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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. 

 

 

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.

 

 

Thank you very much for your detailed replies. I'm planning on taking a trip to Baltimore sometime in June for apartment hunting.  Is June a good time to do that? I'd imagine there would be some empty units as people are graduating.

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Late May / June would probably be as good a time as any.  If you're looking for an apartment complex I'd suggest reviewing apartmentratings.com.  I've found that site to have reasonably representative reviews on complexes in the state.  Find a few candidates and give them a call to see when they recommend visiting.  Renting a house, or portion of one, may be cheaper and more enjoyable.  That business is typically done via Craigslist, so you can see what time frames people are renting for by visiting that site.

 

Re: parking, the complexes in the city typically charge monthly for parking - I believe my wife was paying around $50/mo when she was renting a few years ago.  If you rent a house / part of a house, you may have free street parking or permit street parking.  Off-street parking is harder to come by, but many back "yards" are being converted into parking pads.  If parking on the street - expect parking to fill up by 5pm.

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Anyone know of any neighborhoods/apartment complexes around the JHU campus that aren't dominated by undergraduates? Trying avoid that scene.

 

You might do better with private landlords or looking a bit further out, like towards Towson.

 

I did my MAT work at Hopkins and lived the 1st year in Fells Point (awesome, but it's hit or miss by block for safety) and my 2nd year at Rodgers Forge in Towson.  Towson actually worked out to be really convenient, a nice straight shot to Hopkins going against the flow of rush hour traffic.  Sadly, the rent was exactly the same in FP and Towson ($900)--so no real savings by living a bit further out.

 

Fed Hill is pricier, but less dominated by undergrads.  Hampden might be cheaper (never really looked for housing in that area).

 

The poster above who said that you can pretty much show up and find housing was pretty spot on in my case, though it's been a few years.  Be prepared to pay 1st and last as deposit--where I grew up and live now, that isn't standard practice, so I was surprised by the big check.  I used Craigslist to find my 1st apartment and a friend told me about the 2nd one.  Both were very nice pet friendly apartments by my standards.  The 1st was the lower level of a former convent and had a cool walled garden around it.  The 2nd had hardwood floors, a giant kitchen, and a nice tiled bath.  The complex was remodeling when I moved out, so I'm not sure if it is still as nice--or maybe nicer.  

 

If you'll have a car, making the trip out to Wegman's once a month is definitely worth it.  Way better selection and prices than the in-town groceries (Whole Foods, Safeway).  

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Thanks for the reply!

I've been looking at the Carlyle. I like the fact that it has a garage, close to Homewood, and utilities are even included in the rent ($850 studio) - Do you remember anything about it worth commenting on?

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I'm also looking for a place in Baltimore, is anyone thinking about roommates? I'm going to be at the SOM, but I'm open to  places that are on the shuttle or train lines.

 

Please message me if you are!

Edited by Chimeric Phoenix

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Question about storage units... I'll be going to Loyola University near JHU.  Are there any safe areas around Baltimore to store items safely?  Perhaps Anapolis?

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There are parts of Annapolis that are just as sketchy as parts of Baltimore.  Annapolis is also quite a hike from LUM.  There are plenty of areas safe enough to store items in Baltimore/Towson.

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I'm also looking for a place in Baltimore, is anyone thinking about roommates? I'm going to be at the SOM, but I'm open to  places that are on the shuttle or train lines.

 

Please message me if you are!

Check for CL listings in Ridgely's Delight (and that area). It's over by the stadium and just a quick walk over to the Med/Dental/Law complex. Most of the area there is professional/older students, but it's a quick walk over to the bars and stadiums if you need a little excitement.

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I'm attending the Bloomberg School of Public Health this fall and I'm looking at apartment buildings (and trying to understand where the Hopkins shuttle stops).

 

How is 39 West Lexington?  Good neighborhood?  Safe to walk to and from the shuttle stop early in the morning and late at night?  According to the shuttle schedule it stops on N Liberty street north of Lexington Street, which doesn't exist (there is an East and a West Lexington St but no plain old Lexington St).  

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I'm attending the Bloomberg School of Public Health this fall and I'm looking at apartment buildings (and trying to understand where the Hopkins shuttle stops).

 

How is 39 West Lexington?  Good neighborhood?  Safe to walk to and from the shuttle stop early in the morning and late at night?  According to the shuttle schedule it stops on N Liberty street north of Lexington Street, which doesn't exist (there is an East and a West Lexington St but no plain old Lexington St).  

 

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If you use google maps it gives the area. That's pretty close to inner harbor and a good neighborhood. Those apartments are pretty expensive though, unless you've got a roommate in mind or SPH pays better than SOM lol

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If you use google maps it gives the area. That's pretty close to inner harbor and a good neighborhood. Those apartments are pretty expensive though, unless you've got a roommate in mind or SPH pays better than SOM lol

 

Thanks for the advice!  It's pricey, but I'm moving with my fiancee and we're looking for a change from our current dumpy college apartment.

Edited by csacwp

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I'm attending the Bloomberg School of Public Health this fall and I'm looking at apartment buildings (and trying to understand where the Hopkins shuttle stops).

