With the protests and riots erupting in the City of Baltimore, I wish things turned out differently. I wish America is as fair and as equal-opportunitied as our Forefathers had envisioned. I wish there is no race profiling. I wish the reversal of the death of innocent people. The Baltimore I knew many many years ago, while attending Johns Hopkins University in the early 1990’s, was a radically different city from what is depicted in the news media of recent days.
Growing up in the bustling cities of Taipei and New York, I was struck by how tranquil and serene Baltimore was on my first day of college. After the pre-requisite orientation activities, I spent my first free afternoon in Baltimore walking around the city. I noticed there were benches everywhere that had the inscription, “Baltimore, The City That Reads”.
I was greeted by strangers who said “Hi”, followed by a bright smile and, “have a nice day!” I was amazed at how friendly people were in Baltimore. People of Baltimore were cordial and respectful. The pace was slow and the mood genuine.
By 9pm, a time when I would expect to find many late dining spots in my former childhood cities, there were no dining options to be found around our Homewood campus. It was a city that slept early and woke up early.
Johns Hopkins Homewood campus was a wonderful place where students developed intellectually and socially in a safe and nurturing environement. I didn’t understand why Hopkins gained a reputation of being a cut-throat pre-med campus. When I attended Hopkins, my friends and I helped each other with lecture notes, and formed study groups. We enjoyed many extracurricular activities and put out spectacular annual campus-wide Spring Fairs where everyone in town was invited.
Many weekends were spent roaming around Inner Harbor.