If there is any city that has recently experienced a serious renaissance in its residents, that city definitely has to be Baltimore. Once a mere stopping ground on I-95 for those heading from Washington D.C. to New York or Boston, Baltimore is starting to hold its own as a center for culture. Surprisingly enough, a lot of young artists who were once relocating to Brooklyn or Providence are starting to make their way to Baltimore, where they can live in spacious houses and create their latest records and paintings without having to worry about rent getting hiked sky-high. But there is another reason that so many younger, artistic people are finding themselves in Baltimore. It’s the fact that a whole lot of their favorite films and television shows happen to have been based here recently.For mainstream audiences, the most obvious project that has led to increased exposure for the city of Baltimore is the much-beloved and much-raved-about series on HBO, “The Wire.” Based on a nonfiction book that chronicles the life of the various police units out there in the streets, “The Wire” was at once a deeply touching and surprisingly funny account of life working on a somewhat difficult beat. And while there were some elements that you wouldn’t expect to immediately help out a tourist board, there were other glimpses into the revitalized world of Baltimore. Whether it happened to be shots of the rebuilt downtown skyline or a look at the condos that are starting to go up left and right on the waterfront, “The Wire” actually exposed plenty of Americans to the new Baltimore for the first time, while taking care to include well-chosen shots of city landmarks, like the Domino Sugar factory.But as far as the silver screen goes, the number one supporter of Baltimore might be well-known and beloved amongst art school students, but otherwise unknown. Baltimore’s very own John Waters has been like a one-man tourist board for the city, shooting all of his films there even after the success of movies like “Hairspray.” And beloved yet quirky Baltimore natives always had a spot in his films, right alongside some of the biggest names in the business. If there’s one real reason that people are packing it up and heading to Baltimore, this definitely seems to be it.
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