Brentwood Village Kid’s Zone at Chase & Forrest

Today’s ride took me down the hill to meet V. for a swim at the gym. I’m terrible at swimming, but I’m guessing that like most things, if I keep doing it, I’ll figure it out and get better at it, because my dad said that’s what practice does–it makes better. I meant to go to the grocery store and head home after, but then my bike just kept rolling east, through Fells Point, over past the new condo developments along the harbor near Canto (because gosh, we need more of those), and up through Canton on Fait Avenue. The bike route sign said Haven Street was .7 miles away, so I decided to just roll up and down the hill to find out what the hubub was about this street. Answer: the end of the bike route. I headed back the other way and up the bike lane on Conkling to Highlandtown, across Pulaski, and up through Baltimore Highlands and Elwood Park, back west through Middle East and Latrobe. I felt a little lost–my most favorite and increasingly rare feeling–but then I could see Fallsway just a few blocks away, and I realized I had never been just these few blocks east on Chase. It’s so easy to get stuck in patterns and never even look around a little, which is another reason riding a bike is so great–just take a turn a block early, and it’s an entirely different show. Just before Fallsway I stopped to take this picture of the Brentwood Village Kid’s Zone playground on Chase & Forrest. It just looked so sad, partly because of the crumbling and decaying buildings in the background, the sign donated by a bail bond company, and the part where there weren’t any kids there. But in 2002, when this opened, it was built by the kids in the neighborhood who planted trees and plants and helped lay down the soft surface made of recycled tires. Their work transformed this spot, and it still looks open and ready for play; I hope kids are still using it, and I wish some of the resources–tax credits and such–used to support all those condos and waterfront walkways found their way up to these empty houses, already built, in East Baltimore.

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