Oh, I needed a day just like today following this weekend’s trip. I had a wonderful time in New Orleans, no doubt, but it’s hard to go to a place that feels like home and realize you don’t get to live there anymore, especially when the place is so full of love. And then it was back in Baltimore, a few hours of sleep, and back at work, nary a moment to breathe and remember that we–me and my bike–live here now. Fortunately I had nowhere to be until after 4pm today, so after a long morning of reading and writing, I took the bike out in the sunshine for a ride to nowhere in particular, exactly the sort of ride that puts me back in myself. I headed down toward the harbor to see some water, took a left, dodged Fells Point traffic, and stopped for a quick sandwich before heading down to Canton Waterfront Park. I admired the peace with which the pigeons, ducks, and seagulls managed to share that grassy bit, snapped a photo of the many public works watercraft, and thought about the city’s long history of trying to keep silt and such out of the bay. I got back on the road and took a right on S. Clinton Street. S. and I took a wrong turn here by car last weekend, but we figured it out too fast for me to see where the road ended; today was a perfect day to find out. I pedaled past those two giant ships that I’ve ogled from Canton and Federal Hill, a pile of grade B iron ore, the John Brown Liberty Ship, a bunch of boats with their plastic sheeting hats on, a whole block filled with old bits of iron and concrete, a concrete mixing plant, and this pile of white stuff that looked a little like a snowy mountain against the sky, if I squinted right. I’m not sure if this is salt or rock bits or what, but there’s a lot of it, and there’s a guy in that truck who surely knows. Anyone? I continued my ride to the end, turned around and rode back and into the wind, and then home again, home again, by way of the grocery store. It felt like spring, and I felt like myself. It’s good to be home.
The transition would be hard. I know I would feel the same if I ever went back to Corpus Christi. I lived there for 23 years! You will be fine and the next visit’s return will be easier I hope.
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I think it’s “highway de-icing salt”.
PS, we almost shared a table tonight at the Fun-A-Day warehouse place. I would have been happy to share a table with you, but it turns out Kris changed her mind.
Once you live in New Orleans, there is no way to get over it. It is one of a kind. In my early teensy parents and I moved back to Boston. I boycotted everything and anything Boston. I didn’t understand that New Orleans is not like other cities. I didnt understand why our next door neighbors didn’t wave hello to us. I just felt so out of place and pretty much unloved. It took me to go to art school to like Boston. That every city is different with good and bad qualities .As you know New Orleans isn’t perfect. I am sure Maryland has a lot of good things to offer. Have you run into John Waters yet? Remember, you can do anything in this world, you can always move back to New Orleans once your contract is up in Maryland.