Plants Taking Over a Blighted Building at E. Oliver & N. Durham

Plants Taking Over a Blighted Building at E. Oliver & N. DurhamThursday’s ride was one of those rides where you pedal around trying to get out of the post-first-day-of-school funk that always follows the heavy excitement of day one. I rode up the hill, ate a sandwich, and then rode down the hill, not sure of my destination. I decided to see if Pratt Street was closed for that boondoggle known as the Baltimore Grand Prix (thinking about the waste of resources makes me apoplectic–don’t get me started). I hate the thing, but if the road was closed to cars, maybe I could sneak in a bike race. No such luck, so I headed east, eventually ending up in Canton for some frozen yogurt and an hour of watching dogs tug around their owners. Continue reading

View From a Back Porch in Waverly

View From a Back Porch in WaverlyWednesday was the first day of classes, and oh, I was excited! I love the first day of school–all the books are new, no one is behind on the readings, all the grandmothers are still alive, and we are all full of hope for an exciting semester of learning together–at least that’s how it feels to me. I get so excitable, though, that I’m pretty much exhausted at the end of just two classes. I drove my car home in the post-teaching haze, rested up for just a bit, and then I hopped on the bike for a slow pedal up and over to Waverly to see R. and her new house, a bike ride I expect to take a lot in the next year. Continue reading

Mother’s Garden in Clifton Park at 32nd & Harford Road

Mother's Garden in Clifton Park at 32nd & Harford RoadMonday was my last free day before the start of a new semester, so after finishing up some syllabi (syllabuses?) it was most assuredly time to take a bike ride. I headed north and east toward Lake Montebello to do some easy laps with the rest of the Mondays-off crowd. I rode through sprinklers and past geese having their afternoon snacks, followed the sign to Morgan State only to hit a dead end 45 seconds later (construction, always with the construction), and after a third lap got off the trail and onto the street to explore the neighborhood. Continue reading

Antlers For Sale at the Baltimore Summer Antiques Show at the Convention Center

Antlers For Sale at the Baltimore Summer Antiques Show at the Convention CenterThe last time I hung out at the Baltimore Convention Center I was an outsider, and I left with a massive sense of appreciation for this very small subculture that at its best seems built out of love and goodness. I thought I might be a bit less of an outsider at today’s convention; my mom’s an antiques dealer, and I have a visceral memory of sitting on the floor behind the folding tables at the antiques shows out at the Idaho State Fairgrounds. After a long morning reading this and that, I thought I’d test out my theory with a ride down to the harbor to check out opening day of the Baltimore Summer Antiques Show. Continue reading

Assembling Bleachers for the Baltimore Grand Prix at the Inner Harbor

Assembling Bleachers for the Baltimore Grand Prix at the Inner HarborI was long overdue for a long bike ride, so that’s what I got on Tuesday. I had an appointment on Fleet Street, so in my head it was just down the hill. Then I looked at the map–Fleet Street goes all the way out there, to the edge of Canton, and I needed to get on the bike and pedal fast to make it on time. I did, down the hill and up Baltimore Street since I never go that way; just because you’re in a hurry doesn’t mean you can’t take a new route to see what you see. This way east is a longer hill than I’m used to, but it felt good to just pump up there–there’s a downhill on the other side. Continue reading

Virginia Creeper Covering Everything But Two Tree Trunks in Druid Hill Park

Virginia Creeper Covering Everything But Two Tree Trunks in Druid Hill ParkToday’s ride took me over to Waverly and then up to Druid Hill Park for some laps around the reservoir where I could safely listen to a song or two on repeat. Halfway around the circle and I was zipping through clouds of gnats. I ducked my head down, but there’s no way out but through with these things. Not willing to hold my breathe for the long straightaway, I veered off the path and up over toward the Jones Falls Trail for air hopefully less filled with these tiny bugs. I stopped to snap this picture on the bridge over the falls on the way to the zoo. Continue reading

Fan at the Top of the Stairs Crossing President at Fayette

Fan at the Top of the Stairs Crossing President at FayetteIt was another surprisingly cool and totally perfect late summer day (I can’t say “fall” yet–too real), so after a lazy morning I hopped on the bike and headed down the hill to Little Italy to take in a second day of fried dough–I mean the Feast of St. Gabriel. I’d been down the day before with N. and R. in a car, if you can believe that. Guess what? Way easier on the bike, though having those two to share the fried dough was a wise move. I locked up to a street sign next to the heavy police presence called for at events like this, apparently. I got my fried dough, ate it too quickly over Bingo, and slugged down their specialty cocktail, my blood finally running at full-sugar. That didn’t stop me from eating some of N.’s candy at the movie, however. Continue reading