I’m in Baltimore at RailsConf right now, and wandering around the downtown I’ve been struck by the character of the city, and how it compares to other cities.

Baltimore seems to be a beautiful city with an undercurrent of poverty. We’ve seen a lot of homeless in the downtown core, and I’ve sensed just a menacing feeling. The further you get from the water, the less polished the city gets.

Chicago was an absolutely gorgeous city, but just outside of downtown you have areas of profound poverty. The downtown seems like a fat banker polishing his pocket watch and puffing on a stogie.

Las Vegas is the partied out girl in the corner who’s friends should have taken her home two hours ago.

Toronto meanwhile is like your country cousin dressed up in a suit, he looks refined, but he’s down to earth.

London Ontario? It’s a 20 year old kid in his father’s borrowed suit, it doesn’t quite fit him, but he’s really trying to make it fit.