 

How is 39 West Lexington?  Good neighborhood?  Safe to walk to and from the shuttle stop early in the morning and late at night?  According to the shuttle schedule it stops on N Liberty street north of Lexington Street, which doesn't exist (there is an East and a West Lexington St but no plain old Lexington St).  

 

That is too close to Lexington Market, which you probably want to avoid.  

 

I'd look a little more north past HWY 40 up in the Mt. Vernon neighborhood.  A lot of BSPH students live in Mt. Vernon.  I would also look at Charles Village, Canton, and Fells Point. 

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While not the worst in Baltimore it is not a good neighborhood.  Lexington Market may be "world famous" but it is also an open air drug market, too.  You will most likely be fine during the day but I would avoid the place at night.  But you should be okay at 39 Lex for the most part.  

 

There is another apartment high rise right on the Inner Harbor, but its name escapes me at the moment.  Rent is cheaper and they all but guarantee a place for JHBSPH students without need of credit check (I know, my ex GF went to Bloomberg.  It's how I ended up in Maryland). 

 

The apartment might be nice but like lots of areas of Baltimore (most) the grime and ghetto are always literally a block away in any direction no matter where you are (and no, Baltimore is not that bad--actually a lot of it is pretty cool--but it is still bad--but not...-- but I do also guarantee you will get more than one "Bloomberg School of Public Health professor/student was robbed at gunpoint two blocks from campus".).  

 

If you got the money, as I mentioned in my other post, look into Mt. Vernon, Charles Village, Canton, or Fells Point.  Perhaps Little Italy and Pigtown, too. 

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While not the worst in Baltimore it is not a good neighborhood.  Lexington Market may be "world famous" but it is also an open air drug market, too.  You will most likely be fine during the day but I would avoid the place at night.  But you should be okay at 39 Lex for the most part.  

 

There is another apartment high rise right on the Inner Harbor, but its name escapes me at the moment.  Rent is cheaper and they all but guarantee a place for JHBSPH students without need of credit check (I know, my ex GF went to Bloomberg.  It's how I ended up in Maryland). 

 

The apartment might be nice but like lots of areas of Baltimore (most) the grime and ghetto are always literally a block away in any direction no matter where you are (and no, Baltimore is not that bad--actually a lot of it is pretty cool--but it is still bad--but not...-- but I do also guarantee you will get more than one "Bloomberg School of Public Health professor/student was robbed at gunpoint two blocks from campus".).  

 

If you got the money, as I mentioned in my other post, look into Mt. Vernon, Charles Village, Canton, or Fells Point.  Perhaps Little Italy and Pigtown, too. 

 

I've looked at practically all of the other apartment places within a reasonable distance to JHBSPH and we've eliminated all but Jefferson Square and 39 West Lexington.  We're looking for lots of quiet and privacy, and the Fells Point and other apartments don't seem to offer this.  We wouldn't be out and about at night, other than the walk I'd have to make from the shuttle stop to the front door of 39 West Lexington, and it seems to be right across the street.  During the day, it seems really sketchy in all directions but south on N Liberty, which after a block opens up onto a very large intersection followed by the inner harbor area.  With homework and everything I don't think I'd have much time to be out and about anyway... I'll probably wake up in the morning, pick up the shuttle, spend my day at JHBSPH, and go straight back to the apartment.  I'm from New Orleans so I'm used to the "grime and ghetto just a block away", but while New Orleans has a higher crime rate, it isn't as "rough" of a city as Baltimore appears to be.

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The apartment might be nice but like lots of areas of Baltimore (most) the grime and ghetto are always literally a block away in any direction no matter where you are (and no, Baltimore is not that bad--actually a lot of it is pretty cool--but it is still bad--but not...-- but I do also guarantee you will get more than one "Bloomberg School of Public Health professor/student was robbed at gunpoint two blocks from campus".).  

 

If you got the money, as I mentioned in my other post, look into Mt. Vernon, Charles Village, Canton, or Fells Point.  Perhaps Little Italy and Pigtown, too. 

 

Hi,

 

You seem to be familiar with Baltimore, could you please give me your honest opinion as to the chances of getting mugged/assaulted. I am trying to decide between JHU and Harvard (for MPH) and since both are excellent programs, I am taking the location into consideration as well even though I would normally not care too much since I will only live there for 1-2 years. I consider myself very street smart and have made solo international trips to places that are considered not very safe (I am also female), but I also want to live in a place where I can walk around freely, and not just during the day, without fearing for my life. I have lived in NYC for the past 6 years and am used to being able to walk around, including alone, at all hours (I dance salsa so I was often out at very late hours). I understand this will not be possible in Baltimore and I am willing to concede not going out alone at night and--of course--avoiding the dangerous areas as much as possible, but I also don't want to live in a city where I will be constantly looking over my shoulder. I would not have a car so I would have to rely on public transportation. Even though I have traveled a lot internationally, I have never been "robbed at gunpoint" and would rather not spend my grad time in a place where this is likely to happen, despite my best efforts at being careful and street-smart. 

 

Thanks very much!

