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. I’m reading a book for one of my classes that is making all of this make so much more sense, and my regular route looked much different with that history and present of all the struggles that people have undertaken and fought for fair housing solidly under my hat. As I tell my students, neighborhoods don’t look like they do by accident. I continued my ride under occasional spitting rain until I got to Patterson Park. I took a left instead of a right and exited the park at a new spot, and then I was somewhere I hadn’t been before–a bike riding win, and just what I needed. I hit Fayette and reoriented myself, and then took a right to check out this monument, dedicated to the United Spanish War Veterans 1898-1902–that’s a war I know pretty much nothing about, and this monument didn’t help. It seemed entirely out of place in this neighborhood, but that’s the thing with monuments–they can preserve a memory (though what that memory is won’t necessarily always be clear), but they don’t get to preserve their surroundings. And then the rain started pouring, so I pedaled as fast as I could to the grocery and then back home. It was wet and cold, but a bike ride was just what I needed.