Some sisters are so close that they tell each other everything. Others have a more… strained relationship. Baltimore and her sister cities seem to fit into that second category. One measure of just how strained the relationship is: I didn’t even know we had sister cities!
This awkward family tension came to my attention thanks to a blog post by the Atlantic Cities, which details MICA grad student Ashley Molese’s senior thesis, which involved her reaching out to Baltimore’s 11 sister cities. (Just so you know, they are: Alexandria, Egypt; Luxor, Egypt; Piraeus, Greece; Rotterdam, Netherlands; Kawasaki, Japan; Xiamen, China; Gbarnga, Liberia; Bremerhaven, Germany; Ashkelon, Israel; Genoa, Italy; and Odessa, Ukraine. Most were chosen because they, like Baltimore, are port cities.) You can read a fuller account of her experience here, but the short version is — there are some troubles among the sisters.
A few of Baltimore’s sister cities have even severed the relationship, either officially or just by refusing to return our calls. Maybe our sister cities in Ukraine and Egypt can get a pass — they’re going through a rough time, after all — but Italy, Liberia, and Germany have no such excuse.
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