Blighted Factory at Hollins & Warwick

A couple of cold days in a row made today’s 38 degrees and sunshine feel downright balmy. After finishing up a little of this and that at home, I layered up and hopped on the bike to head to campus. It was so warm I didn’t even need my fancy pants gloves! I flew down the hill on Maryland, went around that growing sinkhole just on the other side of North Avenue (can we at least spray paint around the thing?), and then up through Bolton Hill and Marble Hill. Marble Hill boasts street signs reporting it’s an “historic community,” and as I pedaled along, I wondered why so many neighborhoods are turning into historical communities, heritage trails, and other places of nostalgia, as if mattering in the past is the way to matter in the present, which it is–I love history–but what about places mattering in the present, because the present matters too? I took my left on Lafayette, left on Monroe, right on Hollins, and slight left onto Lipps. I stopped where it ran into Warwick and took this picture of an abandoned factory against the blue sky. It looked oddly beautiful, the way that blight looks beautiful when that’s all you see but you don’t have to live inside of it. I think this place used to be part of the Lipps candy factory before it manufactured varnishes, stains, and oils, but that’s the best I could find on the interwebz. I continued my ride to campus, enjoying the weather and the occasional downhills, but after work it was dark, and I decided to go ahead and take the bus home. I waited and waited and then strapped my bike to the front, bumped along for almost an hour, until it was finally time for my usual ride up the hill. I’m thrilled about the protected bike lane they’re putting in on Fallsway, but until it’s done, it feels kinda treacherous. Yeah, I’m glad I took my bike today.

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