are "old money". 

 

If you park your car on the street, do not leave anything, ANYTHING, out in plain sight.  Someone will break in and steal it.  

 

Most violent crime surrounds the drug trade.  If you are not a heroin junkie or dealer, your chances of being murdered decrease significantly.  Baltimore is the heroin capital of the U.S., though.

 

Stick-up kids are a real deal, and will rob you in broad daylight even on a busy street.  Mostly they are just after your laptop or iPhone. However, these types of robberies generally tend to stick to the area around Johns Hopkins Hospital and the Bloomberg School of Public Health.  

 

Druid Hill, Butcher Hill, Prospect Park, and the area around MICA are also decent.  

 

If you are white, and wonder into a seriously bad area, it will be assumed you are only there to buy drugs...even from the cops.  

 

Also, if you are white expect to hear "white boy" and "cracker"...often.  

 

Some people claim that Baltimore is the worst place on Earth, and others think it is the best place on Earth.  Some live there their entire lives and never experience anything worse than having the change stolen from their vehicles once or twice and others experience more violent crime.  One good thing about Baltimore is that the areas you should avoid stick out like a sore thumb.  It is that obvious. 

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Any advice on when/how to look for apartments in Baltimore? I'm coming from a mid-size college town where the rental market is dominated by the academic calendar. I've been in the same town for 13 years and 4 apartments, so I'm used to committing to a property 6-8 months before moving in. I know the Baltimore market will be different, but I'm having a hard time getting a handle on the timing. I've contacted a couple of places and confirmed they require 60 days notice. Can I really wait until mid-June to find a place for mid-August? I'm looking for a studio or one bedroom in Mount Vernon, if that makes any difference.

 

I was thinking about a trip to Balitmore over Memorial Day weekend to look at apartments (on Friday and Saturday) and get a feel for the city - is it worth visiting then when many properties won't have definitive availibility for two weeks? I could visit later, but like the idea of having the holiday weekend to relax and get to know the area.

Finding a rental in Baltimore is extremely easy and most landlords will try to get you into their units on the spot.  You can arrive in the AM on any given day of the week sight unseen and have a place by the afternoon.  I kid you not. 

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Charles Village has more of a yuppie feel and Hampden has more of a offbeat/hipster feel.  Personally if I were going to JHU I would want to live in the Hampden area.  It's a safer, probably cheaper, neighborhood.  People there are very laid-back, there are good restaurants, bars (not chain / franchise) and music.  Charles Villiage has more of the typical chain restaurants and stores.

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