I took a couple of bike rides this week, mostly to work off global pandemic anxiety that has been enhanced with election 2020 anxiety. I spent a lot of the week staring at Twitter and refreshing the New York Times to see who would be the winner of this thing, even though I know that I can’t control who wins, and that whomever wins, there’s still a global pandemic, crushing poverty rates, and so many people without adequate food, housing, and health care. C’mon, Biden-Harris and a new inauguration day!
I voted by absentee ballot dropped in a drop box a month ago, so this week has really just been about waiting. The ladyfriend wanted to vote on election day proper, in person, so I did get to walk her to the polls and hold the giant I VOTED sign she took with her. A band was playing, people were handing out snacks and masks and hand sanitizer, and I got to chat it up with neighbors, including our newly elected district city councilperson. I love the pageantry of voting, and I was grateful to get a taste of it, even in these COVID times. What I miss most these days is casual contact with people I don’t know, out and about in the streets.
I rode my bike around on Wednesday and Thursday mostly to get out of my head and the computer and remind myself that who the president is matters, and also that no matter who the president is, the shape of streets and neighborhoods in Baltimore will likely stay the same. Wednesday I headed downtown to see if people were gathering at War Memorial Plaza. I didn’t see anyone, so took a right on Lexington and rode the bike lane over to the west side.
I stopped to snap this picture of the building going up on the south corner of Lexington Market. This will be luxury student housing, according to my work wife, who knows everything. It has gone up so fast. When I see things going up this fast I am reminded that things can change quickly. Whether or not they do is a matter of will and shared resources.
I got back on my bike and kept heading west, across MLK, through Poppleton, and then headed back north on Carrollton, across the bridge over the road to nowhere, and zig zagged my way toward Bolton Hill. I hit the bike lanes and made my way home, still distracted but grateful to live in the Greatest City in America.
Thursday’s ride took me up and around Druid Hill Park, waving at the tennis players and basketball players and hanger-outers. We’re still here, no matter what happens with elections. We have each other, no matter what, and that’s the mantra soothing me these days. All energy to making that we, and activating the “have.”