Oh, it was a beautiful day for a bike ride, so after a morning reading in bed with cats, I hopped on the bike and whizzed down the hill to meet J. and J. for lunch. We wandered from their hotel to the Inner Harbor, passing all the other conventioneers, before settling in for turkey burgers and side salads and fries. It was so good to catch up with an old friend–just what I needed. It was still warm out at the end of the afternoon, so I took my bike on a ride past Camden Yards, into Pigtown and Washington Heights, and then along the Gwynns Falls Trail. I did a turn around Carroll Park, stopping to take a picture of this blighted building in the middle of it. How does the city let this kind of run down place stay in the middle of a large greenspace at the south end of the city? The park has lots of basketball courts, a football field, picnic tables, a skate park…so why this? I continued my ride up the hill to the Mt. Clare House and read the historical signage. This park used to be a plantation where slaves, white indentured servants, and white wage laborers worked for the iron industry. Then it was a staging and training area for Union soldiers in the Civil War. Now it’s a park, parts of which are looking sharp, other parts still in disarray. I wonder what its lives were in between. I continued my ride, following the signs, past Ravens Stadium, the place that sells compressors, power plants, the place where your trash goes before it goes somewhere else, the light rail station, and then back again to the harbor and up the hill to home. What a perfect day. Too bad in ended with the start of a headache–best sit down, stretch, and drink some water. Word is, tomorrow just might be beautiful too.