Wednesday, April 01, 2015

The Discoverers

The better people are showing up to instruct you on what they value more than you do.
My recent collection of Baltimore writings and talks has made me the go-to guy on issues concerning the Negro culture of our city. Politicians, investors and pretty much anyone with an interest in Baltimore request meetings with me weekly. In most of them, I trade my perspectives for potential opportunities at pricey restaurants I don’t normally frequent.

Suit No. 1, who explained to me in his initial email that he was a lawyer with experience working with artists, said, “This city is a gem. People here don’t even know what they have!” He’s new to Baltimore, so I didn’t expect him to know what  “the people” love and value. I let him speak as Suit No. 2 nodded in affirmation.

Suit No. 2 signaled for another round. The restaurant was as packed as it was beautiful. Suit No. 1 and No. 2 look alike. Their faces weren’t similar but their dark-rimmed frames, dress code and personalities were identical­­ – two know-it-all, middle-aged white dudes who probably jogged daily so they could fit into their tight sport coats. I was a sore thumb in Food Market that night — the only patron in a hoodie and sneakers.

The server handed us fancy drinks, and I downed mine before he could refill his tray with our empty glasses.

“One more please,” I said.

Suit No. 2 says he’s a developer, says he wants to help the city, says he isn’t from Baltimore either but he loves Baltimore. He loves Baltimore so much – so much that he’s willing to fix it! He said that he could grow to love Baltimore as much as I do!

$13 cocktails tend to disappear quicker than cotton candy in a hot mouth on a night like this. “You know what,” I say, pulling up my chair, drawing the duel in closer, “I don’t really know if I still love Baltimore.”
Happening in your city too, of course. But you knew that already. 

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