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The Commerce Street Gauntlet
Parking and Survival in Downtown Baltimore
Things have continually gotten worse working downtown in the business district.
You can now see people standing on the sidewalk on Lombard, Baltimore, Pratt, Calvert and Gay, firing heroin—literally standing there at rush hour firing dope in plain view! Cops walk right by junkies firing dope.
Last week I saw a black pimp beating the shit out of a white hooker right on Baltimore Street across from the police station.
I work for an excellent company, who takes care of their employees. They comp one hundred dollars for our parking fees. The garage is on Commerce Streets, which is one of those minor streets, almost like an alley, where the cops don’t even bother to go. They are considering using the parking garage in our building. But the parking fee there is two-hundred-and-sixty per week. Most of us just aren’t in a position to take a hundred-and-sixty-dollar weekly hit.
Something has to be done. We all take our laptops with us and never considered how we are being watched until Raymond had to leave work early. Raymond is a nerdy white guy—has to get his daughter from school. We normally only go as a pack, like ten of us pushing through lines of increasingly aggressive panhandlers. They don’t even ask any more. They block your way and demand a toll.
Well, Raymond, maybe three-thirty in the afternoon—I can’t believe that I ever went to a bar for dinner downtown, after work—we actually used to walk—pairs of women—down through the Inner Harbor after dark! I couldn’t even imagine doing that today—I’d sooner go into the lion habitat at the zoo!
So, Raymond heads up Commerce Street and this black guy steps out in front of him and says, “I wish I would have had the white privilege to go to school and have a nice job and carry a laptop around with me. Why don’t you give me that laptop?”
Raymond was mortified. He was trying to think of what to say and then three more people surrounded him: another black guy, a white junkie and the white-junkie-zombie-she-fiend of Commerce Street. This woman is skank-o-rama—sores all over her, bad teeth with fangs, she spits at people, screams curses and even jumps onto windshields when traffic slows demanding money from the drivers, threatening to bite.
She’s not the only screaming, leaping fiend. There are a few black junkie women just like her.
So Raymond is on his own, people walking on by like they don’t see anything as these junkies ring him, demanding his laptop, his wallet, his suit jacket and everything. Luckily, George, who is one of our interns, a big black football player, who is the only person in the building who even goes out to get lunch because all the black staff is getting jumped too—even the old ladies—comes up behind the black guy that’s behind Raymond, shoves him out of the way and starts yelling, “I’m sick of all you niggers messing with my people—now get,” and Raymond is saved by the bell. He said he had no idea what he would have done against them if they had touched him. He was most concerned with getting spit on or bitten by the she-fiend. He said, “If she would have bit me I think I would have thrown up right then and there.”
Overall, we just can’t believe it is getting worse still, two years after the riots. In fact, it is no worse than it was during the riots a block from the main police station. I’ve seen cops walk by junkies firing heroin on the sidewalk. Can you blame them, with the media against them and for the criminals?
We are hoping that our employer can broker a parking deal for us. But if it gets any worse, we’ll just have to start taking the paycheck hit. I’ve been in the middle of the pack recently—the men get on the outside, with George playing point guard against the junkie defense—while these junkies curse me and tell me they are going to catch me alone one day and that we’re bitches and whores and bloodsuckers. It is literally a zombie apocalypse situation and I just can’t imagine being caught alone, not even with another woman. I’m barely making ends meet now. There’s nothing but to keep on and try not to get caught out in the open.
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Sam J.May 9, 2017

The Great Western Permaculture project (gulag) is the only way out of this. These people must be moved away from us. There will never be any commerce or advancement in any place where people shoot up heroin on the streets.
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