Baltimore City Guide
Baltimore, a bustling city built on tradition and civic pride, is an American success story. Since the redevelopment of the Inner Harbor in the late 1970s, Baltimore has set the standard for urban renewal and is now a major travel destination welcoming over 11 million business and leisure visitors each year.
The crown jewel of Baltimore is the Inner Harbor, a scenic and popular waterfront area with dozens of retail stores, restaurants and attractions. The fun and festive atmosphere of the Harbor is enhanced by street entertainers, open-air concerts, fireworks, parades, paddle boats, cruise boats and an outdoor ice skating rink.
But there's more to Baltimore than is seen at first glance. Charming historic neighborhoods surround the Inner Harbor, each offering their own character, history and cuisine. Little Italy is a pasta lover's paradise with outdoor movies on summer weekends, festivals of San Gabriel and St. Anthony, and two bocce ball courts. Fells Point is the oldest section of Baltimore and still has the feel of an old English neighborhood with cobblestone streets, unique shops and plentiful pubs and restaurants. And, there's Harbor East, a bustling waterfront stop with its own attractions, retail shops, and restaurants.
The best view of the city is from the top of Federal Hill on the south side of the Inner Harbor. The surrounding neighborhood has a variety of boutiques and restaurants and one of the city's most popular markets. Mount Vernon, the cultural center of the city, was the address for the rich and famous during the 18th and 19th centuries. Their legacies include the first architectural monument to George Washington; Peabody Conservatory of Music; The Walters Art Museum; and the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Assumption, the first Roman Catholic cathedral in the United States. And don't forget about Canton to the east. There you will find one of the city's hottest neighborhoods, where old factories have been converted into a thriving retail and entertainment hub.
Baltimore has restaurants to satisfy nearly every craving. Dining options include elegant gourmet cuisine, ethnic foods from around the world and plenty of fresh seafood from Maryland's Chesapeake Bay. Baltimore is known for its fabulous crabs, and dining at one of the cities many seafood restaurants or crab houses is a must for all who visit.
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Hints for Successful Neighborhood, Landlord, and Roommate Relations
Living off-campus comes with some freedoms, but it also comes with an increase in responsibilities. To help you sort through these responsibilities with your roommates, utilize this Off-Campus Roommate Agreement and follow the tips below!
- Introduce yourself! Let your neighbors know you are respectful and willing to work together to maintain relations.
- Notify your neighbors when you are thinking about having a party.
- Follow trash/recycling guidelines.
- Keep your property clean. Mow your lawn, rake your leaves, etc.
- Learn your town ordinances and your legal responsibilities as a tenant in the community.
- Keep the noise level down. Your neighbors may have small children that go to bed early. Just as we wish our neighbors to be quiet in the morning, when we have the opportunity to sleep in, we need to respect our neighbors too.
- Respect neighborhood parking regulations.
- Take responsibility for your guests and their behavior.
- Become an involved member of your community.
Tenant & Landlord Relations
As a tenant, you must do your part to maintain landlord/tenant relations. There are certain responsibilities that you are required to uphold. If you are having problems with your landlord, and he or she may not be providing their promised services, call the Tenant/Landlord Relations Hotline at 410-243-6007 or 1-800-487-6007 to receive assistance. This brochure
also has great resources and referrals.
- Provides facilities for hot water, heat, gas, ad electricity (unless otherwise specified in lease).
- Provides receipts for rent payments and security deposits, dated and signed, when requested.
- Avoids interference with tenant's quiet enjoyment of the premises provided the premises are used lawfully.
- Puts security deposits in a separate bank account and promptly returns the deposit, with interest, at the appropriate time.
- Premises must have a warrant of habitability (approved for occupation).
- Pay rent and a security deposit.
- Avoid damaging the premises.
- Inform the landlord when repairs are needed. Avoid conflict with neighbors' environment and living conditions. Inform the landlord in writing when you plan to move out (one-two month notice).
- Research and potentially obtain renter’s insurance. The following website is a completely free, independent, unbiased review of over 100 companies and their insurance policies: http://www.reviews.com/homeowners-insurance/. Renter’s insurance is important because it can protect you in the event that your personal belongings are damaged or destroyed.
Ways to Prevent Conflict
- Discuss rules and standards for the apartment.
- Set standards for cleanliness, visitors, quiet hours, etc. If these are discussed early on, they can prevent a conflict situation from arising. A healthy living situation involves respect for all roommates.
- Be willing to work together to compromise. Once a compromise is made, work towards keeping your promises.
- Communication - Successful relations are built on communication. If you are having an issue, communicate the issue to your roommates in a mature, respectful manner. By addressing situations early on, you are preventing a major conflict later on down the road.
Ways to De-escalate a Conflict
- Give "I" messages and not "you" messages.
- Take responsibility for your feelings to avoid blaming others.
- Learn to listen to the speaker as if you were a mediator or counselor.
- Ask questions to encourage the other person to help look for a solution.
- Speak slowly and calmly. Take deep breaths to relax.
- Keep your legs and arms uncrossed, and don't clench your fists. This gives the signal that you are emotional and irrational.
- If necessary, ask for a short break to regain composure and recollect your feelings.
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