Well, it wasn’t all sunshine and blue skies like yesterday, but I was still excited to hop on the bike this morning for a ride around town. I headed to Hampden for brunch and some light reading and then to the Jones Falls Trail to snake my way downtown for a visit to the Lewis Museum and their new Dandy Lion exhibit. I locked up my bike to a street sign (can we get some bike racks here, please?), read the historical sign about Baltimore’s historical role as a slave market following the ban on the transatlantic slave trade, flashed my membership card, and did a quick tour around the museum, which included a short fashion show as part of a program about Pauline Brooks, the first African American woman to own and operate her own retail store in Baltimore, featuring women’s clothing and accessories. The special exhibit was exceedingly interesting, and mostly I want all of you to go see it so we can talk about it. As many times as I’ve been to this museum, I’ve never been to the one right next door that’s been there in one form or another since 1927–The Star-Spangled Flag House. I snapped this picture on my way in, the giant flag on the modern building between Mary Pickersgill’s place where she sewed the giant Star Spangled Banner almost 200 years ago and the brand new behemoth that is the Lewis, anchoring this corner of Harbor East. That’s some old architecture all cuddled up to the new. I paid my $4, watched the 11 minute film about the flag, toured the exhibits and tried to pay attention to the War of 1812, and wondered if they might manage to tell me just a little bit more about Grace Wisher, African American indentured servant/apprentice who lived there, working for Mary Pickersgill. Amidst all the flaggery, it’s hard to tell complex stories, but a short walk up and down this block, and we know those stories are in there somewhere. I finished my tour and got back on the bike, zipping about in the rain until I gave up and headed home. 30% chance of brief showers, eh?