Lynn, a reader who has contributed to the site and had previously reveled in the fact that she would never need the Baltimore Travel Guide, just discovered that her husband is coming to Baltimore for business next week and although he is staying in a hotel just inside the blue zone, he is working firmly in the red zone! She sent off an e-mail to me yesterday wanting some advice for her patriarch.
1. Arrange for a private cab or sedan at the cab stand out front—usually the oldest African man is the guy you want or a Sikh—or through the hotel manager or desk clerk.
2. The only after-work socializing should be done at the hotel, or close by with a group of coworkers who are also returning to the hotel, not going elsewhere.
3. Do not get cozy with any Eastern Europeans that might frequent the hotel lounge. There are Russian prostitutes working out of the hotel he is staying in, Lynn. They seem like nice girls, but the guys that handle them give me the creeps.
4. Do not use public transportation unless it is the circulator [which runs in four colored lines on 15-minute cycles around the Hotel Zone] busses, which are much safer and free than the MTA buses, which should be avoided.
5. Be inside the hotel before night. Basically pretend you are in a vampire flick directed by a bloodthirsty 16-year old.
1. Residential: it will be mildly dangerous during the day, with muggings and stickups likely, and a death trap at night. If he is doing social work he should really call it a day at 1:30 so that he is not spotted by the mobs of violent felons being released from schools, who make the afternoon from 2-6 more dangerous than the summer hours of dusk.
2. Commercial: a pain in the ass during the day due to panhandlers and a prime hunting ground for packs of hoodrats at night. If he is doing a supermarket set tell him to leave with the manager, but not to hit the bar with the manager.
3. Industrial/medical: perfectly safe on site at all times with some security outside during the day. This could be walked to—so long as it does not take you through residential—during the day. But, at night will feature less frequent but more dangerous predation than commercial zones. Johns Hopkins hospital will provide armed security escorts to the parking garage!
4. Government: during the day the interior and exterior is as safe as any place in suburban America. However, if you get caught outside at dusk, lookout. People get attacked right outside the police precinct parking garage all the time and the City Courthouse is a full blown human imitation of a Wild Kingdom episode at night. At night, unoccupied government building exteriors are extremely dangerous. If he is working at one of these places make like it’s a vampire movie and boogie before dusk.
5. Do not ever walk or bus home from the job, but have an arrangement with a driver.
6. If, somehow, he is caught on foot in the red zone at night, wave frantically for a cab. I have numerous accounts in my notes of cabbies saving palefaces from danger, with some of them reading like military rescue missions.
Lynn, I do not mean to be hyperbolic, but we are 12 days from the Harm City Race Purge anniversary, and the hoodrat brain is already geared toward remembering annual dates, as exemplified by the fact that more food stamp dollars go to decorative birthday cakes than any other food item.
Stay inside the hotel for as long as the unrest is ongoing.
If he gets caught in an outlying area, have him give me a call at 443-686-0598. The voice mail is broken. So if I don’t answer, text me. I’m not Cull of the Nords, but I’ll see what I can do.