Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Around the Way

Driving up Fulton Avenue where there's a liquor store on every corner.

Thursday, February 12, 2009


I called the police at 9:49 p.m. to a report a theft.

I told them the thief was still in the house (which he was).

They didn't show up until 11 p.m.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009


I love that Baltimore never has a dull moment.

I was waiting in the long line that had already developed outside the MVA near Mondawmin Mall at 8 a.m. in the morning. Some drunk guy stumbled up the steps ahead of the line, and of course everybody started cussing him out.

Once I got inside and gave my license to the Information Clerk for renewal, he looked at the old one and said,

"Wow this wasn't one of your best hair days on here was it?"

I took my number from him and rolled my eyes. Then I proceeded to sit down in the waiting area.

...where I checked myself in the mirror multiple times until they called me to the counter for a new photo.

Monday, February 9, 2009

Really Though?

My number was 359. The Circuit Court called jurors 001-750. I was hoping the Water Main Break on Calvert St. would've shut down some action in the courtroom today. But of course not.

I was standing on St.Paul in front of the Clarence M Mitchell Jr. Courthouse at 8:15 a.m. My sister had dropped me off because I would be damned if I was catching the crazy MTA after driving for almost 3 years. I brought all of my text books with me like a dummy, thinking that I would get some homework done at least.

Upon entry I managed to set off the metal detector alarm approximately five times.

When I went into the jury assembly room for orientation I sat next to the one person with the "gift of gab". No matter how much I stared at my text book, the conversation never ceased. Then entered the token angry man who is never pleased that he was summoned to jury duty.

"Man look at all these people in here man it's too early in the got damn morning for this shit!" he said.

I was finally relieved when I received my 15 bucks.

Since my number was so low of course I was amongst the second batch of jurors to be selected for a case. About 80 of us scrambled into a court room that made us sit too close for comfort. We were assisted by court room clerks who made us count off to assure that everyone was present (which made me realize that a lot of people in Baltimore can't count, including myself).

The judge began to ask questions to see who qualified for striking, and I realized there is always one individual who must stand up for everything. This person has been a victim of a crime, is bias toward the nature of the case, has a financial, physical, AND mental hardship, and works for the attorney serving the defendant. Really though?

Well I only had one hardship...I'm a full time student.

"Writing For New Media can be missed for this 3-day trial, in fact you can blog about this as an experience." said the judge.

Not a bad idea actually.

Once I convinced the judge that I couldn't be imprisoned for the next 3 days, I realized I had missed 30 minutes of lunch. I quickly walked to the Subway down the street only to be greeted with a long line of hungry jurors on the hunt for a munch just as I was.

After finally receiving and eating my overly toasted sandwich, extra salty chips, and air dry cookies, I returned to the Courthouse only to be harassed by the security officer.

"What is all this stuff that you have in this bag?" he said with a grunt as he searched my purse.
"Our ancestors back in the slavery era paid the price so we didn't have to carry all of these things..." then he turned to the woman who had just been checked and decided to include her in the conversation. "If people were smart they would know that." he said with a laugh.

"Are you calling me stupid?" I asked.

"No young lady, that is NOT what I said" he explained with an irritated tone. Then he proceeded to repeat himself but I cut that short and walked away with my things.

After returning to the assembly room at 1:45 p.m., I finally gave up on any hopes of getting homework done and took a nap. I was awakened by the sound of chains clanking in the hallway. I looked up to see hand cuffed men being guided by police officers, staring me straight in the eyes. I immediately put my head back down and prayed to be called for another case in a courtroom far away from wherever those men were going.

After two long hours and never being called for another case, one of the clerks finally announced in a monotone that we were dismissed.

Next time the City of Baltimore wants me to show my face Downtown, they better be offering 20 bucks...

Thursday, February 5, 2009

3 Shootings Raise Death Toll to 26...Thats Almost A Life A Day...

Look at this: Baltimore Homicides Map


According to the Baltimore Sun, 3 shootings found yesterday in separate locations in the city raised the death toll to 26 since the start of 2009.

The names of these people are being withheld and the police have yet to make any arrests. (figures)

The first shooting occurred on Washington Street in the Broadway East neighborhood where a 22-year-old man was shot in the head at 3 a.m. in the morning. He was taken to Johns Hopkins where he died not long after.

The second was on the 4500 black of Franklintown Road. The police noticed the door of a stone front building with two separate bathrooms cracked open and a man's feet hanging out. Police say the man had been shot in the back and was pronounced dead on the scene.

The third shooting happened around 4 p.m. on the 1600 block of Gorsuch Road. where a man was shot in the head. He died soon after.

My brother was shot three times in the chest last year around this time, when is the madness gonna end?

Check out the story.

Introducing Michael Phelps....AGAIN

Photo Credit: The Baltimore Sun/AP Photo taken Feb 4, 2009

Are you as tired of hearing about this dude as I am?

According to today's Baltimore Sun report Michael Phelps had his first interview yesterday with The Sun since that picture of him conversing with Mary Jane surfaced. According to Phelps, he "clearly made a mistake" and this past week has been both embarrassing and uncomfortable for him.

Hence this nice little photo that the Sun snapped of him.

First of all, for anyone who has been to Baltimore and its surrounding areas, or for anyone who hasn't, please know that this place is the new Amsterdam. People are smoking refa all day, everyday...GET OVER IT! (yes, the black kids on Poplar Grove and the white kids in Rodgers Forge are probably doing it together).

So, from what I read, this YOUNG, IMMATURE man is now considering retiring because of this "crisis"? Give me a break!

According to the Sun, Phelps said, "Yeah, there are still goals that I have in the pool, 100 percent. But I'm not going to let anything stand in my way. If I decide to walk away, I'll decide to walk away on my own terms. If it's now, if it's four years, who knows. But it is something I need to think about and decide what I want to do."

Look Phelps, if you ever want to have some fun, (you know maybe have a drink with out getting another DUI like you did in 2004) give me a call! I won't share any photos!

Baltimore...No Sugar No Sweet

Finally...I am here. My name is Janae Griffin and I am a Towson University student, born and raised in Baltimore City, Maryland. I found a lot of perspectives on Baltimore interesting when I first arrived on Towson's, for example:

"Baltimore?...You mean Bamma-more?"
" you watch the Wire? Is Baltimore like that?"
"Baltimore is dirty!"
"I love the Inner Harbor! Have you been?"

While most of these things were true, a lot of them were hurtful. I mean my city isn't all that but it does have some uh...CHARACTER to it! I know you may hear about the crime and controversy of Charm City on blogs such as Baltimore Crime or you may get all the latest up to date news on blogs such as InsideCharmCity, but I am here to show you around the city MY WAY.

The purpose of this blog is simply to reveal the REAL Baltimore. I am going to comment on some of the current events in the city, true, but my main goal is to post live photos daily of the things I see around here and some of the events you all may be missing out on. Some of it will be artsy, and some of it will just be real. So if you catch a photo of a couple of dudes hanging on the corner doing nothing, well, THATS BALTIMORE!

This is your Insider Baltimore blog-STRAIGHT.