Oh, Baltimore…

Returning to Baltimore this weekend, and the wife went down to the Royal Farms Store on Key Highway early on Saturday morning.  Two mallards were hanging by the store entrance, all twitchy and hopping, trying to blend with the pigeons. They looked really nervous, like white kids trying to cop off a westside corner.

Nice to be home.


  • Mr. Simon,

    After a brief tour of your new blog, I’d like to thank you for putting this all together- I’m excited to dig through some of your old articles, and to see new ones pop-up as time wheels on by.

    I had a question that I wanted to forward to you through an old coworker of yours at the Sun, but perhaps this would be a more informal and appropriate venue for something like that. After making my way through your works (both on the screen and on the page), and similarly devoting myself to Price, Lehane, and Pelecanos, I was wondering if you’d be willing to make some non-fiction recommendations for people who are interested in a lot of themes you tackle in your works, namely the crack economy, American poverty, the death of unions, et. al. I recently picked up “Don’t Shoot: One Man, A Street Fellowship, and the End of Violence in Inner-City America”, by David M. Kennedy, and I couldn’t help but yearn for Simon’s take on the whole thing. A lot of what he says with regards to modern policing styles, stats, and the failure of local politics seemed to jive pretty closely to what you were pointing at in The Wire, but I was hopeful that maybe you could point your finger, ever-so-emphatically, at some suggested reading.

    A reader

    • A great book on American poverty I would recommend checking out is “The Working Poor: Invisible in America” as well as “Gig: Americans Talk About Their Jobs” if interested on an honest but lighter account of various Americans and how they feel about their occupation. I think they would be appreciated among fans of Mr. Simons work. Also I would check out pretty much anything by Studs Terkel.

    • Check out Cop in the Hood by Peter Moskos. He is a professor of criminal justice at John Jay College in New York, and he spent a year as an actual cop in Baltimore. It’s compelling reading (albeit an academic slant) and a compliment to David Simon’s two tomes on life in inner-city Baltimore. (I am figuring you’ve read Homicide and The Corner, right?) Buzz Bissinger’s A Prayer for the City is interesting from a city perspective – it’s about Ed Rendell’s tenure as mayor of Philadelphia. You may also find some interest in Code of the Street by Elijah Anderson.

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