February 2018

Page 88

Meet #MyBmore @fleetstreetwriteup

Rachel Paraoan A Baltimore resident for the past eight years, the social media maven has always loved to explore, and since people would frequently ask her where they should go eat or visit, she started her Fleet Street Write-up blog and Instagram account as a way to get the word out on new spots and underrated places. Baltimore, she said, is quirky, downto-earth, more relaxed than other cities, and filled with art. “There’s a certain charm you can’t find anywhere else.”

to America without papers at age 5, Jesús is a beneficiary of the 6-year-old Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals policy. He works as an assistant doing medical research at Johns Hopkins, and he’d like to go to college, but he’s waiting to hear whether he’ll be allowed to stay in the States. “Mexico is my ancestral home and my spiritual home,” he said. “But Baltimore is my home home. I want to stay and grow with it.” Meanwhile, he can’t wait. “I’m not sitting around,” he said. The 25-year-old sits on various boards, including an organization that helps foster children, and the Baltimore Police Youth Advisory Board.


had to fly out the next morning but still wasn’t done with this city. When I’d flown in, Amy Mitkus showed me around BWI Airport. Director of operations for Fraport USA (formerly Airmall), she works with local businesses to set up shop in the terminals. Amy took me to four pop-up stalls called LaunchPads, owned and run by locals selling jewelry, cosmetics, clothing, and tea. Fraport USA provides the space, offers graphics help, and charges a percentage of the proceeds. A professor at Morgan State University offers business advice. And, once again, the food is great. I had the best cheeseburger I’ve had in years at BWI’s Silver Diner. The restaurant, which began in Rockville, Maryland, in 1989, now has several locations in the region. I hadn’t had a bad meal the entire time. My work has taken me to cities all over, but no place I’ve visited has hit me like this one. I had no idea what I’d been missing. This city has its problems, don’t get me wrong. But in three days, I didn’t meet a rude person, or see a dirty street, or talk to a single Baltimorean who wasn’t proud to live there. I expected a city on the defensive, one that slung around PR phrases like “a better tomorrow.” I found a beautiful, warm, fascinating place. One that wasn’t sitting around for tomorrow. This itself may sound like hype. But every year, my wife and I use our points and celebrate our anniversary in a different amazing place, and this year we’re going to Baltimore. We can’t wait. Jay Heinrichs is the editorial director of this magazine.

80 southwest february 2018

F6_YR_missing_NP.indd 80

1/11/18 3:37 PM

Issuu converts static files into: digital portfolios, online yearbooks, online catalogs, digital photo albums and more. Sign up and create your flipbook.