It’s July, and there’s a heat wave, so honestly what I’m seeing on my bike rides this week is my own sweat in my eyeballs. It’s brutal, especially going uphill. I’d still rather ride my bike than bake at the bus stop, waiting for another bus that’s going to get trapped in the traffic nightmare that is a sinkhole at Howard and Pratt and street closures for Artscape. Seriously, a bicycle is always the best way to get around.
Today’s ride took me down to Harbor East early, for another trip to my boutique franchise gym. It wasn’t exceedingly hot yet, which was a treat. That part of the ride’s mostly downhill, so I enjoyed the gentle breeze I made for myself. Traffic as a mess on Fayette, so I stayed on the sidewalk (yes, that’s what counts as a bike trail downtown) and took my left on Baltimore Street instead. I took the first right, and stayed on Albemarle rather than my usual street a few blocks east. I hit all the lights, cruising, smiling big because this was the part of riding around today that felt good. I stopped at the intersection with Eastern Avenue and looked up and to the right, at this giant condo rising behind the lil row house businesses along Eastern.
I pass this high rise all the time, but today’s ride was a reminder of how different things can look from just a slightly different angle. These tiny buildings in the foreground make the monstrosity rising on this corner look even more monstrous, another wild layer in the urban layering that is Baltimore (re)developed. Check out the googleymaps view of this block, and you’ll see what a chunk it’s taken out of the sky here. I wonder who’s going to live there, who can afford it, and if they’ll all be at the boutique franchise gym with me. And I wonder if the fantasy so many have that building housing–any kind of housing–eventually trickles down to make affordable housing more available. I have my doubts.
Or maybe this is going to be a hotel. Same questions, part-time tenants.
I continued to the gym, wore myself out, and then rode back up the hill to home. It was hot already, sun blazing down, and then I was back on my bike riding up to Hampden and then down to Remington to meet S. for a writing date. I swear, my soul has melted right out of my body. We’ll see if it works its way back in there by tomorrow. The forecast just gets hotter and hotter.