The 6 Most Frequently Asked Questions About Baltimore Answered

Furiously searching for answers to your most pressing questions about life Baltimore?

We know it can be a time consuming task to find the real truth behind the city that you are thinking about moving to, so we went ahead and assembled all the answers in one place in an attempt to sate your unbounded curiosity.

Without further ado…

1. Why is Baltimore called the Charm City?

Baltimore has been called Charm City since the 1970s, when the nickname was developed as part of an tourism campaign. Ads featured aspects of the city that were charming — steamed crabs, raw bars, the Preakness Stakes, colorful row houses, etc. — and local disc jockeys created music to promote the slogan.

Bill Evans was the brains behind the campaign; in 2001, he told the Baltimore Sun: “To be useful, a theme must be also believable. When I wrote ‘Charm City’ for a Baltimore tourism campaign, I knew it would become part of the language because it was true and it was believable. It gave Baltimore a sense of pride in being characterized as something as simple (and powerful) as being ‘nice.’ This theme would be just as appropriate for the city today as it was then.”

He was right: the moniker stuck, and it can still be heard today.

2. Why is Baltimore so dangerous?

There are some Forbes lists that cities strive to be on, but The 10 Most Dangerous U.S. Cities isn’t one of them (Baltimore is No. 7). According to The Economist, young black men are as likely to die violently in Baltimore as American soldiers were at the height of the war in Iraq. The reason Baltimore is so dangerous can’t be simplified to one reason — it’s a combination of poverty, epidemic drug use, racist housing policies, bad policing, a poor-performing public school system, and many other factors.

3. Why is Baltimore City Hall green?

There are several times in the past when Baltimore City Hall was lit up in green.

The building is one of many landmarks across the country that participate in the Light It Up Green movement, which promotes awareness of for muscular dystrophy and other neuromuscular diseases. Additionally, in April 2017, Baltimore City Hall was lit up in pink and green for the Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority’s 86th annual North Atlantic Regional Conference.

4. Why is Baltimore called the Ravens?

Baltimore’s football team, the Ravens, are named after a famous poem written by Edgar Allan Poe. Poe is a famous writer, editor, and literary critic who lived his final years in Baltimore and is also buried in the city. When the football team moved from Cleveland to Baltimore in the 1990s, the Baltimore Sun conducted a poll asking people to cast their vote for the team name.

Over 33,000 people voted, and 21,108 selected the winner: the Baltimore Ravens. Additionally, the three Raven mascots—Edgar, Allan, and Poe—are also named after the famous poet.

5. Why does Baltimore hate DC?

It’s likely that residents of Baltimore and Washington, D.C. have been sizing each other up since both cities existed. The municipalities are only 30 miles apart, and in many ways, the cultures of both are very different, making it easy to draw comparisons against one another.

For example, if you go to a bar in Washington, D.C., you’re likely to be surrounded by people in suits, and the first question you’ll be asked is probably, “Where do you work?” In Baltimore, most people at the bar will be wearing jeans, and they will likely ask you, “What high school did you go to?”

But the real reason many people who live in Baltimore tend to dislike those in Washington, D.C.—and vise versa—is simply a matter of local rivalry.

6. Why does Baltimore have a curfew?

In 2017, Baltimore brought back it’s summer curfew. Children under the age of 14 could not be out unaccompanied from 9 p.m. through 6 a.m., and those between the ages of 14-16 years old could not be out unaccompanied from 11 p.m. through 6 a.m.

Baltimore City Police said minors had been perpetrators of violence in the city and believed the curfew would keep them out of trouble.

Libby Zay