Steps at Baronne and MLK

I am back in New Orleans, thank goodness. I was only out of town for a couple of days, but I’m kinda sorta addicted to riding my bicycle around so I was happy to back on the Surly, planning to zip around all day long. Unfortunately the weather had other ideas. It rained all day. All day. Continue reading

Blighted Building at 130th and Union

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I have been in lovely Cleveland, Ohio for the weekend at my dear friend L.’s wedding, so no bike riding for me. But L. is, like I said, a dear friend, so after the morning’s final festivities, she lent me her bike so I might tool around town a bit. There is little I like more than taking a spin around a new town. I didn’t bother to look at a map, so I am not all sure where I went. The first thing I noticed was something I notice in every place I go: New Orleans does not hold a monopoly on blight. It was kind of amazing how quickly I went from the mansions of Shaker Heights to the abandoned storefronts of Buckeye. I took a picture of this blighted propery at 130th and Union. I don’t know what used to be here or what will be there next, but I liked its whole haunted castle aesthetic. I continued my ride round that neighborhood and Mt. Pleasant at then back to L.’s house, thinking she’s pretty lucky to get to ride her bike around this town and with that dashing new husband of hers. And yes, I will be back to ride around here soon, I hope.

Sunflowers at Baronne and Erato

Today was the last day of summer school–school’s out!–and I spent the afternoon bouncing around town, lunch with N., pinkberry with S., and racquetball with R. It felt good to get some sun on this most lovely day. I rode up Baronne  realizing it had actually been a week or two since this particular route in the daytime; I hoped those sunflowers over on Erato would still be in bloom. Continue reading

“Sorry We’re Corrupt” Sticker at Magazine and St. Andrew

Contrary to popular belief, I do own a car, and for some strange reason, I was in the mood to drive yesterday. I did, and sheesh, it’s different to drive. I got everywhere so fast and dry! I even went to the suburbs, to the mall. I passed a couple of friends as I sped down Rampart. I beeped the horn, waved, and and wondered if they’d wonder what I was doing in a car. But enough about What I Saw Driving A Car Around Yesterday. Today I was back on the bike, to work and back and then to dinner with B. and back. We took a short walk around afterward, and I noticed this sticker on a fire hydrant on Magazine and St. Andrew (I think). I kind of love it. I could wonder who it’s referring to–the NOPD? BP? IMF?  WTO? HBO?–but mostly what I thought about as I passed it tonight on my walk back to the bike was how things look really, really different depending on your mode of transportation. And, as B. said tonight, sometimes you’ve just got to walk.

Empty Lot at Claiborne and Cadiz

I rode home from work along Claiborne Avenue after grabbing a quick lunch and a few minutes of the Copa Mundial at the local burrito place. It’s a wide street–three lanes in each direction–and there’s even a shoulder. The asphalt is smooth. But it so flipping scary to ride there. The cars zip by so fast. Take the foot off the pedal, folks! Give a girl some space! Continue reading

Streetcar at Jefferson and St. Charles

I was heading Uptown to meet my old college friend S. and her pal J.M. for drinks and for some reason the ride just felt perfect. I had a bouncy song in my head  and the sun was behind just enough cloud to bring the temperatures down to plain old hot. I didn’t ride yesterday, so I think I was also just happy to be on the bike and pedaling. Whatever it was, tonight’s ride felt like some much-needed play. Continue reading

Terrible Asphalt at Magazine and Julia

You know I love riding my bike around New Orleans. It’s flat as a pancake here and the weather is always perfect for a ride, assuming you don’t mind thunderstorms and 100+ heat indices, which I don’t. But our streets are, in many places, spectacularly awful. We have some repaving projects, some even including facilities for bikes–Chartres, St. Claude, Gentilly, upper St. Charles, La Salle/Simon Bolivar, Loyola–but most streets are a mess of exposed streetcar tracks, potholes, loose gravel, ridges, and all various and sundry temporary patches. Continue reading