Washington Redskins Anthony Armstrong gets held by Baltimore Ravens Tom Zbikowski at Fedex-Field stadium Aug. 21 , 2010. (ETL-Jose L. Argueta/WWW.ELTIEMPOLATINO.COM)

But for all we lack in sporty competitiveness, D.C. and Baltimore could make up for it with an old-fashioned debate about the virtues of either city before Thursdays’s game.

The Washington Monument on Charles Street in Baltimore. (ERIC STOCKLIN/AP)

People go to Washington for opportunity; when they come to Baltimore they find community. The one’s about work, while the other’s about life. And not la-di-da Georgetown-style life. Baltimore is Charm City because its neighborhoods exude a grubby kind of charm.

A cyclist pedals past the horse corral in Rock Creek Park, a beloved recreational area in Northwest Washington. (BILL O'LEARY/TWP)

Some own, some rent, everybody knows everybody and nobody’s putting on airs. I walk everywhere, including to my dry cleaner, my bank, my post office, my fish market, my produce market, my meat market, my drug store, my rug store, my barber, my liquor store, my pet store, and half a hundred restaurants, including a British pub that will sell you, for eight bucks, a slice of homemade crusty bread and the marrow from three fat beef bones -- which, when married together, are a meal as succulent as caviar.

Personally, I can see the good in both cities: Washington is a breathtakingly beautiful city, especially at dusk or when the cherry blossoms bloom. But I’m also a big fan of Baltimore’s Camden Yards, and the city’s low-key attitude is refreshing. But what do you think? Which city do you think is a better place to live and why?

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