The problem is that the nice places are separated by wide swaths of sketch. Most are ok during the day, but at night it can be a very bad idea to walk (even in groups). The public transportation system is also pretty bad--so if you don't have a car, or the money to be constantly dropping on a cab, it can be very tough to get around, and actually see the nice places. *shrug* DC, in contrast, has the metro system--which just on that alone puts it way higher than Baltimore in my book.
(sorry, venting several years of frustration here, please ignore me and carry on)
Fair enough. And there are things I like better about DC. As you say, the public transportation system is much better. And DC has nicer parks, better restaurants (though Baltimore has some nice restaurants too), and better law schools.
Still, DC is relatively sterile and boring; Baltimore has a lot more character, imo.