Keep Baltimore Beautiful at Amity & Fayette

Today’s ride took me to Mt. Vernon to meet E. for coffee and a review of last weekend’s bike tour. I’m new to public history, and he’s new to biking everywhere all the time; we talked for an hour, probably could have talked for an hour more, but then it was time for him to get back to work and me to get back on the bike. I followed my memory and then some misleading signs to the Poe House on Amity. It’s closing tomorrow for renovations and will open under new management, hopefully next year. I’ve tried to get to the museum before, but last time it was closed, and you know how it is, so today was my first trip. I locked up to a street sign right in front, a private security guard parked right there in a big SUV. I knocked on the door and waited. The sign on the door warned visitors to be patient and to keep their money in their pockets until they got inside. The house was teensy tiny, and I needed the banisters for balance. I read some things, took some notes, and then headed out. I chatted with the volunteers working the door, and I asked them how their relations with their neighbors were. Just fine, they said, they organize their events when school’s out so neighborhood kids can join in. The problem, they said, is with perception, and that’s all history. I got back on my bike and headed toward Pratt Street to head east. I stopped at Fayette and took this picture of another Keep Baltimore Beautiful sign, this one stuck in the overgrowth of an empty lot, the “Keep” part of that sign a bit premature. I rode south, left on Pratt, around the Inner Harbor to Harbor East, a quick turn in the gym, back up the hill, swapped bikes, and then continued up the hill to fetch my car. I can’t imagine spending the day making those stops by car.

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