I have been in NYC for the past few days visiting my sister, so I haven’t been riding my bicycle. I have, however, been thinking about what it might be like to fold up a bicycle and take it with me on my next trip…but anyway. I am back home in Baltimore and on spring break, so when the rain stopped early this morning, I knew I’d get a decent ride in today. After doing some reading and extraordinarily minor gardening, I spent some time giving the bike a quick clean, degreasing, and re-lubing for springtime before taking the newly stealth and quiet ride out into the sunshine. I was reading the paper with my breakfast and came across an article about the city’s plans to sell off some historic properties that are currently underused or virtually abandoned. Now, I don’t know how to balance protecting history and heritage and the part where cities and places are always changing, but I’m pretty sure this should be a very last resort, especially when we’re throwing money at things like a drug war we can’t win, a Grand Prix that will never raise any money, and a new Mariner Arena when even the guy who runs Mariner Arena says we don’t need a new Mariner Arena–then again, I’m a sucker for public history and public memory. This building was the very first public museum in the whole Western Hemisphere, the very first. It has been a public building since that time, serving as Baltimore’s first city hall, a public school, and now a conference center. It has been a public building since 1814, and the idea that the building could be sold at auction now just seems sad. Is there really no possible public use for this place. I got back on my bike and continued my ride, past Shot Tower, which is also potentially on the chopping block, over to Fells Point for a look at the water and a rum drink in the sunshine, to Canton Waterfront Park to feed the ducks, through Canton and over to Highlandtown, and then back the other way and to home. I had a most lovely day, and a glance at the weather report suggests there are more like this one in my near future, and J. says the trees are just going to keep changing and getting even showier. Works for me.
I had no idea that the Peale Museum was the FIRST building built to be a museum..crazy!! Thanks for the education!