Edited by Sabrosura

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I'm looking for a place to share in Baltimore, in the Charles Village, Hampden, or Mt. Vernon areas.  I'm attending Hopkins (Homewood) this fall.  PM me if you're in the same situation, and would like to to be roomies next year.

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The Bloomberg School of Public Health is on the Wolf Street Campus - you will probably not be living any where near East Baltimore (Unless there is Medical / Nursing / Public Health housing that I am not familiar with). Many of the Hopkins and UMD students reside in the Hampden and of Course Charles Village and Abell neighborhoods. I would caution against Remington, but there might be some decent living opportunities there. There are those who love Federal Hill, Fells Point, Canton, Bolton Hill, etc, but the commute and living conditions would require research - all of these neighborhoods are very different. I personally would highly recommend Charles Village. Particularly in the following areas: North of 26th Street and South of University, East of Charles Street and West of Guilford. There are lots of apartments, students, and things to walk to in that area and the neighborhood is large and diverse. Hopkins runs a shuttle to the Wolfe Street campus, and then there is the city transit. 

 

Crime in Baltimore is extraordinary, and your lifestyle should reflect the increased risks that living there would entail; however, Baltimore can be a great town. I would not let that city's issues prevent you from attending JHU if that is where you are leaning.

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I'm living in Baltimore right now and attending the SPH. I don't feel unsafe here, or at least no more unsafe than I do in any city. I wouldn't suggest living around the SPH though, the area doesn't have a lot to offer and isn't as safe as other areas of the city. There is the 929 apartment building in that area though, which is for students. I know a bunch of people living there- it's nice, if not a bit pricey, but they always complain about not having a lot to do in the area/being isolated from the nice spots of the city.

I am living in Little Italy right now and I love it. I know that Upper Fells Point, Fells Point, Canton, Hampden, Charles Village, Mt Vernon, and Federal Hill are all common places for the SPH students to live. If you will be relying on public transportation, there is the free Hopkins shuttle that runs from the JHMI campus to the Homewood campus with a stop in Mt. Vernon I think. I've heard that it's pretty reliable. I usually walk or take the Circulator which is a free city bus. I don't know much about the regular city buses.

The trick about Baltimore is just knowing where is good to walk and where is not. The city is really spotty, and sometimes even just re-routing by a block can help you avoid unsafe sections. It's something that you'll learn with time mostly.

Edit: also, I would say that most violent crime here is unlikely to be random, and within my department I know that there's only been one mugging (a stolen wallet) in the last few years, although that might not mean much. Either way you're way more likely to get hit by a car here than mugged or shot.

Edited by ginagirl

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I'll be in a program on the homewood campus during the fall and will be living within walking distance to campus. I was wondering if it's necessary (or worth it) to bring a car for grocery runs ,etc. because it seems like that area doesn't have much beyond apartment buildings.

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I have been accepted into University of Maryland, Baltimore. Can somebody please help me with everything I need to know about the city, the areas near the campus that are safe for residing and the DOs and DONTs for a foreigner.

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On March 5, 2015 at 8:46 AM, Sabrosura said:

 

Hi,

 

You seem to be familiar with Baltimore, could you please give me your honest opinion as to the chances of getting mugged/assaulted. I am trying to decide between JHU and Harvard (for MPH) and since both are excellent programs, I am taking the location into consideration as well even though I would normally not care too much since I will only live there for 1-2 years. I consider myself very street smart and have made solo international trips to places that are considered not very safe (I am also female), but I also want to live in a place where I can walk around freely, and not just during the day, without fearing for my life. I have lived in NYC for the past 6 years and am used to being able to walk around, including alone, at all hours (I dance salsa so I was often out at very late hours). I understand this will not be possible in Baltimore and I am willing to concede not going out alone at night and--of course--avoiding the dangerous areas as much as possible, but I also don't want to live in a city where I will be constantly looking over my shoulder. I would not have a car so I would have to rely on public transportation. Even though I have traveled a lot internationally, I have never been "robbed at gunpoint" and would rather not spend my grad time in a place where this is likely to happen, despite my best efforts at being careful and street-smart. 

 

Thanks very much!

Sorry, I didn't see this one in time :P

 

Your chances of getting mugged in BMore are higher than the national average, but you do not need to look over your shoulder if you practice basic street smarts.  As an alternative, look up.  If you see a blue light on top of a street light, on a traffic signal, on the corner of a building, etc. then you know you are in a high crime area.  

The part of East Baltimore just east of where the Bloomberg School of PH is located is one of the worst, in particular the neighborhood called Middle East.   Just to the south of BSoPH is Little Italy, Fells Point, Paterson Park, and Washington Hill, which would all be good choices in order from "best" to "slightly less than best" if one wants to live near the JHU Bayview medical/PH campus.  

5 hours ago, geek123 said:

 

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On March 8, 2016 at 0:16 PM, Crucial BBQ said:

As an alternative, look up.  If you see a blue light on top of a street light, on a traffic signal, on the corner of a building, etc. then you know you are in a high crime area. 

I have worked in Baltimore every summer for the past 5 years and I did not know this. Granted, I never stray too far from the Inner Harbor, but this is good to know. Thanks!

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