Baltimore is the biggest small town around. But like any city, It has good its points and bad ones.
However, I more often see people being kind to each other and/or trying to make this city a better place, then I do the type of mislead youth you describe above.
Our rating as the 10th most sustainable city in the US, along with our proximity to DC etc, has helped us to avoid the dramatic price drops seen in other locals, and helps round out the huge potential this city has yet to realize.
That being said, that realization is happening faster in some neighborhoods than others.
I have lived in Baltimore for 30 years. If you might find me useful deciphering the mosaic of Baltimore's neighborhoods, your contact is welcomed.