I had a surprise day out of the office on Wednesday, and oh, what a treat! It was a beautiful day–sunny, cooling breeze, like spring–once these clouds burned off. I spent my free day riding my bike around, first to a new gym for a free trial. If you know me in real life you know that I already belong to all the gyms, but hey, why not try out one with towel service that’s along a bike lane?
The ride took me down Guilford Avenue toward downtown. I’ve made this particular ride at least 1,000 times, no joke. A few months ago they broke ground on this new building at the corner of Guilford & Lanvale. Just to the left of it is one of my favorite murals in the city, and I’ve been sad as the building has gone up, blocking my straight-on view of it. Yesterday was the first day I saw the sign up on the front. New townhomes, coming soon. Four bedrooms, up to three and a half baths. Starting price? Are you sitting down? THREE HUNDRED NINETY NINE THOUSAND DOLLARS. The mind boggles! $399,000 for a row home just up from the Copycat building? Who’s going to live there? I mean, I think it’s a great location–walking distance from the train station, on an easy bike route. I’d love to live there.
But couldn’t afford a house at that price, not even close. I make a lot of money, more than I ever thought I would, but the very most my partner and I could spend on a house with our small downpayment was $200,000, and that felt like a stretch. We bought a house for less than that, and it’s the nicest house I’ve ever lived in, in a neighborhood where I can walk to a farmer’s market, three grocery stores, two drug stores, and a bunch of other stuff. I have four choices of bus lines to get downtown. I can’t imagine spending more than twice what I’ve spent to live in this new building. I wonder who, with all that money to spend, will move in there? I’ll know who they are, because I’m going to keep riding my bike up and down this street a few times a week for the foreseeable future. And I see from this picture that I just need to peek to the left when heading south before crossing Lanvale, and I’ll still get to see that mural I like so much.
I continued my ride, spent a long time at a gym I won’t be joining, headed home, did some work/home things, and then got back on my bike to head to Federal Hill for dinner with a good friend and her sweet kiddo. I’ve been riding my bike to Federal Hill to see A. for years, and Monday she’s moving out of the neighborhood. I’ll miss her so much, and my rides to her house, locking up on her stair railing and then walking together for wine or coffee or to see the water or through the park. I wonder if I’ll ride to Federal Hill anymore. I probably will, to wait outside her house and wish she still lived in biking distance. But this night was like the old days–a hug goodbye, a promise to see you later, and a cool evening ride up hill and back home. A perfect day.