Contemporary Criminal Justice Systems Ethnographic-Observational Assignment

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Prior to becoming a student at the University of Baltimore, I considered the surrounding neighborhood. I've never had the chance to really explore it though. Having the opportunity to observe the neighborhood outside of my normal routine has been an interesting experience. It was a gorgeous day in the City of Baltimore During my observation. I examined the flow of traffic in the area as well as the demographic, business, activity, and the body language of bystanders.

In terms of transportation, it was clear that people travelled multiple ways. I observed people walking, riding bicycles, and using public transportation which included taking the bus and using the light rail. There was also the occasional motorized scooter. When looking at means of transportation, I noticed that while a majority of the cars I saw were typically compact cars, I also saw some luxury vehicles as well. It was impressive to see people using all of the varieties of transportation. Everyone I saw seemed to have an efficient way of getting around.

Something unique about this neighborhood is the demographic. Various types of people reside in Mount Vernon. When I walked south from the University of Baltimore's campus on North Charles Street, I saw that most people were wearing casual clothing. Since the neighborhood rests among four major universities, I understood that they were more than likely college students at either the University of Baltimore, University of Maryland, Johns Hopkins University, or Maryland Institute College of Art. Additionally, I saw some people dressed in business attire as well. Mount Vernon is mostly home to single, thirty-something, white collar individuals. Individual households far outweigh family households in the area as well. In combination with the neighborhood demographic, I also observed housing. While housing in Mount Vernon is mostly contemporary, it is also chic and modern. There is a plethora of rich history in the area. I feel this is because a majority of homes were constructed in the late 19th century.

I spoke to a few people to figure out why people choose to live in Mount Vernon. One said, it's very diverse, you've got pizza at one end of the street and if you walk down this way you've got Indian cuisine. I was also told that there are various options for entertainment. As a resident of a neighborhood relatively close to the city, I do know about the entertainment options that rest in Mount Vernon but it was nice to be informed about additional options I haven't heard of.

Mount Vernon is often referred to as the Gayborhood. More or less, it was crowned with this phrase because the Mount Vernon neighborhood provided a sanctuary and a safe place for the LGBT community. This falls into my observation of safety. Overall, it appeared that Mount Vernon is a fairly safe neighborhood for all individuals. I wanted to expand my search a bit further and decided to consult a real estate website to get a better understanding quantitatively on crime rates in the Mount Vernon area. As of April 2018, reported 253 thefts, 143 assaults, 97 burglaries, 68 arrests, and 46 robberies. This website also provided a list of incidents and the type of offense. The calls for service were provided by the Baltimore City Police which provided in the crime report.

One of the business I went into was called Insomnia Cookies. They are a small cookie/bakery franchise located on North Charles Street and provide freshly baked cookies until 3am. The most interesting thing about it is that they deliver as well, by bicycle. It appeared that Mount Vernon is a Mecca for food, entertainment, and culture. There are a variety of choices for dining. I noticed that most of the restaurants are bistro-style and range from Thai, Italian, Indian, Ethiopian, Greek, and everything else in between. I now understand why there is a strong cultural influence culinarily. The culture alone is one of the reasons that many choose to reside in the area.

Organizations native to the Mount Vernon area consist of The Walters Art Museum, a place that I've visited multiple times. They possess artifacts from over fifty-five centuries and offer activities for people of all ages. I recall being particularly interested in the ancient Egyptian exhibit because of the exquisite jewelry, headpieces, and neckplates. Additional organizations that rest in Mount Vernon are the Peabody Institute, Maryland Historical Society, and Baltimore School for the Arts. These organizations are unique to Mount Vernon and have been featured in films as well. I suppose these business and organizations are located where they are based on accessibility. They are seen easily from the street and cater to all persons.

Overall, this observation was enjoyable. I was able to see Mount Vernon in a way that I've never seen it before. It's quite a culture shock when this isn't the norm for everyone. My typical commute to the University of Baltimore consists of driving around or through Mount Vernon so I've never really had an opportunity to see the neighborhood for its true potential. Maybe in a few years I'll consider relocating. Bibliography Point 2 Homes. (n.d.). Retrieved May 5, 2018, from Trulia LLC. (2018, April). Crime Data in Mount Vernon. Retrieved May 5, 2018, from

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Contemporary Criminal Justice Systems Ethnographic-Observational Assignment. (2019, Jun 24). Retrieved November 28, 2023 , from

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