Cafe Witness

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Baltimore Bound

uss constellation baltimore maryland

Last Friday, Ann and I went to Baltimore. She had a job interview that morning.

On the way home, they emailed to offer her the position.

Suddenly, I've gone from a champion of Pittsburgh to a soon-to-be transplant to Baltimore. What a whirlwind one email makes.

Since I freelance for a living, nothing I do professionally will change despite my new address. (In fact, since most of my current work comes from the New York area, I'll actually be closer to NYC in Baltimore -- maybe I can cut down on the car-destroying road trips.)

Nor will my cultural identity change drastically. To wit:

Pittsburgh is a wonderful, historic, affordable and underrated city with an identity crisis and an ongoing youth population drain.

Baltimore -- from everything I've read so far -- seems to be a wonderful, historic, affordable and underrated city with an identity crisis (namely, its "kid brother" proximity to Washington, DC) and an equally debilitating population drain.

So far, so similar.

The big change will happen in my own personal fishbowl. I've been fortunate to meet dozens of great people here in Pittsburgh whom I consider my friends, acquaintances or the regularly interesting extras in my life. I'm sure those same personalities exist in Baltimore, but our shared Pittsburgh experience won't be in place to help break the ice.

This move also has direct implications for my involvement in PodCamp Pittsburgh (i.e., not much involvement at all) and the future of Something to Be Desired, the web series I've been producing here in Pittsburgh since 2003. I haven't yet decided what that future will be, so I'll consider it over the next several weeks of apartment hunting, U-Haul packing and the waving of goodbyes.

And thus, this is the beginning of my hat tip to Pittsburgh -- a place I'll always consider to be some part of "home," no matter where I live -- and my opening bow toward Baltimore, which will become my home for the next chapter in this occasionally surprising book I'm reading called "life."

I wonder if Baltimore has pierogies...

Photo by stevehdc.

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  • Wow! Best of luck to Ann with the new position and to you with transplanting everything that you do. Sounds like an exciting new chapter!

    By Anonymous Aaron AIken, at 12:17 PM  

  • We'll certainly miss you! Also, whenever you want to come back and visit, we can offer our guest accomodations here in the Southside. :)

    By Blogger Unknown, at 12:28 PM  

  • It will good to have you guys down here in Charm City. Good luck on the move.

    By Anonymous Joel Mark Witt, at 12:38 PM  

  • Congrats to Ann and best wishes on the move!! Baltimore has a lot of offer, and I hear it's more diverse. Enjoy!

    By Anonymous APR, at 12:43 PM  

  • Definitely sounds exciting! Best wishes on the move, and congratulations to Ann!

    By Anonymous Chris Lugo, at 1:06 PM  

  • Justin,

    Pittsburgh couldn't lose a more vibrant individual (or team, you and Ann); on the flip, Baltimore won't know what hit it until it's too late! :-)

    Say hi to our other recent Pittsburgh-to-Baltimore transferee!


    By Blogger Alex Landefeld, at 1:27 PM  

  • The same thing just happened to my family, although we just had to move from Pittsburgh to the Raleigh-Durham area for my wife's job. I visited Baltimore a few months back. The city gets a bad rap (The Wire, which was a great show, didn't help) but I was surprised at how nice some of the neighborhoods were in the center city (Mt Vernon, among others).

    By Blogger Schultz, at 1:52 PM  

  • Wow...congrats to Ann...I feel badly we haven't seen each other much since we both live in the area and all, but things change with work, and family. Before you leave we should try to get together, you guys are always welcome out to visit. Just drop me a line before you go!

    By Anonymous Ryan, at 6:50 PM  

  • Congratulations to Ann and yourself on the new opportunities and to being within a stone's throw of Papuga.

    I'd go into a long dissertation about how fun it's been working with you these past few years and how much you've meant to the Pittsburgh community - but you'd just kick my ass.

    By Anonymous Woy, at 8:48 PM  

  • Wait, last Friday? The same Friday we were at Silvioni's celebrating your birthday? Something doesn't add this an elaborate hoax? Did Dawn and Joel put you up to this?

    Need more details to buy this:
    What's Ann's new job?
    When are you moving?
    Are we having a going away party?

    By Blogger Jia, at 11:10 PM  

  • Jia: Yes, last Friday. Ann interviewed in the morning, we met Dawn for lunch and then we drove home through Memorial Day weekend traffic in order to get to our own party with 3 minutes to spare.

    Ann's job will be with the Mid-Atlantic Arts Foundation. She can explain it better than I can, but it basically involves the administration of grants and fellowships from applicants in 8 or 9 states. She's pretty excited about it, tempered by the fact that we have no idea where we'll actually be living (yet).

    We currently expect to leave during the week of July 1. Ann will be out of town for 2 weeks prior to that, and then her new job starts July 6, so our apartment hunt has some chronological kinks. But we'll find something soon.

    As for a going-away party, I have no idea. I'll let someone else handle that. I'm busy enough as it is. :)

    By Blogger Justin Kownacki, at 12:24 AM  

  • Justin! I can't believe we're losing you guys. Say hello to John Waters for me. Do not eat any dog poop.

    By Anonymous Danielle, at 8:19 AM  

  • @Jia -- I swear, I had nothing to do with this! I merely drugged them and knocked them over the head to get them here... Ann's new job was a result of a comedy of errors resulting from my attempt to keep them held hostage. Bonus! :)

    In all seriousness, I'm looking forward to you and Ann transplanting here. It'll be nice to see familiar faces, and to have a partner in crime while trying to bring social media to Baltimore in a big way! Or at least in some way that resembles, perhaps, forward innovative progress... HA!

    Yay! :)

    By Anonymous Dawn, at 12:35 PM  

  • Congrats to Ann on her new position, it sounds great. Best of luck to both of you... Greenfield will miss you!

    By Blogger Andrea, at 9:35 PM  

  • Congratulations and the best to both of you. What a loss for Pittsburgh; I'm sad to hear you're leaving.

    By Blogger Bob Mayo, at 5:41 PM  

  • Good luck on the relocation! Post PittGirl, you became my go-to blog for a Pittsburgh fix. Thanks for the great writing and best wweishes!

    By Blogger patrick, at 4:38 PM  

  • Congratulations! Good luck on the move.

    By Anonymous handbags, at 8:38 AM  

  • Justin, I know it is hard to move, but we here in Baltimore welcome you! I hope your first few weeks have been fairly uneventful and that you are finding that this can be a great home for you.
    As for pierogies, well, only ones I know of come from Mrs. T's in the freezer section of the store, but if you find them elsewhere, please let me know! ;-)

    By Blogger Marney Kirk Towson Real Estate, at 9:04 AM  

  • How do you like Baltimore now? Do you still like it, after spending some time in the city?

    By Anonymous HedoraHatGent, at 11:46 PM  

  • Yes I do. Baltimore's got its problems, like any city, but it's got a great upside too -- and one that's not often discussed because the crime rate is the easy story.

    By Blogger Justin Kownacki, at 10:37 AM  

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