I knew it was a beautiful day today just from the cool breezes coming through my bedroom window, but it still took me some time to pry myself out from under books and cats and onto my bicycle. I decided to head over to Druid Hill Park, where I hadn’t ridden in weeks and weeks and weeks, kinda weird since the park’s just right over there. I pedaled west and up the hill and around the circle. A turn around the reservoir shows you so much of Baltimore–the JFX just underfoot, abandoned factories, Hampden’s American flags, rows upon rows of rowhouses, cranes in the air in Mt. Vernon, the Inner Harbor’s all-business skyline, blighted blocks, abandoned mansions, and the park, which is its own little Baltimore. I biked around looking for the Memorial Pool memorial up past the holy place that is Safety City. I’ve blogged about it before, the eerie frozen-in-time nature of this memorial to Druid Hill Park’s segregated pools, but I wanted to spin by it again and see if it looks any different after a year of biking around and learning as much as I can cram into my head about the history of this place. I snapped this picture of it, the pool filled in almost like a grave, the pool house decaying slowly in the back. Last time I learned facts. This time I thought about what it means to have a memorial to segregation in a park that’s still segregated in a city that’s still segregated. When pools desegregated, in lots of places, the white people went home or to private pools, or just closed the pools altogether. So yeah, the public pools in Baltimore aren’t segregated anymore, but I’d wager they’re still segregated. This is a memorial that looks like a grave, but its not all dead and buried, not at all. So that’s what I thought about when I visited this place today, and then I did another lap and headed back up the hill for lunch before flying down the hill and back to home.
Very powerful writing.