City Desk

b Magazine Thinks It’s Found 100 Reasons Why Baltimore Is Better Than D.C.


The full ethos of Baltimore is on display this week in the latest cover story from the Baltimore Sun's b magazine: “100 Reasons Why Baltimore Is Better Than D.C.” That’s right, 100 reasons.

The illustrated cover is enough to make any Washingtonian fret over the safety our status as the nation’s capital. There’s Sen. Barbara Mikulski’s eyes laser-beaming the very U.S. Capitol where she works; a presumably superior Baltimore rat threatening a smaller District rat; a Godzilla-sized Mr. Boh; and, in an unfortunate ad placement, a banner message promoting a bail bonds company and its clever website,

By now, Washingtonians should be used to this kind of boneheaded municipal oneupsmanship, most of it predicated on lazy cliches about D.C.'s federal character, dearth of culture, and fashion-backwardness. Still, if anyone's really keeping tabs, there are a few things we can happily concede to our Baltimore neighbors. They did, according to this list, give us The Wire, Tupac, and the Ouija board—and the beers and rent are cheap. But 100 reasons is too grandiose to maintain any sort of accuracy, so I scoured the dredges of b's triple-digit slideshow and picked 10 reasons to test its hypothesis.

  • Natty Boh. What's that, D.C.? Don't have your own old-school beer — you know, like Pabst or even Schlitz? That's sad. Unfortunately, the great National Bohemian beer is no longer brewed in its hometown of Baltimore. The beer is owned by the California-based Pabst Brewing Company and mainly brewed in North Carolina and Georgia.
  • We always know someone who knows someone who has an awesome rooftop deck. I’m confident that in D.C. we can cut out the middleman and say we always know someone who has an awesome rooftop. If you don’t, feel free to shoot me an email.
  • We may have a lot of rats, but the majority of them don't go into politics. We know better than to be proud of our rodent problem here.
  • TV shows being filmed here right now: 'House of Cards' and 'Veep.' Recent TV shows filmed in D.C.: TLC's "Randy to the Rescue." It should be noted that House of Cards and Veep are set in D.C. and shot in Baltimore because the city’s rowhouse landscape resembles our own. Also, way to win the race to the bottom when it comes to giving massive tax breaks to Hollywood.
  • We were the nation's capital before D.C. was. So was Annapolis. So was Philadelphia, for that matter. This is dubious. Congress met in Baltimore for one session during the Revolutionary War because its original meeting place in Philadelphia was deemed too dangerous. Congress happily returned to Philly after the session.
  • D.C.'s bars close at 3 a.m. Nothing good ever happens at 3 a.m. That's what you're going with, b? That you get to have one hour less fun?
  • We raised Sisqo, the voice of the glorious "Thong Song."  This negates all your Tupac points.
  • Lacrosse, yo. Lacrosse. No comment.
  • Our zoo animals don't run away. Would you want a red panda who's content to die in his gilded bamboo prison?
  • This list was not hard to make. This is the No. 1 reason given for why Baltimore is better than D.C.

Anyway, thanks for the morning diversion, magazine. Now go back to your usual Real House Wives of Orange County recapping and wall-to-wall True Blood coverage.

Correction: This post originally misspelled the name of Sen. Barbara Mikulski.

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  • mighty

    The HOuse of Cards point is weak, since the show is also filmed in DC.

  • Jim Ed

    Is Baltimore the most provincial city in the US?

    I know as DC residents we get our hackles up when people start prattling on about how much better X is in their hometown or god forbid, New York (it's the water!). But Baltimore seems to have this fixation on one upping DC.

    Does St Paul do this to Minneapolis, or Ft Worth to Dallas, or is this a unique situation where the beta city in an urban conglomeration is so hellbent on proving its superiority? Maybe Baltimore should have a few more of those Upstate New York brewed Natty Boh's and chill out.

  • Jes’ sayin’

    House of Cards is filmed on a soundstage in Joppa, in Harford County, twenty miles from downtown Baltimore. Portions of the series have also been filmed in DC.

  • Barry Morase

    Once you leave outside of the Inner Habor, Fells Point, and Canton areas of Baltimore, Baltimore City is a dump plagued with crime and poverty.

  • sticktoyourguns

    Baltimore also has us beat on dope heads

  • maktoo

    Most people I know stopped drinking Natty Boh when the company moved out of state, I want to say, 1995?

    If you're still drinking it because it's a "Baltimore beer", you're either dense or a hipster. Because it's not that good a beer. Clipper City's are better beers, just not cheap.

  • drez

    Others have said it before, but the bailbonds ad on the front of the "why we are so much better" issue really says it all.

  • noodlez


    "ONE CITY"


  • Mr. Boh, that name again is Mr. Boh

    Eh. Giving tax breaks to Hollywood is a good thing, not a bad thing, if it means they come to your city and employ your people. Not to mention, taxes aren't the only issue, film permitting in D.C. is not only unnecessarily complex, given the various governmental holders of rights from D.C. gov't to the Park Service and beyond, but unfortunately the D.C. government appears ready to just coast on its special-ness, expecting filmmakers to flock here anyway regardless of cost or permitting, as all the other birds flock despite the high rents. Not so with filmmaking.

  • AdMo Rez

    We may have a lot of rats, but the majority of them don't go into politics....Sheeeeeeit

  • h st ll

    Lol. Great article and comments!

  • whybless

    "Correction: This post originally misspelled the name of Sen. Barbara Mikulski." Great job proving your legitimacy Pery Stein...

  • Jim

    That comment about rats and politics is hilarious. Anyone remember Sheila Dixon?

  • Boh More

    Don't be jealous DC. Baltimore is better in every aspect of city life. Everyone in DC is exactly the same. Oh you're not a lawyer or have a government job? No place for you in DC. You're all dry, boring and would rather whine and complain about life than live it. You charge $5 for a Natty Boh, HA idiots. Your traffic is worse than the Redskins. You're hockey team is a bunch of slacker Russians that will never win a Stanley Cup. The Wizards? Too easy. We both have rats, but Baltimore rats are bigger and would beat yours up.

  • james w

    One very big difference is the "rock" stations! D.C.101 (Rockville M.D.) has ABSOLUTELY NOTHING on 98 ROCK! D.C.s rock station.... maybe two actual decent songs in a day, while 98 rock continuously plays REAL rock ALL DAY!! suck it D.C.!!!

  • V Diddy

    I have a leg in each city and love them both. Never understood the weird tensions between them. As to the various points in the "b" article, I thought that the funniest one was the "we don't care where you went to college" line because they sure as hell care where you went to high school in Baltimore. It defines everything about you...