Old Carnegie Building Being Demolished On the Hopkins Campus at San Martin Drive & University Pkwy

One thing that makes Baltimore so different from New Orleans is that here in Baltimore, for much of the summer it cools off enough at night to make a difference, and sometimes, on summer mornings, it’s actually nice outside. That hasn’t felt true for the past couple of weeks, but Monday at 8:30am it was only 73 degrees and the humidity was only 80%. I was so excited to experience a run in tolerable conditions that I headed out for my weekend long run (four miles, week one of round two of half marathon training, for those following along at home) on a Monday.

I zig zagged north and east trying to find shade. There’s nothing on University Parkway, so that’s just an uphill sunny struggle no matter what, but I was feeling so good, I just raised my knees higher and headed up, knowing there’d be a long downhill shady future ahead.

I cannot begin to express how good it felt to be running without the feel of trudging through soup. Most of my summer runs have felt like tolerating, but Monday’s felt like celebrating. I waved and said my hellos to the many others also enjoying the day. When I turned onto San Martin Drive I pulled up at the Old Carnegie building that’s been coming down since spring. Today they had the digger out, just smashing into the thing. They were also spraying to down with water, I’m guessing to keep the dust down.

It reminded me of when I lived in Oakland with P., in a giant Victorian house right on the freeway, which used to be alongside other Victorians, but then they ripped them out to put in freeways. Old story, but not so old that people don’t remember having their homes requisitioned so people could drive through their neighborhoods to the suburbs. There was a gas station across the street from our place. It was being torn down, and the kids at the in-home day care next door with apoplectic with excitement about it, every day. They’d sit out on the stairs and cheer as big machines smashed and dug and destroyed. It was so much fun.

And then it was time to rebuild, and what took the place of the gas station? Another gas station. It was a beautiful and inspiring way to spend our waning weeks in Oakland before heading east to new jobs (and then west again and then south and then east).

I took a short film of this latest round of demolition to share on Instagram, because I can’t be the only one who enjoys this kind of scale of things, even when the loss of a building marks a whole bunch of other losses. There’s no plan for what will go in this spot. Maybe it’ll be like McKeldin Square and just be a bunch of grass and light strings, like you’re outside but inside somebody’s dorm room.

And then I continued my run, adding that fourth mile because who knows when my sleep, body, and weather will line up to make a run feel as good as this one again? I’m going to keep showing up for my runs this summer, and I’m looking forward to cooler days ahead. They have always been more my speed.

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