In Baltimore, they love their town and give to it like I gave to Brooklyn.
When the city’s red tape stalled the painting of some much needed crosswalks, a few residents went out and painted them on their own. When a local mechanic saw some kids hanging around watching what he was doing, he took them in and started teaching. It’s a place where “social real-estate development” is an actual thing (go check out luxury housing for teachers from the Seawall group, or the affordable live/create buildings for artists the AZ Group is working on).
There’s plenty of dysfunction in Baltimore—that’s a well-known fact—but Baltimoreans seem to understand that they have the power to change their community.
One thing I learned after I lost my first business when the stock market collapsed: When all the rules have failed to work, it means you get to write your own.
Baltimore is an amazing town filled with incredible people writing a new story, and I want to be a part of that. It’s not even remotely the fetid portal to hell that everyone thinks it is. Baltimore is starting to grow again, and if you spent just day down there, you’d too see how amazing it will become one day.
It’s a sustainable version of what New York once was.
They have independent book and record stores, swing dance ballrooms and dance studios, even a store where this guy makes everything out of dead crabs—and not one of them feels like the end is nigh. When it comes to my world, chefs are able to experiment here without fearing for their livelihood, and they support each other in a way that is reminiscent of the early days of Brooklyn Nouveau.
Honestly, guys, Baltimore makes me feel like New York did when I was a kid. I can do, and be, anything.
Published with permission. This is an excerpt from Allison’s article that ran on FirstWeFeast.com. Allison Robicelli is the owner of Robicelli’s Bakery in Bay Ridge, NY- Allison and her husband Matthew, are bringing their bakery to Baltimore in 2016.