Monday, August 07, 2006

The Pros and Cons of Maryland

I've lived in Maryland for all but three years and three months of my life: the three years we spent in the UK when I was small, and the three months I was working in Tampa as a contractor for Special Operations Command.

What's to like about Maryland? Well:

  • I know it's a slogan, but it really is America in Miniature. There are mountains hills here out west; plenty of farmland in the central and eastern portions; all the urban and suburban life you can handle in Baltimore, DC, and their suburbs; the Chesapeake Bay; the slower pace of life on the Eastern Shore; and the Atlantic Ocean. And at most, it takes 5 hours to drive from one end to the other; not much is ridiculously far from anything else.
  • Its rich Catholic heritage, combined with a tradition of religious freedom.
  • Plenty of outdoor activities from hiking to bicycling to Civil War history to refuges of serenity like the Grotto of Lourdes replica in Emmitsburg.
  • Speaking of history, towns like Frederick, Ellicott City, Annapolis, and Berlin, to name a few. (And nearby towns like Shepherdstown, WV and Gettysburg, PA.)
  • Although it's disappearing to a degree, a strong spirit of community in areas like Baltimore.
  • The Ravens, of course.
What's not to like?
  • The ridiculously high cost of living here. Our closing costs are the second highest in the nation. The only house we can afford is the one we're living in. And as nice a county as this is, its average weekly wages are the second lowest in the state. Any wonder why nearly half the population of this county commutes to DC every day?
  • The lockstep economic and social liberalism that rules--and ruins--this state, courtesy of just three jurisdictions: Baltimore City, Prince George's County, and the "limousine liberals" of Montgomery County. Elitism, thy name is Maryland. (I don't expect Republican Governor Ehrlich to get re-elected; he won't have Michael Steele's help this time, and he also has to deal with Baltimore Mayor Martin O'Malley, a far more polished campaigner than Kathleen Kennedy Townsend in 2002. Then again, the tree in my front yard could campaign better than Townsend. Ehrlich's tenure has consisted of discovering what a one-party state this is.)
  • The crime in Baltimore City, which neither Martin O'Malley nor his predecessors did anything about. That's what forced me out of the city in 1994, almost certainly never to return to live.
  • The gridlock. Thanks to NIMBYs (Not In My Back Yard) and BANANAs (Build Absolutely Nothing Anywhere Near Anything) in Montgomery County, we'll never have a comprehensive solution to traffic problems down toward DC. And that's just the way the NIMBYs and BANANAs want it.
So I take the good with the bad in Maryland.

5 comments:

Puffy said...

I had dinner in Maryland once...

Cygnus said...

Whatja have?
(I know you had dinner in DC once, too...)

ukrocks said...

I've been to Maryland once, I spent a couple of days in Baltimore, after spending 5 in DC.

dragonflies said...

Just move to WI.

Is DC Maryland, cause then I had dinner there, 4 times.

Cygnus said...

DF:

I hope not! :-)

(Unless you ate in Bethesda, Silver Spring, or somesuch.)