Just a Jew. Named Mitch. Writing about his feelings.


Posted by JewMitch on July 8, 2010

One year when I was living in Baltimore, I decided it would be a really good idea to live in the cheapest apartment that I could find near school. This was obviously an awful idea, as I wound up in a neighborhood called “Pigtown,” and directly across the street from a drug dealer. And not a friendly – “do you want some pot” type of drug dealer, but a “crackwhores regularly come in and out of your house” type of drug dealer. Of course, there’s also the possibility that he just really liked fucking crackwhores, but that just seemed less likely and they never stayed long. There was also a guy named Mike, who’s full time job seemed to be sitting on my stoop, and who I would give cigarettes to/let him steal my newspaper every day in exchange for watching my car (Note: if you ever find yourself living in a bad area of Baltimore, I highly recommend this, as my car never once got broken into).

The neighborhood obviously wasn’t great, but the apartment itself was pretty nice. Two floors (with a full spiral staircase in the middle of the apartment), two bedrooms, two bathrooms, full kitchen, etc., and my share of the rent was $375 a month. The other funny thing about this apartment was that it was in such a bad neighborhood that no one ever thought to break into my place – while my friends who lived in the student area regularly got broken into (and mugged, and one got stabbed).

However, the landlord was this total slum lord named Mr. Klein, that drove around in an 1960 Mercedes convertible, and the roof kind of a had a problem with leaking. By “kind of had a problem”, I mean that when I moved in – there were huge black mold stains on the wall, which I had to paint over with special mold killing paint.

I had been told that the roof had been fixed, which was true, until it wasn’t, and then the roof started leaking again. And then it started leaking in my room. And then it started leaking near my bed. And since my landlord wouldn’t respond to my calls, I did the next best thing, which was to go to the dollar store, buy a bunch of buckets, and then mark the places on the floor where the roof leaked with masking tape so I knew where to put the buckets when it started raining. And as more leaks opened up, I just kept adding buckets. Till I literally had six buckets in my room, which I had to set up every time I left the house if the forecast called for rain.

And the really funny thing about this situation was that I was a LAW STUDENT. Someone with full access to and understanding of Maryland’s landlord tenant law. This went on for like 3 weeks before someone finally suggested that I send a certified letter citing all the violations of Maryland Law, which resulted in the roof being fixed the next day. By Mike (from the stoop) of all people.


2 Responses to “Pigtown”

  1. zacharyzer said

    Good shit, Mitch. I lived in a South Central LA apartment across from the 32nd Street Market – also known as the “Pigs feet and hamhock” market to the locals- during my senior year of college. Fancying myself a writer in the Bukowski – John Fante tradition, I wanted that skid row type of experience… So I skipped on the frat house and went for the shithole apartment. (I DJ’d Bar Mitzvahs for cash…)\\

    This was during the Tupac-BIG murders so the streets were like a live wire, patrolled by bandana sporting foot soldiers and weed dealers looking to screw college kids out of their parents hard earned cash…

    One night at the 32 Street Market (same place as above) My date Danielle and I bought a case of Lucky Lager. On our way back across the parking lot, we got fronted by some baby gangstaz from the ‘hood and I nearly shat my pants. We held hands as tightly as we could until they drove off, bumping Wu-Tang and laughing at us. Terrified, we escaped into the friendly confines of the Hoover House. Once there, we drank the case of beer and shook in our boots, sharing my land-line (pre-cell phone) to call out parents and tell them how close to death we had just come.
    After 18 beers, we were barely buzzed, because we were so nervous. When it all ended, she was too scared to walk home and I was too drunk to have sex so I cuddled her on my Futon until the morning came and she split. Such an opportunity to take advantage of a damsel in distress – and I blew it. Back then I thought I was a gentleman and a sweet guy for not taking advantage of her… Now I run the scenario over and over in my mind and realize I lost a chance to sleep with one of the hottest girls in my school…What a fucking tool I was.


  2. Melissa said

    Classic Bmore. Having lived all over the city, Pigtown is honestly my favorite hood!

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