Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Kenya Asli - Part 2

Part two of Unsung Baltimore's conversation with Kenya Asli is shorter than the first part, but it's so lovely that it deserves to stand on its own.

Below is her stream of consciousness response to the question, 'what do you love about Baltimore?' The accompanying images are photos I've taken of Baltimore over the years. Enjoy.


I love that I can get to work in 15 minutes and ride through four different types of neighborhoods. The neighborhoods look different, but the people are exactly the same.

I love the smells and sounds of Baltimore. I miss Whistle Man...he was this artist who sat outside CPHA and would whistle as you walked by.

I love how Baltimore changes. I love how, when need be, Baltimore will get its crap together -- if only for a moment, like it did after the Dawson family tragedy.

I love the woman who told me, 'girl, you don't know how to cut up a whole chicken!' I love that I was raised by my block. I love that even though the O's have sucked since 1983, you still see people wearing black and orange.

I love Denise Koch, the way she announced that Jerry Turner had died. He was a member of our family, and that's how she said it.

I love Baltimore because I could stand in my mother's bedroom and watch the fireworks on the Fourth of July and New Year's Eve. I love how, the week between Christmas and New Year's, the 3000 block of Mulberry Street was closed to traffic to let kids try out their skates. I loved that the drug dealers bought uniforms, nets, basketballs, and paid for a basketball league in Edmondson Village.

Baltimore's biggest problem is its lack of imagination. Baltimore was always a very segregated town: you don't go to places you're not supposed to go. But I think if Baltimore rolled up its sleeves, it could do something about that.

Most of the time, you just need to connect the dots. You don't need any more than what you already have.

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