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Wednesday, September 26, 2007

SMOKING IN BALTIMORE


For the past month I've been traveling into and spending my days in Baltimore. Each morning my train passes by the Raven's stadium (where I silently boo) and then past Camden Yards. After getting off of the train, I walk through a construction site (future home of the Baltimore Hilton) and then to campus (which is a construction site, too - new student center coming in 2009).

My overall impression of Baltimore has not been that positive, but we'll give it another month or two. However, I would like to comment on the number of people who smoke in Baltimore. It seems like everyone in the city smokes - constuction workers, train conductors, train maintenance staff, staff at CVS, hospital staff - EVERYBODY (or so it seems). My second-hand smoke exposure has risen exponentially in the past month.

The worst place to walk by is the front of the university hospital. I avoid the block of Green Street between Lombard and Baltimore Streets at all costs. Everyone, from hospital staff to patients to visitors to taxi drivers, sits outside the hospital and smokes. It is disgusting.

On the north side of the hospital (along Baltimore Street) there is a bus station/stop area. This is also a hot spot for smokers. Last week I had to walk down Baltimore Street after a quick run to the CVS for more index cards to make flash cards. I walked through the bus station/stop area to get back to school. The sidewalk is pretty wide through this area, but somehow I got cornered into a wall by a large man smoking a cigarette. He was talking on his cell phone and walking all over the place. As he cornered me onto the edge of the sidewalk, he flicked his cigarette ashes onto my arm, which hurt. I said, "ouch" to which he replied, "Oh, baby, look out where you are going!"

ARE YOU KIDDING ME!?!

First of all, I'm not your baby and second of all you just burned me with your cigarette.

JERK!

I was so dumbfounded by him burning me and then not apologizing that I didn't have a word to say to him. I have a few choice words now...probably best that I didn't have them then.

Anyways, I am learning where to walk and not walk to decrease my exposure to second-hand smoke in Baltimore. And come January, people in the state of Maryland will not be allowed to smoke in restaurants and bars. Wonder what that will do to the number of outside smokers in downtown Baltimore?

5 comments:

Jill said...

Remember all the smokers at Allegheny? It seemed as though EVERYONE smoked there. Remember how there would be crowds of people standing outside classroom buildings chain smoking before class? Everytime I experience cigarette smoke combined with freezing cold air, Allegheny memories are triggered.

What a jerk. Best you held your tongue.

Becky said...

I had forgotten all about smoking at Allegheny, but that is exactly what it is like here. Only I think there are more people in Baltimore so it seems like a bigger problem. Memories of smokers at Allegheny remind me of Chris Randolph - last time I heard, he was living in the mountains near Charlottesville in his dad's house. That boy could smoke! I remember he was once locked out of an English class for being late because he was standing outside smoking. The professor passed in on the way into class, saw that he was smoking, and wouldn't allow him to be late due to smoking. He missed the class.

Anyways, yes, I'm glad I held my tongue, but I'm still a little mad.

Jill said...

I SWEAR I saw Chris Randolph working at Five Guys right before I moved away from Cville.

Sarah said...

Oh, I definitely wouldn't have been able to hold my tongue! That is so freaking WRONG that he said that.

Sarah said...

Oh, I also don't remember so many smokers at Allegheny. Weird.