Here, water is everything - the heart of the city's revival, the point of its main tourist attraction, the flavor of the hometown dish.
There, the wettest things are the decorative fountains outside the convention center. It's dust, it's prairie, it's cows - it's Texas.
Despite having nothing visibly in common, Baltimore and Fort Worth have become the nation's newest clique - business partners and instant mutual admiration society. Tourism boosters in each city are reaching across the country to join hands, hoping that together they can grab visitors' dollars that traditionally end up in other cities.
With the unconventional enterprise, the cities will try to sell themselves as a package deal. They'll work to persuade meeting planners to meet one year in Baltimore and the next in Fort Worth (or vice versa) - dangling hotel bargains as the incentive.
Basically, it's two industry underdogs hoping to outsmart and outstrategize the big guys.
"We are both second-tier cities struggling to compete with the bigger cities for our share of the meetings industry - absolutely," says Fort Worth Convention and Visitors Board President David DuBois. "It's David and Goliath."
Attacking the competition together simply makes sense, say DuBois and his Baltimore counterpart, Tom Noonan, head of the Baltimore Area Convention and Visitors Association. In fact, eventually, they'd like to invite a West Coast city into the club.
But why these two cities for starters? Why not two historic places or two locales with country sensibilities - or two spots that worship barbeque?
It just isn't that simple, Noonan says. Looking at middle-of-the-country cities to match with Baltimore, plenty of them just don't work. Some - Houston and Chicago - are too big. Others - Minneapolis, for one - are too cold.
Fort Worth - Cowtown, as it's called - seemed just right.
"They're going through a kind of similar transformation as we are," Noonan explains. "It's a great lively downtown as well."
In addition to sharing territory in the continental U.S., DuBois and Noonan are quick to point out Baltimore and Fort Worth both are about the same size, they're both near airports and - excitement for planning wonks - they're both building convention center hotels.
"From what I understand, it's just a perfect fit," says Pam Minick, marketing director of Fort Worth's pride and joy, Billy Bob's Texas, a colossal honky-tonk where, Minick boasts, "you can see bull riding and Willie Nelson within 10 minutes of each other."
In Fort Worth, there's plenty of opportunity to see bull riding - all things bovine, really. Every day they drive cattle up the main street in the Stockyards historic district, mechanic bulls are all but expected in bars, and on people's plates, beef is what's for dinner.
Jason George, a manager at Angelo's, a Fort Worth barbecue joint famous for its brisket and ribs, says he has never been to Baltimore and wants nothing to do with the city's famous crustacean, which doesn't much take to barbecue sauce.
"Seafood's real big up there then?" he asks most skeptically.
(Asked if he'd like to come to Baltimore and try it, he says, "Nope, not really.")
Amy Pelsinsky, director of communications at Baltimore's National Museum of Dentistry, has never been to Fort Worth, or Texas at all. She pictures something vast - lots of land and lots of cowboys.
She's doesn't quite get the pairing with Baltimore - "Isn't Fort Worth inland?" she asks. "This is like cowboys versus fisherman - it's like surf and turf."
Amy Lynwander, co-owner of Fells Point Ghost Tours, points out that not one ghoul on her route has cowboy lineage. "No cow ghosts, either," she adds. "Though we did have a cat ghost."
Regardless, Noonan hopes Baltimore will start seeing a payoff from the partnership this fall. If anything, he thinks the cities' differences will appeal to organizations that don't want to hit the same type of place each year for their annual meetings.
"You're trying to show them a different destination every year," Noonan says. "Come to Baltimore for crabs and waterfront, then the next year come to Fort Worth and have stockyards and rodeo."