Thursday, July 23, 2009

Can a black gal move to Hampden without singing the blues?

Buz recently had as a client for relocation a pretty African-American professional woman who was moving to Baltimore in order to be a program person for Teach for America. We spent seven-and-a-half hours looking at apartments in her price range, that were in the city. She would be working in city schools, and though there were some nice apartments in Owings Mills, she really wanted to live in the city.

But Buz was left with a conundrum: several areas/price range, and availability were in Hampden, with the kind of housing she was looking for. But I didn't really want to show her apartments where, if living there, she would feel uncomfortable, or worse case: where she may feel unsafe.

We know Hampden is changing, and for most young professionals, race is irrelevant. But Hampden has had a long history, shall we say, of being unwelcome for black people.

So, we ended up looking a one place there, a kinda neat, funky, "loft". And then we looked at a rowhouse apartment, but it wasn't ready. But I ventured into the area with her with a certain amount of trepidation.