I spent the week riding my bike mostly to and from work, getting used to the cold weather. Turns out it’s still not that cold, but if it’s early enough, I need my windproof gloves. And it gets dark early, so I’ve got to bring the ol’ blinky safety vest with me every morning. The ride to and from has gotten normal, the way commuting routes get normal. I’ve got my frustrations–that the lights in Waverly and Charles Village aren’t timed for my bike, the rutted asphalt of Maryland Avenue–and my favorites–catching the light at the bottom of the hill coming into Mount Vernon and the block between Howard and Eutaw on Monument that I only see because of this new commute. There are the places where I take extra special care–darting cars along the busy row of methadone clinics on Maryland, the folds in the asphalt on Eutaw between Druid Hill and George, and the pedestrians froggering along Lexington Market. And then there are the treats, like this crosswalk at Eutaw and Fayette that’s painted like a zipper. Thank you, art, for making the everyday this kind of every day. I did a little reading about these crosswalks recently, and they’re part of general investment in this neighborhood, the whole rebirth of the Westside business. That appears to mean installing new condos. I pass through this area almost every day, and I never think it needs a rebirth–it is so alive, so bustling, but perhaps it’s not the right kind of life or the right kind of bustling. It’s hard not to feel like the area needs redeveloping so there aren’t so many poor and Black folks there, because, well, history. I mean, why can’t we just put in these crosswalks because they enliven the streets for the pedestrians who make the bustle? I’m sure the artists who put these here would put them anywhere, arts district or not, and not need them to be considered “assets.” I’ve been too swamped with work to get a good ride to nowhere in lately, but the best thing about bike commuting is that I get to take a bike ride first thing in the morning, every morning, and it’s always worth thinking about.
Mornings are always the best. Ride on, girl!