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OT: Friend moving to Baltimore, MD (Johns Hopkins Uni)

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OT: Friend moving to Baltimore, MD (Johns Hopkins Uni)

Old 02-26-13, 03:04 AM
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OT: Friend moving to Baltimore, MD (Johns Hopkins Uni)

Hello fellow BFs,

I have a Croatian friend moving to Baltimore, MD for 3-4 months to work at John Hopkins. He's never been the US and I'm not familiar with the area.

Can anyone make specific recommendations about:

1. Where to live so that he could get the uni easily (perhaps by bike)? Also, something on the public transit line would be good.
2. Where to buy a bike to get around?
3. What are the best options to get the DC and NYC (do you guy use the Bolt Bus or Amtrak like from Boston to NYC?)
4. What areas should he avoid (he's from the tough part of Frankfurt ... Neu-Isenburg ... but tough over here is not the same as tough over there).
5. Suggestions for weekend trips would be welcomed (DC/NYC/etc...) as they'd (gf will come for a few weeks) like to see some of the East coast and some US history.

Thanks in advance!
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Old 02-26-13, 03:31 PM
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I live in the DC area, so I'll leave question 1, 2 and 4 for others.
I go to Baltimore from time to time, sometimes by car, but other times by train. On weekdays, the least expensive way to go to and from DC is MARC commuter train. Unfortunately, if you want to take your bike, it needs to be a folding bike. Amtrak runs frequent trains up and down the east coast and you can take the bike if you pack it in a box or case and check it, unless it is a folder, which can go in the carry-on luggage area near the door. Not all trains accept checked luggage. I've taken the buses from DC to NYC - cheap and fairly comfortable (but I prefer trains). Rules about bikes vary by company - read carefully, and you might want to print it to show the drivers who may not know (or want to follow) the policy.
DC is a great bike town, and even has a good bike share program with stations at most of the major tourist sites. Most museums and attractions here are free.
But Baltimore has its attractions, so does Philly, and NYC. For history - Philadelphia - and most historic sites are within a few blocks. For WOW NYC.
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Old 02-26-13, 03:44 PM
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Thanks for the response. I'll forward it to him as he's getting nervous as the trip approaches.
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Old 02-26-13, 04:10 PM
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Originally Posted by acidfast7 View Post
Thanks for the response. I'll forward it to him as he's getting nervous as the trip approaches.
If he's the nervous type, tell him NOT to watch "The Wire."
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Old 02-26-13, 04:15 PM
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Originally Posted by I-Like-To-Bike View Post
If he's the nervous type, tell him NOT to watch "The Wire."
Actually, I've watched it with two German speakers. The first could only watch 3 minutes then be exhausted because we didn't have English subtitles and the English is quite hard. The second guys, this guy, like it and said that's how they'd handle you where I came from but they wouldn't be so nice about it Personally, I thought it was a great show and it's own our to recommend list.
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Old 02-26-13, 04:23 PM
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I was at Hopkins (Homewood campus -- is your friend going to the University or the Med School or Peabody Conservatory, or...?) 88-92, so my info is probably outdated somewhat -- not to mention I was not a cyclist at that time.

2. CL. Always CL. For only 3-4mo I would say buy a bike for $100 or less and don't even plan to sell it afterwards, just give it to the nicest person he works with. Or post on a regional Baltimore BF and ask if any nice person would like to loan out a bike for a few months?

3. I always went down Charles to the train station to get to DC. It's a great day trip to see the museums and such. Shame though if Amtrak doesn't accomodate bikes...

5. Yes of course DC, NYC, Boston for a longer trip, there's also Philly, but don't forget B'more itself!

1,4. The Homewood (Charlestown?) neighborhood has gotten a lot more college-ish since I've been there, anything North, East, or South/East for a mile or so should be fine. I lived in the Hopkins House and Charles apartment buildings, they were fine and quite close. I also shared a rowhouse on the west side (Remington Ave), that was a much more townie neighborhood, maybe if he's skittish stay away from that kind of thing.

1. for public transit note there is (or at least used to be) a free shuttle from Homewood to Peabody to Med school and back, so anywhere close to one of those stops would be a good option. In theory the shuttle was only for people with Hopkins ID cards, but in practice nobody ever checked. YMMV.

I'd be interested to hear more current impressions of my alma mama!
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Old 02-26-13, 04:48 PM
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Originally Posted by acidfast7 View Post
Actually, I've watched it with two German speakers. The first could only watch 3 minutes then be exhausted because we didn't have English subtitles and the English is quite hard. The second guys, this guy, like it and said that's how they'd handle you where I came from but they wouldn't be so nice about it Personally, I thought it was a great show and it's own our to recommend list.
It's one of my favorites too, but not for the nervous types. Sometimes I need to back up the DVD to understand Snoop, maybe I should use English subtitles too. "Homicide" also has a Baltimore setting, but is less rough around the edges.
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Old 02-26-13, 06:12 PM
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Originally Posted by I-Like-To-Bike View Post
It's one of my favorites too, but not for the nervous types. Sometimes I need to back up the DVD to understand Snoop, maybe I should use English subtitles too. "Homicide" also has a Baltimore setting, but is less rough around the edges.
"Homicide: Life on the Street" was made by the same guys as The Wire. Starring the fantastic Andre Braugher. There's also a book, detailing the lives of the real-life B'more cops that Homicide was based on. And the long story-arc about the murdered little girl maybe murdered by the old guy with the rickety cart, that was based on a true case as well.
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Old 03-01-13, 07:14 AM
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Guys thanks for the detailed responses!

Please keep the coming!
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Old 03-01-13, 06:49 PM
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Besides the usual sites in DC and NYC,

Visit Annapolis and enjoy crabs at Cantlers. See the Naval Academy. Check out Velo-Orange in Annapolis.
Visit the eastern shore of Maryland, flat and good riding.

NJ check out Cape May.

Phili - It's where it all started. My aunt and uncle from Beijing (Tsing Hua Univ) were very impressed. They enjoyed visiting Princeton and UPenn on the same day.
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Old 03-02-13, 01:18 PM
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BWI Airport loop, which connects to the B&A rail trail to Annapolis is a nice ride. Google Maps shows the route.
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Old 03-02-13, 08:38 PM
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I am assuming the Homewood Campus

1. Not sure what what to recommend on where to live around there (all nearby areas are not that bad) but I would start with craigslist.
2. Baltimore Bicycle Works sells second hand bikes as does Velocipede (a bike coop)
3. By bike There is a ride called Monument to Monument that rides to DC and back it's ~100 miles. Seriously, There is a Bolt Bus out of Baltimore but I hear their "service" is really going down hill. Others have commented about Amtrak.
4. Talk to the folks at Baltimore Bicycling Works they should be helpful in that regard. Baltimore's "bad" neighborhoods are southwest and southeast.
5. The Inner Harbor, Fells Point and Fort McHenry Are Baltimore's highlights. I think you can get bus trip to the old Civil War Battle Grounds Gettysburg, Antietam and Harpers Ferry
come to mind.
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Old 03-04-13, 06:35 AM
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Welcome to Baltimore! The bike community is great here. We just did a bike pub crawl yesterday starting out at Hopkins, to Roland Park and Hampden. So much fun. Lots of bike lanes, lots of bikes even on a chilly March day. You have to check out the Baltimore Bike Party facebook page. The Bike Party is on the last Friday of EVERY month, starting at 7:30 pm. Meet at the Washington Monument (the original one in Mount Vernon, not DC) and join the fun with a thousand or so cyclists on an easy 10-12 mile ride through the city. Always a fun party at the end of the ride with some of the nicest people in town.
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