Friday’s bike ride took me up to Roland Park for a doctor’s appointment, and it was so cold that even the long climb didn’t warm me up. It was the kind of ride I never would have taken back when I had a car, but now it just makes sense that I’ll take the 30-40 minutes to get there on the bike, which isn’t that much longer than it took to drive. I headed up Calvert and took my left onto University Parkway, past the lacrosse fields and the veganeverything restaurant, down the hill past the ghost bike that reminds me every time I pass it that bike lanes don’t guarantee safety–nothing does. Ride defensively, indeed–and drive that way, too. As soon as the parkway turns to Roland Park it is all outsized mansions that don’t seem to belong in the Baltimore I live in and travel through on a daily basis. How can some neighborhoods look like this and some people live like this when other neighborhoods look like the war zones they are, and people are expected to subsist on so very little? It feels viscerally wrong, these differences. And then it was a zippy ride down the hill–the up side of the uphill ride–and over to Hampden for some lunch and some work and another appointment. I snapped this picture of this storefront on 36th and Roland Avenue. It used to sell hon-related tchotchkes, but now it’s readying to become home to Sugar, a feminist sex shop where people of all genders and sexualities can shop for toys, take classes, ask questions, and feel welcome and comfortable getting their pleasure on. The shop has been tucked away behind the main drag, in a parking lot (but don’t park there if you’re going to Sugar–you’ll get towed) behind the hair salon and the bank on the other side of Roland Avenue, partly because other business owners and residents feared sex on display on The Avenue. That’s considered obscene, apparently, but it isn’t nearly as obscene as the vast gulf between Roland Park and West Baltimore.