I should like to discuss three American cities that have always remained mysterious in my mind: Baltimore, Pittsburgh and Cincinnati.
I've never been to said cities. As a matter of fact the only American towns I've been to are Minneapolis, New York and Fargo. Yet B, P, and C are intriguing to me due to how I've built them up in my mind, starting from childhood. When I was seven to ten years old I collected baseball cards, and enjoyed the names and logos of their teams; the Orioles, the Pirates, and the Reds. I had an old Game Gear baseball game that I played frequently and all three of those teams were on there, cementing the cities in my memory. I never had a great urge to visit any of the cities, but they still interested me.
Thinking about them now, with the exception of Pittsburgh having a strong hockey team (but I'm never really sure of how large the role of hockey is in American consciousness - when Anaheim was playing Ottawa for the Cup a couple of years back, I jokingly remarked that the series was rigged so Anaheim would win due to how it's located in California, the most densely populated state in the US, and if California received the glory of the Stanley Cup it would exponentially increase interest/sales in NHL tickets and merchandise which would be strongly needed for the franchise because of loss of revenue from the previous lockout - but enough of sports theories. I actually rarely pay attention to sports, but still appreciate them from time to time), I don't really know much about them. I never hear anything about said cities in the news, and I haven't noticed anything based in or around them (aside from the sitcom WKRP in Cincinnati, but I'm not researching this so I'm not sure of other outlets. There's most likely a lot of history and achievement throughout the three cities, but I'm just discussing my initial thoughts). But without research, I can safely say that Baltimore is in Maryland, Pittsburgh in Pennsylvania and Cincinnati in Ohio. Aside from these most basic of facts, the well quickly runs dry.
I was tempted to include Detroit in the mix because it has the same vibe in my mind, but I know more about it than the other three - medium to high crime rate, a large automotive industry (immortalized in David Plowden's photography book Industrial Landscape), and of course Robocop. I'm not speaking ill of Detroit when it comes to the crime rate, once again I'm donating my first impressions.
There's just a modicum of intrigue and secrecy about Baltimore, Pittsburgh and Cincinnati to me, someone who's grown up in Canada and rarely visited the States. I'm not trying to be whimsical, I'm only trying to be honest and critical of my own views.
And all the cool kids shout out, "No one cares!"
Plese leave comments so I can increase my popularity at school. They'll like me once they get to know me, I just need an 'in'. So no one will take me aside and say, "You're trying too hard."