This opinion piece in yesterday's NY Times indicates how awesome Baltimore really is. The piece is also awesome in and of itself. For those at a loss for how to describe much of the spirit of the city, this will remedy everything.
It reminded me a lot of the oddness of the hour plus conversation I had with John Waters as he recollected his heyday during the Nixon administration while he simultaneously narrated Nixon's funeral to me as he watched it on television. Fornicating with chickens was somehow the "tame" part of that conversation.
“New York is full of normal people who think they’re crazy; Baltimore is full of crazy people who think they’re normal.” -John Waters