Henry Highland Garnet Park at Druid Hill Ave. & West Lafayette

Oh, it was a beautiful day out today, and lucky me, I had time to go for a bicycle ride. It took me up to Hampden for brunch and the start of a new book and then down to Druid Hill Park, where I thought about T. and how much she loved this place, and how much the park will miss her. Today the reservoir was taken over by dogs and their humans for the Maryland SPCA March for the Animals. I tried to zip my way through and around the canines, but I quickly figured out this was a losing proposition and decided to head up through Reservoir Hill again, but this time follow the bike route signs. Continue reading

Unite Women-MD Rally at War Memorial Plaza at Fayette & Gay

Oh, thank goodness Saturday’s here! I woke up in that mood that is only made better by a bicycle ride, so I hopped on the Surly and flew down the hill to War Memorial Plaza for the Unite Women–Maryland rally. The crowd was small, but we made the best of it. I got to give a little talk about this and that at the microphone and talk about stuff with folks after, but I wish there’d been more people–we need warm-body activism alongside our internet posting about warm-body activism. Continue reading

Missing Half of a House at Linden & Whitelock

The clouds and rain finally lifted today, and I had time for a bike ride–huzzah! Strangely, though, I didn’t really feel like leaving the house at all, so it was mid-afternoon before I dragged myself down the stairs and on to the bike with the promise that I could just listen to music that used to be meaningful back when I was 20 and do laps around the reservoir in the sunshine wishing some of those red-winged blackbirds were orioles. Continue reading

Spanish American War Monument at Fayette & Lakewood

It was another rainy, windy day, but I wanted to ride my bike, so I bundled up and took the bike down the hill for some research with my lunch and then snaked my way through East Baltimore and past some of the city’s public housing developments. I just moved to Baltimore, like five seconds ago, so in my mind, the Inner Harbor has always been part of a fancy downtown, and in my experience, cities don’t put their public housing so close to the tourist areas. Continue reading

Maryland Science Center at Light Street and Key Highway

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It was gray and rainy out, but I was in no mood to drive a car over to Federal Hill, so I broke the “don’t start a ride in the rain” rule and pedaled down the hill, around the harbor, and up the hill on the other side. I spent part of my morning reading about Federal Hill, and once you know a little bit of history about the place you’re in, well, if you’re me, it doesn’t look the same. Take the Maryland Science Center, for example. Before today it was to me just a big behemoth of brick that marks the end or start of the bike path, depending on where I’m headed. According to David Harvey, though, it’s a windowless citadel guarding the “rebirthed” Inner Harbor, a cash cow for developers, from the “angry” poor whites and African Americans who used to live just up from here. The surrounding neighborhoods are now mostly comprised of young white professionals, but the Science Center is still there, blocking their view and complicating access, and i’d never know it’s history without the fine folks who remind us that our built environment and who’s in it is no accident. I rode up to Fort Avenue and down to the new McHenry Row. So many empty properties, but we’re still making new developments like this one, which was an empty lot today. Time will tell, I suppose, whether all this new housing will fill, but it seems like so much boondoggle to me. One thing’s for sure, though~these waterproof panniers are awesome on days like this one, because it was an awfully misty ride home.

View of the Halethorpe Train Station From the Francis Avenue Overpass

It was a crazy beautiful day today, so you can imagine how I felt about being in my office all day and into the evening with meetings, interviews, and student events instead of out pedaling around on my bicycle. I had a gap in my schedule between 5:30 and 7:00, so brainstorm! I brought my bike with me so I could sneak in a ride. I finally got out of the office closer to six, but there was still plenty of time to do a test ride from campus to the MARC train station in Halethorpe, a mere 2.2 miles, in preparation for the multi-modal commute the clown bicycle will enable. (Yes, that’s my one track mind you see running its paces.) Continue reading

Baltimore Recycling Center at E. Biddle & Edison Hwy.

Sunday’s a work day for me, but once I got some stuff done I had time to go on a ride without a destination–my favorite. Today’s ride took me down the hill until I decided to take a left on Biddle to see where it would end. Whenever I ride off the very main-est of the main drags in this town (i.e. a street that doesn’t lead to the freeway) I’m struck again by just how many vacant properties are in this city. Just a couple miles on Biddle, if that, and I passed dozens, many on blocks with one or two really nice and well-kept houses, and I thought about what it could look like, if only, if only what. Continue reading