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Best Bread and Circuses

The Baltimore Grand Prix

The entire scenario sounds far too contrived to be believed. An ex-con living in his mom’s basement decides that having race cars zip through the streets of downtown Baltimore at more than 170 miles per hour would be just what his hometown, a city with notoriously cratered streets and a Wire problem, needed to revive its image. Taken by his plan, city officials spend millions on preparations and cordon off parts of the central business district for a race scheduled to take place less than two weeks before the interim mayor stands for election. What! And, oh yeah, a former Secretary of State will tell the drivers when to make ready. Planned during a time when the city furloughed workers and struggled to keep pools and recreation centers open, the race’s impact will be argued over among developers, business owners, community members, and elected officials for years to come.

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