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. I’m guessing it’s complicated, and has something to do with capital’s changing labor needs, but I dunno. I skipped the dead end and took a right on Edison Highway to head back vaguely to downtown. I stopped at the top of the overpass and snapped this picture of the Baltimore Recycling Center. They recycle things here, a nice psychic change from New Orleans, but I’m always suspicious about where it goes. If it goes here, they haven’t had a shipment in awhile or they keep it all under serious wraps, because the lot was fairly empty and there was no smell at all. I flew down the hill and to Pulaski Highway–ah, I’m near Highlandtown, just usually I’m on the other side of Pulaski–and crossed over, riding around Brewer’s Hill and Canton. I stopped at the Can Company for refreshment before heading back through Fells Point and up the hill to home. Making cans used to be a skilled profession, and the can maker’s craft union had a lot of power. And then the procedure was mechanized, and the labor deskilled. That was pretty much all she wrote, and now the canning industry is basically just gone. And we have The Can Company, where I enjoyed a delicious seltzer water this afternoon. Cities are complicated things!

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