Smoothie Bicycle at the Baltimore Convention Center

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I finished up a week of big projects on Thursday afternoon, leaving me the rest of the day to ride my bike around. I packed everything I figured I’d need through the evening and headed down the hill to the convention center to check out Natural Products Expo East, the largest showcase of natural products on the east coast (Expo West, in Anaheim, is even bigger). I locked up the bike to the bike rack shaped like a bike and headed to the press room where I squatted until they gave me a press pass. And then the expo. When they say “the largest” they mean really flipping huge. It was a giant smorgasboard of samples of things I didn’t know I wanted–potato chips made out of white beans, noodles made out of water and plant cellulose (“Zero points on Weight Watchers!), organic non-GMO gluten-free lube (ok, I made that up), and the list goes on and on and on. Oh, and there was this bicycle that can make smoothies while you pedal–no thanks, I’d rather go somewhere on my wheels. I was there for three hours and maybe saw a tenth of the place. I left with a bike bag filled with all kinds of natural goodies and headed back up the hill, a stop at MICA. For Ignite Baltimore, and then home, glad for a day of peeking behind a curtain I didn’t know existed.

Leaking Water at 36th & Falls Road

Leaking Water at 36th & FallsThe rain stopped today, so I stayed dry on my ride up to Hampden to meet N. for beer, fried things, and some football. We got there early to grab seats, and we waited for the sports bar–a place covered in televisions and filled with purple jerseys–to turn up the sound. A guy asked if they’d turn on the sound, and the server asked, “Which game?” I think this might be a sports bar opened by hipsters who don’t actually watch sports, but once we were all sorted, we were set. Continue reading

View of the Harbor From Fort McHenry Park

View of the Harbor From Fort McHenry ParkI woke up to a cloudy, cool, and windy fall Saturday, and oh, it felt good. N. asked if I might want to spend the afternoon with our books out at Fort McHenry–I could ride my bike and meet her, and she’d drive with a blanket, pillows, and some bottles of water. I looked up at the gray skies and felt the breeze and thought, YES, GREAT IDEA. Because in spite of the look of the weather, I really, really wanted to ride my bicycle. Continue reading

Layers of Buildings at 32nd & Brentwood

Layers of Buildings at 32nd & BrentwoodFriday was a day of riding errands, first up the hill to get lunch and then over to Hampden and then back home for a quick rest before heading back over to Waverly to meet R. for a little scheming. I lifted my bike into her living room and we headed back toward Greenmount Avenue on foot to take pictures of the sides of buildings. Would any of these make a good location for a short film projection? What we do about the windows? Would that be high enough? How do we get people to look this way as they travel by instead of that way? Continue reading

The Courtyard of Johnston Elementary School at Chase & Ensor

The Courtyard of Johnston Elementary School at Chase & EnsorToday’s ride took me down the hill and to a rare right to pick up tickets for a party later this week, but the place was closed, so I decided that since I was down here already, I might as well ride my bike around a bit more. I headed east on Chase and decided to ride it out as far as it would go, even though at this point I know there’s no way around Edison Highway–I need one of those flying bicycles to get over it. Continue reading

Dancers at Federal & Calvert

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I spent this most delightful first fall Sunday working on a big project due on Monday and thinking about the exceedingly lovely weekend I had. Oh, and how much I needed a bike ride. So I finished up a draft of the thing in front of the Ravens game, and then it was time to get on the bike for a ride. I headed down the hill to see if I could luck into an Akimbo performance before going somewhere south and east. A volunteer handed me a map, and I snaked my way around to the park at Federal and Calvert to catch the Effervescent Dance Collective. Their performance was delayed by a sea shanty singing quartet that is probably funny if we’re all friends and we’ve had a few (in which case I have no doubt they are amazing), and I wondered about the location of the dancing. And then they danced, and I couldn’t stop smiling, thinking about how clever they were, how free and happy they helped us feel–like when Lily matched her breath to the beat of being pulled up from the water, a sly look–oh, it was so good. I thanked them after–“You just made me so happy inside, thank you”–and then it was back on the bike. I passed a tent on the sidewalk across from the city fueling station on Fallsway. I wondered about why the tent owner’s reclaiming of public space will undoubtedly be criminalized, the home torn down, while the dancers will make me feel just so happy inside. Are we worried the tent is privatising our public space? But wouldn’t we want public space to be used by those with the need for it–I want that in case I need it at some point. Or have we gone so far with our love of private property that we can’t imagine a use that wouldn’t in some way declare ownership? I thought about those and other things on the rest of my ride, over to The Shops at Canton Crossing (it’s still just a Target), up through Brewer’s Hill and down through Highlandtown, up and over and up and over through so many neighborhoods with so many people loving this cooler still-sunny weather. Ravens win!

View of the Under Armour Plant at Key Highway E.

View of the Under Armour Plant at Key Highway E.N. planted three clues about where to meet her Friday night, and she told me to ride my bike there. I did a little sleuthing by way of the internet to figure out that I was supposed to be at 1121 Hull Street, so after a day of lazing and working I carried Brompty down the stairs, put air in her tires, and headed down the hill–that way I could fold up my bike and toss it in the trunk of N.’s car and let her drive me back up the hill.
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