I grabbed my bike on Wednesday morning to pedal up and around to Hampden for a much-needed session with my therapist. I got a text just as I was leaving the house from our neighbor, letting me know the fire down the block had destroyed three houses, and “Word is that it was started because someone set a rainbow flag on fire. It’s terrible.” I called my wife to let her know, got out of the alley, headed down Barclay Street to see what was going on. I ran into S.–he told me the same thing. I was in shock.Continue reading
Tuesday was unusually warm, a balmy 41 degrees, so I knocked off work a bit early to take a bike ride in the sunshine they said we wouldn’t get. I headed west this time, and then south, heading toward Stricker Street to pay my respects to the three firefighters who died when the house at 205 Stricker Street collapsed on them. A fourth firefighter was injured, though he appears to be recovering. Pictures of these firefighters are all over the news, and they are devastating. So young, such smiles, so many people who loved them, killed doing a job that is entirely about helping protect others. Flags at half mast, a long line of fellow firefighters accompanying them from shock trauma to the medical examiner’s office, so many tributes pouring in from all over. It is just so sad.Continue reading
I rode all over town today, and a lot of it was in protected cycletracks. I rode down Fallsway to the gym in Harbor East, on the new Center Street cycletrack over to Mount Vernon for some errands, and the Maryland cycletrack home. I can’t believe the difference these tracks make for my safety. I know, drivers see them as the enemy, taking away their territory, causing traffic jams, all for “nobody,” because drivers by and large think nobody uses these lanes. In the past couple of weeks I’ve seen so many people using the cycletracks, on bikes, in wheelchairs, on scooters, on foot. I’m happy to be one of them.
It’s summertime, summer school is over, and this is the time when I tend to get restless and glum. I work best when I’ve got stuff to do, so if I’m not careful, unscheduled time can get the best of me, stealing from me this valuable time to let my mind range freely, read new things, and make new connections. I’ve learned this over the past zillion summers, so I make sure to schedule things work, writing, and relaxing-related. Today’s schedule featured a bike ride over to the Be Free Floating in West Baltimore for my second trip in their sensory deprivation tank.
I’ve only been on my bicycle a few times since my big trip through the Adirondacks. That’s partly because I was exhausted and my non-biking sister was in town, and then because I was out of town at a family wedding, getting chauffeured around like the girlfriend of the sister of the bride. And now I’m back in Baltimore, settling in for a long late summer and fall of no travel, and that means I’m back on my bike, because that’s how I get around this place. Continue reading
The weather report promised a day of rain and wind and storms on Monday, much to my bike-loving chagrin. I spent the morning locked up at home, dealing with hundreds of emails that could no longer be ignored, and slowly but surely the sun came out. I decided to go with the skies instead of the weather report and head out on the bike to complete some errands like the daredevil I am. Continue reading
And sometimes you take three days off of bicycling because your dear sister is in town, and she’s a runner, so you happily walk and take the bus and hope N. will pick you both up and drive you around town. Today, though, what I really needed was to get back on the bike. I didn’t get a chance to ride around until the evening, when I hopped on the bike and headed down to Mount Vernon for a meeting. In a shocking turn of events, especially for a Monday, the meeting ran short, so I had plenty of time to ride around town. I headed down to the main post office because I’ve never been inside that behemoth of Brutalist architecture, plus also I wanted to put a letter in the mail. Continue reading
I left my car in Federal Hill on Friday, so today I had to ride my bike over there to fetch it. First, though, an early ride to Waverly to meet J. and C. to tend our young beehive. Bees are amazing. Their wings are lace-thin and always moving, and the whole hive vibrates, hums, and gives off a waxy heat. Today we tried to redirect some of their combing and in the process, had to remove some comb (and got to taste the honey), delicious.
Today’s ride took me over to East Baltimore for a tour of R.’s studio and master’s art project~inflatables, quilted ones that you can sit in and hold workshops and conversations, inside outside~I can’t wait! Her studio’s in MICA’s new-ish building for community art in East Baltimore near Johns Hopkins’ new developments, a neighborhood that as far as I can tell has been the target of a whole lot of ideas. The ride over took me on some zigs and zags, the kind I take if I’m trying to get lost, or if I’m trying to follow directions from the computaltor. Today it was the second, and as soon as I got there I knew where I was. The building’s that kind where unless you have been expressly invited, you can’t figure out how to get inside. Once inside it feels so, so different from where you were a second ago. It’s a community center ostensibly, but it does a very, very good job keeping the community outside until expressly invited in. As I was leaving I snapped the picture of a gate inside a gate with floodlights and a camera, I think, at the other end. I’m not sure what’s going on here, but the gated gate fit right in with the rest of the building. It’s complicated. And then I rode toward Fells Point for sushi, beer, a table to grade on, and the game. Once you cross to Butcher’s Hill, wow, whole different planet. Oh, Baltimore. I graded, ate, drank, hit the highs and lows of the sports fan, and then it was time to race back up the hill to catch the second half with friends. Empty street, empty streets~it’s game time.
Tonight’s ride took me down to the pizza place for dinner and wine with the new colleagues. We were set to meet at 7:00pm, the same time that Troy Davis was set to die at the hands of the state of Georgia. It was a strange feeling, riding my bike down the hill for pizza when the state was setting up to kill a man. Continue reading