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‘Aren’t You Exaggerating’
‘About the Difference Between Portland and Baltimore?’ A Portlander Wants to Know

Okay, John C. Portland, let me try and qualify it as best I can without living upstairs from a math whiz. One of my big brain readers will have to translate this into ratios or percentages.

I had planned on living in this gym/office, training every day and then writing. But the two times I tried training my lungs blew up and I was down with a fever, once for 3 days, the second time for 8 days. A broken down piece-of-shit has to get his exercise somehow, so I take 3 mile and a half, or two 2 mile or one 4 mile walks a day. If it’s just one walk it’s at dinner time. If it’s two, its at lunch and about 9 pm. If its three its all three slots.

I spend roughly 2 hours per day out and about in Southeast Portland, which is the same exact economic demographic as the four portions of Baltimore County and Baltimore City, Hamilton, Parkville, Middle River and Hawthorne I traversed by foot three times per week in 2017. Eerily enough, every time I walk I see a bus going between Portland and Hawthorne! Never underestimate the lack of imagination of American Civic Planners!

-In 2017 in Baltimore, I spent 6 hours a week out of doors and often declined to go grocery shopping for fear of police or other criminals. I was attacked 20 times. I typically saw 2 dangerous men per day—I mean dudes that I was fairly certain could mop the floor with me mentally and physically in combat.

-In 2 months in Portland, I have spent 14 hours a week walking around, have never been attacked and have only encountered 2 strange men who I thought could be a serious threat to me, if they decided to do me harm.

Please, some dear reader come up with a way of quantifying this, for it is beyond my ability.

In 112-plus hours in Portland I run into 2 bad asses, with both of those men treating me with wary courtesy.

In 48 hours in Baltimore—in the same 2-month span—I typically ran into 120 bad dudes, guys who I thought, on a snap judgement, had the mental and physical frame to do me in if they so choose to. And in that period 3-7 of these guys, alone or in groups, would try and do me in!

Here is some more, the typical pedestrian count between Northeast Baltimore and Southeast Portland:

Pedestrians Passed Per Mile

Between 2017 Baltimore and 2019 Portland


Baltimore 0-3 [mostly prey, the occasional hunter]

Portland 10-30 [60% are women or children!]


Baltimore 1-6 [hunters and prey]

Portland 15-45 [including polite teenagers!!]


Baltimore 0-6 [mostly bad actors]

Portland 10-30 [unescorted frails after midnight!!!]

Those numbers are what astonish, that so many more attackers come from such a smaller pool of people. Of course, the presence of those attackers is what reduced that pool of people, made them so menacing in the main, and eventually drove me off the streets after being the last non-hunter on foot after dark for some months at the close of 2017.

Here is another way to put it. In SE Portland more people walk the streets in a February downpour than do the streets of Baltimore on a Sunday afternoon in May. And when the sun comes out—it looks like alien ships dropped hippies out of the sky!

To me it feels like apples and oranges, or should I say hyenas and rabbits.

Let the World Fend for Itself

Big Ron's Baltimore: A Working Man's View of Urban Blight

Add Comment
Adam SwinderMarch 14, 2019 2:05 PM UTC

Alright, let me do some rudimentary math...

Basically, the chances of being attacked by a dangerous opponent on any given day for James LaFond, Urban Ranger, are about 1 in 7 in Baltimore, or just above %14. If you roll a six on a single dice, chances are your James LaFond character sheet is about to roll initiative!

The chances of being attacked by a dangerous opponent on any given day for James LaFond, Baltimoron Outcast, are about %0.003 percent in Portland, 1 in 400, which is rounding up to the nearest thousandth percent and being very generous. In fact, that percentage is merely the chance at which James might encounter someone who is dangerous enough to hurt him; the percentage that he might actually be attacked is far lower.

Please keep in mind that, conservatively speaking, James LaFond has professional-level spatial awareness in regards to danger assessment. Everything I have learned about managing my combat space no matter where I am or what I am doing, has come from him. As such, in 5 years of walking to and from work in Baltimore from 2005 to 2010, I was never attacked once. I traveled in all hours of the day, from 7pm at night to 6am in the morning and all hours in-between.

Not all cities are made the same, or filled with the same dangers. Some cities are just safer than others. Always manage your space, and be wary of those around you.
responds:March 14, 2019 5:59 PM UTC

For the record, while all of my other stock clerks were being attacked and mugged or arrested, Adam Swinder skulked to and from his lair and his place of toil unmolested. In fact, I don't know if Adam knows this, but the morning he got to work and found out that I had already shown up and handed in my keys and resigned, that would be July 5 2010, I walked down to the competing supermarket, where a phalanx of panhandlers—chased there by my reptilian ire—make a picket line in front of the store to let them know they could go back to my spot and start harassing customers again. On the way I passed Adam's street, and when I turned around, saw him skulking towards work, looking left or right every step like an Olympic crime swimmer, even prowling down off the curbs like he was about to sneak up on Spiderman.

I smiled with wicked pride.

Thanks Adam.
DonMarch 14, 2019 12:49 AM UTC

2017 Baltimore

(6 hours/week x 52 weeks)/20 attacks = 15.6 hrs/attack

Or in English, you got attacked every 15.6 hours when out on the street.

2019 Portland

(14 hours/week x 8 weeks)/2 possible = 56 hours per possible

Or you met a possible attacker every 56 hours.

So using Baltimore's rate with Portland's exposure time:

(14 hours/week × 8 weeks)/15.6 attacks per hours = 7.18 attacks.

But your actual attack rate is ZERO, and there's plenty of prey out and about. Portland is ridiculously safe compared to Harm City.
responds:March 14, 2019 6:01 PM UTC

Thanks Don.
MannyMarch 13, 2019 4:09 AM UTC

This will be danger v attacks per pedestrian hour if I’m correct.

Portland: 0.01785 v 0

Harm C: 2.5 v 0.0625/ 0.1485. (3/7 attacks)

Per my crackpot math this means you are 14,000% more likely to run into a badass in Baltimore and 100% more likely to be attaked.
responds:March 14, 2019 6:01 PM UTC

Thank you!