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The Month That We Lived in The Wire

Heidi Shenk "Baltimore"

Maybe I don't really know what I'm talking about because I've never actually seen The Wire, but I have heard things. I've lived in Baltimore for six years, yet have never seen the show. Really. I know. Gasp. Is it a good show? I wouldn't know.

Quite frankly, I love this city, I love my house, I love my neighborhood, I love my neighbors. And quite frankly, Baltimore doesn't deserve the bad reputation that it often gets. Yes, it has it's moments-- like the time a Baltimore City police officer knocked on our door wanting to get up on our roof deck so he could skip across the roofs on the street to scope out a drug deal. Or the time when we lived at our old apartment-- Andrew took Lilah outside to go pee at 3 in the morning when she was a wee baby pup only to find a creepy man dressed in black with red contacts staring straight at our dog. Or there was the time the seventeen year old drop out threw a metal drain cover at a guy that lived down the street, barely missing my car.

Ok. You get the drift. But really, that's the city. And if you can't deal with a few of these infrequent incidents now and again, then city life is probably not for you. Almost everyone that I know that lives in Baltimore, or even a major city for that matter, has some sort of crazy story to tell.

However, recently, it's been feeling a bit more Wire-esque, or so I've been told.

This had been hung on our door by BCPD. Need I say more? (P.S. Don't you love how I Instagrammed that shit so it looks all old-timey detective-y. I love a good dose of sarcasm. And I am a nerd.) The ironic part is that this particular incident was indeed a burglary and homicide, but it was a shooting too. Apparently they felt that checking all three boxes would freak people out too much-- who knows?

The best part? This happened four houses down on the other side of our alley. Woohoo. In other news, three weeks later, as in Sunday night, there was another shooting around the corner from our house in which we discovered this morning that the victim died. Nothing like going out to get your groceries only to return to the street being blocked off with police tape and squad cars.

Now, these sorts of incidents have not happened for a veeeeeeeery long time in our neck of the woods, so the fact that there have been two back to back shootings is a bit creepy. However, I find myself not so creeped out. Maybe it is the fact that I've become desensitized to violence in the city. Maybe it is because I know that it is transient crime-- people moving through our neighborhood from rougher areas of the city. Maybe it is because I know my neighbors and I know they are fabulous and that together we make our street better and safer.

So many of my friends have reacted by saying something like, "Oh no! You better move at once! There are homes for sale in my neighborhood!" But if we were to move, doesn't that make the problem in our neighborhood worse? In the two years that we have lived in our house, our neighborhood has become exponentially better. Sure, there are bad things about this city, but the good constantly outweighs the bad. To leave would be to give up hope on those good things, and I'm not ready to give up hope yet.

I don't feel unsafe, and I don't think I'm naive to say that. I keep my guard up, and I live my life without fear because living in fear is no way to live. And I focus on the positive things that I love about my city, knowing that some times are rougher than others. I'm willing to give up a few rough days in order to be happy for the remainder of the year. And from what I've heard, this really isn't The Wire, and I'm happy to know I've got it pretty good.

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