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.Happening in your city too, of course. But you knew that already.
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.”
Wednesday, April 01, 2015
The better people are showing up to instruct you on what they value more than you do.