Day By Day

Friday, January 06, 2006

Charm City becomes Fittest City -- "You Gotta Be Kidding"

AP reports:
BALTIMORE - Baltimore has been named America's fittest city, with Chicago overtaking Houston as the fattest. Last year's fittest city, Seattle, drops to No. 8 in the new list, released today by Men's Fitness magazine.

When the annual survey named Baltimore the fittest city in America, many Charm City residents had the same response: You gotta be kidding.

Sure, people here are known for eating lots of seafood, but are crab cakes and deep-fried lake trout the staples of a healthy diet?

"I think it's probably the most mis-fit city in America," said Charisse Bailey as she dug into a typical Baltimore lunch: fried red snapper on thick white bread, with a side of french fries and a beer.

Read it here.

"You Gotta Be Kidding" was my reaction too. The reaction of the guy in the picture, according to the Baltimore Sun -- "Impossible!!!"

Local opinion seems to be that this is either a joke or an attempt to pump up macho Mayor Martin O'Malley going into next year's gubenatorial contest.

Parenthetically I would note that much of the commentary on this silly article has portrayed Baltimore in excessively negative terms. It is no longer the hell-hole it was a quarter of a century ago. In fact it is now one of the most pleasant places in America to live. I would further note that the transformation has been the result of an immensely productive partnership between local and state governments and the business community. In part the article is testimony to this spectacularly successful effort at urban redevelopment.

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