Playground Equipment and a Closed School in East Baltimore

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Oh, I needed to get a little lost on Tuesday, have one of those rides where I’m not just transporting myself but getting myself settled in to the city, a reminder that I live in a place bigger than my *place*. So that’s what I did, snaking south and east and south and east until west again. I had two stops in mind–ice cream at the place where I had a coupon for free ice cream (did you know the first commercial ice creameries that made the treat available for mass consumption opened right here in Baltimore?) And Federal Hill, where I was on tap to hold a still-new baby so her mom could take a shower and shake out her arms. I never got totally lost, but I can’t tell you exactly where this school is, the one with the exterior in scrubbed shades of blue that suggest it’s going to get torn down but with the new playground equipment that says it’s here to stay. It was near Harford Road or Aisquith or one of those diagonal cuts through the city, which I know because I waited at the light with a construction truck driver who had waited for me to pull out into the street. We did the ol’ smile-and-nod and then I was on my way, past a park with a tree halfway fallen over, past rows and rows of vacant homes and stoopsitters and road construction crews and food trucks outside Johns Hopkins. And then I was on Baltimore Street watching the guys fill the pool and admiring the head start these community gardeners had gotten. I rode my circles until I was back on my old route from Canton to Fed Hill and back north to Charles Village, and I only wished I could have stayed lost just a little bit longer, because that’s how I know where I am.

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