My Groupon for cryotherapy sessions at Charm City Integrative Health has finally been exhausted, and I’d be lying if I said I was disappointed. I liked the way the freezing cold made my skin feel for the few minutes after it was over, but to be honest, if was REALLY cold in that thing. Now that it’s not a zillion degrees out, it stopped feeling as good.
But I also found myself feeling unexpectedly nostalgic for the place, even before I left it. It has been my go-to reason to bike east since this summer, and I was absolutely guaranteed to never run into anyone I knew when I was there; I just don’t run with a 20-something crowd that imagines it might be possible–or even beneficial–to melt your fat with super-cold air, nor does my usual crowd need recovery solutions. S. did an Iron Man and I know some distance runners, but they’re not lining up for the cryochamber either. There’s something soothing about knowing you’ll get to be absolutely totally alone and anonymous in this city that just feels smaller as the years go on.
So I signed up to try another one of their services: halotherapy. This is a thing where you sit and breath fine salt in the air for 30-60 minutes to help your passages, or something. First one’s only $20 and I’m rich enough to find that a bargain, so I found myself bicycling down the hill and east on a spare Tuesday morning for my 30 minutes in the egg chair to heal something that gratefully, for me, isn’t actually broken.
The ride down was quick and easy, Guilford to Fallsway, a left on Baltimore and then through Little Italy/Jonestown, another left through Perkins Homes and Fells Point, a right and a left to Canton. I remember when I first moved here and first made this ride. I wondered how long Perkins Homes would last, public housing on the edge of downtown and a historic district. I was coming from New Orleans where none of it was lasting, and here we are, six years after I got here and they’re in talks to “redevelop” this area. Will this be another displacement? Will current residents get spots in the new and hopefully better construction? Will we learn anything from the waves of this that sweep over Baltimore, over and over again?
And then I did my 30 minutes with this view, inside a salted egg chair, because such is my life. Once I stopped trying to read or look at my phone it had lulled me almost to sleep. I’ll take that in a heartbeat. I peeked at my phone, saw a message from the ladyfriend. Want to meet for lunch? YES. So I hopped back on my bike and headed west as fast as I could, but safely, grateful for the bus/bike lane on Lombard and that I have the time and bicycle and body to get to see so many views before lunch.