Like many other Baltimore residents Janelle Diamond lived in Washington, DC for six years--from the time she graduated college in 1998 until she and her husband got married -- until the couple decided to head north to Baltimore in September 2004, just a few months after they got hitched.
"My husband and I wanted to buy a house and live in the city. At the time that was just not possible—with our budget—to stay in DC. So, first we looked at condos in Baltimore (too small) and then we started looking at other locations. One day after visiting a friend in Baltimore we were driving down Aliceanna Street (I remember the boat-shaped Captain James) and we said: this is it! We loved the style of houses—modern but with a deep history—and the prices, easy access to 95 for my commute, and lots of great places to walk (food, shops, water.)"
The couple have lived in Canton since September 2004. In that five years they've added three members oto their family, son Milo is 2 ½ , daughter Willa is eightmonths old and their furry kid Finley, a big black lab.Endless love
"I love city living for my kids. You are forced to go out and explore because you don't have a backyard. We spend a lot of time at the local parks and playgrounds. We chalk the sidewalk in front of our house. We get to see all different kinds of boats, ducks, and fish just a few blocks from our house in the expansive Bay. We spend a lot of time walking and exploring: using sidewalk lines as our starting line, the local pond as our personal waterfall, our roof deck as our planetarium," Janelle says.
Trips to Patterson Park
to feed the ducks, hit the playground, or hear live music near the Pagoda are always very popular..
"We like to walk to dinner in the Can Company
or Square. We like to have play dates at the Tot Lot. We like to hit Mother Goose on the Loose at the library. And we like to go see the Roller Girls
at DuBurns Arena
too," she adds
When its time for entertainment, however, Janelle and family spread the love around visitng neighborhoods throughout Baltimore.
"We love all the different neighborhoods! We loveFederal Hill and Hampden, Harbor East, and Fells Point, Little Italy, and Mount Vernon. We like to shop for kid stuff at Corduroy Button and aMuse in Fells Point, have breakfast at Clementine's in Lauraville, grown-up shop at Red Tree and Shine Collective in Hampden, and hit the Farmer's Market under 83 every Sunday. These days our entertainment consists of the B&O Railroad Museum, Port Discovery, the toddler room at the Science Center, and the zoo," she says..
What truly keeps her in Canton and loving it, however, are not the shops, restaurants or parks, rather its something more ephemeral and that you don't find in every city.
"You just feel like you are part of something when you live in the city. Like you are more vested in your surrounding. Would I love a parking space? Yes. But when I park three blocks away I find myself running into neighbors and chatting. At my local grocery store I run into someone I know every time I go in there. I can basically do anything without getting in my car. One of my son's first words was: Baltimore," she says.