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Baltimore’s Awkward Relationship with Our Sister Cities

3 Written by: | Tuesday, Apr 22, 2014 10:30am

Photo via Wired

Photo via Wired

Some sisters are so close that they tell each other everything. Others have a more… strained relationship. Baltimore and her sister cities seem to fit into that second category. One measure of just how strained the relationship is: I didn’t even know we had sister cities!

This awkward family tension came to my attention thanks to a blog post by the Atlantic Cities, which details MICA grad student Ashley Molese’s senior thesis, which involved her reaching out to Baltimore’s 11 sister cities. (Just so you know, they are: Alexandria, Egypt; Luxor, Egypt; Piraeus, Greece; Rotterdam, Netherlands; Kawasaki, Japan; Xiamen, China; Gbarnga, Liberia; Bremerhaven, Germany; Ashkelon, Israel; Genoa, Italy; and Odessa, Ukraine. Most were chosen because they, like Baltimore, are port cities.) You can read a fuller account of her experience here, but the short version is — there are some troubles among the sisters.

A few of Baltimore’s sister cities have even severed the relationship, either officially or just by refusing to return our calls. Maybe our sister cities in Ukraine and Egypt can get a pass — they’re going through a rough time, after all — but Italy, Liberia, and Germany have no such excuse.

 

Leave a Reply

  • Brian Mahoney

    you forgot Ireland

  • Julie Evans

    Back in the 1980’s and 90’s Baltimore’s Sister City program was very active with a small staff supplemented by a large group of volunteers that coordinated many educational, cultural and other kinds of exchanges between the various cities. For instance, the Orioles played in Kawasaki, Japan and the Walters hosted a major exhibit from Kawasaki. There were also student exchanges. Some relationships were always more active than others, some of which existed largely on paper only. Tight budgets and different priorities of recent mayors have diminished the program in recent years.

  • Ethan

    Genoa has a small park called Giardini Baltimora. Appropriately, it’s in a rough part of town and guidebooks advise against going there at night.



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