It was a beautiful and empty (for me) Thursday, so I took advantage and enjoyed a ride all over town. I started with a pedal down the hill to meet K. for lunch, sitting outside on Charles Street, swapping stories about how dumb we were as undergraduates and why Baltimore is a siren song. She headed back to work and I headed over to my regular route down the hill, a stop at the museum to inquire as to the membership card that hasn’t come in the mail yet (it should be here any day now, they say) and then snaked my way east, just enjoying the free feeling of the wind up my skirt and easy roll of newly-inflated tires. And then I was at the mall. What? A mall in the city? Yep, the suburbs have come home to Canton, and they don’t have bike racks. I locked up to sign post, pondered the difference between tights and leggings and how they’re related to jeggings, picked up some sweaters on sale, and then loaded everything back on my bike. I snapped this picture as I got ready to head west and north to home. Yep, if you build it, we will come, the siren song of the big box store has us in its thrall. And then I thought about all the resistance to the Red Line coming through this same neighborhood. One of the big issues for folks arguing against an extension of public transit on an east-west corridor is traffic, but I’m doubting that was an issue when this mall was proposed. The fear is, I think, that if we build it, they will come. Thing is, we don’t get to squat on land and then get to say how it will be used in perpetuity, no matter how much this country fetishizes private property. West Baltimore is going to come east to all of your DSW, Canton. Deal with it. I rode home, just missed the rain, and then got to go out on the bike again, for a ride over to Oliver Street and then up to Hampden, and oh, it was a perfect day to spend most of it on my bike. Can’t stop, won’t stop, I’m riding everywhere.
Siren Song, yes, that really fits for a city whose term of endearment is Charm City.
That’s my daughter! Checking on where her museum card is. Big, big smile!!