My Wednesday column in The Sun is about a depressing series of break-ins of establishments in the 1700 block of North Charles Street, in Baltimore’s Station North, but it could have been about graffiti. Graffiti and grime in the blocks north and south of North Avenue, along Charles Street and Maryland Avenue, are particularly disturbing. “I’ve never seen graffiti as out of control as it is now in the decades I’ve lived here,” a reader wrote last night. I have to agree. In snapping the photo with this post, my eye was taken with the great afternoon light hitting one of the wonderful old buildings in Station North. But look closer and you’ll see just a small slice of the graffiti that demeans the city’s arts and entertainment district. Imagine what a visitor to the city thinks, coming out of Penn Station and driving north to Hopkins through that scene. Station North has Graffiti Alley but apparently the “artists” can’t content themselves to that; another friend speculates that, once they emerge from the Alley, they empty their spray paint on the facades of other buildings in the area. My question: What, if anything, is being done about this? Has City Hall even noticed? It’s truly appalling, gives a sense of lawlessness and chaos and suggests that the civil authorities of Baltimore, from the Mayor’s office to the local police, have just given up.
Published by Dan Rodricks
Dan Rodricks is a long-time columnist for The Baltimore Sun, winner of numerous national and regional journalism awards, a radio and TV personality, podcaster and fly angler. His narrative memoir, "Father's Day Creek," was published in May 2019 by Apprentice House at Loyola University Maryland. View all posts by Dan Rodricks