the greatest city in america

Ocean City, Americas Greatest Anti-Freedom Resort

okay so i am so fuckin angry right now and i have been for three days ever since i found out the the Ocean City NJ City Council decided to pass a bill that charges buskers to play on the boardwalk. On top of that we were not fairly represented in the decision making process. The bill SEVERELY restricts when, where, who and for how long one may busk. The “badges” are $50. They are bright yellow, contain ALL of our personal information, including home addresses and names, and must be worn AT ALL TIMES. Entire days are being removed including all special events (you know, the times where buskers make the most tips?) and two week days. Instead of picking an unoccupied spot we have to choose from a list and hope nobody is already there. If someone is, well guess what? You’re SOL. You cannot play there. And you can only play starting at 6 pm and only until 10 pm. The entire actual daytime is gone. You get four hours a day, five days a week. Wait, did I say five days? i meant four. See, on Sunday you cannot start until 7 pm. So you get THREE hours on Sunday. And the boardwalk shops don’t even start closing until 11 pm. OH AND DID MENTION? You can’t play with anyone else unless you can prove you’re in a band together! There is a $2000 (two thousand dollar) fine if you are caught breaking these rules. And if you do well and form a crowd? Better hope its not too big cause the cops’ll come. Now, they say they’ll exhause every other possibility to make people move along and stop onstructing traffic, but what they’ll really do is skip all that and go right to telling the busker to move along. There is also a limited time period in which one can even buy their Juden Stars. Once the date is passed, thats it. No more people can sign up. Beach tags cost less and can be bought at any time of the year. And all of this is after decades of harassment by the police, years spent fighting with city hall (it is worth noting that furing this time period of harassment and dealing with city hall, busking was not illegal), finally winning the right to be not harassed, three years of everything working well (we never fought with each other, we never started fights, we never stole any thing or broke public property, we never blocked traffic or obstructed business. In fact we worked with each other if we had issues.) And during these three years, City Council actively tried to make it Illegal until the threat of an ACLU lawyer, that is. Then they tried to pass this bill (the one thats active right now) on at least THREE SEPERATE OCCASIONS that I know of, without telling anyone, before finally getting one passed without us realizing what was going on. please spread the word. OCEAN CITY NJ IS OFFICIALLY OPPRESSING BUSKERS AGAIN!

I’m sure everyone has seen a picture of this Baltimore bench plenty of times on the internet. It is becoming an iconic image of Baltimore, “The Greatest City In America.”

I took this photo today during our Dundalk Neighborhood Assessment. I thought that the mural painted behind this bench was very beautiful. The building behind this bench is actually a dentist office located on Eastern Avenue in the Dundalk area.

This photo in particular highlights the beauty of Baltimore City. I am learning to love My City more and more each day. A lot of us (in my generation) talk about leaving Baltimore because “there’s nothing here” and “you can’t be successful here”. Baltimore is what you make it out to be. If you continue to point out the negative, that’s what you are going to get. Many of us don’t even know Our City. We want to leave because of what we see, but how can we leave without knowing Our City first? How can we love another city when don’t even love our own?

Love your city. Never forget where you came from.

“I want you to know that this is why I’ve always believed so deeply in a better kind of politics, in part because of what I learned here in this legislature. Because of what I learned traveling across the state, visiting some of your districts, before I was running statewide, before I was a U.S. Senator; learning all the corners of this state—this most-representative of states. A state of small towns and rich farmland, and the world’s greatest city. A microcosm of America, where Democrats and Republicans and independents, and good people of every ethnicity and every faith shared certain bedrock values.” —President Obama to the Illinois General Assembly on the ninth anniversary of his announcement for President. Here’s his old office as a State Senator in Springfield.