View Down the Sidewalk on Penn Street in Ridgely’s Delight

View Down the Sidewalk on Penn Street in Ridgely's DelightI was still feeling pretty terrible on Thursday, but I wasn’t about to miss class after all the snow days we had last month, so I went ahead and suited up (i.e. put on clothes that weren’t pajamas) for the morning ride down the hill to the shuttle to work. It felt amazing, even if a bit chilly, to ride without leggings on, the morning breeze on bare legs. Yep, I’m still dressing aspirationally–for the weather I want, not the weather I have, though I don’t think weather has anything to do with health, so whatever. I locked up to the now almost full bike racks at the University of Maryland Medical Center, and then walked up the few blocks to meet N. for the ride to work. Class went well, the kind of well it goes when you aren’t feeling well enough to fight it, which is actually pretty great. We talked a bit about the arguments that the built environment makes–in this case, the arguments that are made in college dorms by mixed-gender and gender-neutral housing options, and by public bathrooms that seem to exist largely to enforce strict gender binaries rather than giving us a convenient place to pee. We all marveled at the way heterosexual sexual activity is both encouraged and policed by college architecture and then it was back to the office for meetings and emails and the piddly tasks that take up a surprising amount of time. By the time I made it back to the city my body was done, and when the ladyfriend called offering to pick me up, I was so relieved I had to choke back a tear. Oh, I’m looking forward to being back to 100%. We arranged to meet in Ridgely’s Delight to get out of traffic long enough to get the bike rack on the car. As I walked my bike over there I thought about the argument these particular sidewalks were making. I snapped a picture looking down Penn Street–the thing’s an obstacle course, and if you’re pushing a bike or a stroller or are in a wheelchair or have any issues with mobility, well, get in the street, because you don’t belong here. I pushed myself into the street, wandered a bit out of my way because this whole being-sick thing has left me addled, and then put down the kickstand to wait for the ladyfriend, so much gratitude.

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