N. planted three clues about where to meet her Friday night, and she told me to ride my bike there. I did a little sleuthing by way of the internet to figure out that I was supposed to be at 1121 Hull Street, so after a day of lazing and working I carried Brompty down the stairs, put air in her tires, and headed down the hill–that way I could fold up my bike and toss it in the trunk of N.’s car and let her drive me back up the hill.
Tuesday started out a shady and soggy mess, but all was cleared up in the afternoon, just in time for a quick bike ride around the neighborhood. I rode up to one of many entries in the Charles Village Sandwich Shoppe Wars (Quiznos was rightly the first casualty), lunched, and then continued on up the hill and over toward Roland Park to meet S. for coffee. I am up in this neighborhood all the time, but for some reasons, this was the first time I’d noticed the monument set back behind the trees circling that tiny sliver that gets to be called a park. It’s a monument to the Confederate women of Maryland, “The Brave at Home” who “In Difficulty and Danger/Regardless of Self/They Fed the Hungry/Clothed the Needy/Nursed the Wounded/and/Comforted the Dying.” Continue reading
Oh, I needed today. I woke up late and lazed about in bed with cats, gathering that vacation day vibe. I had a lovely long lunch with R. and O., eating dosa and talking about the layers of history and memory everywhere, the messages sent by trees about where matters and who doesn’t, and arranging our next meetings–why not have a meeting tubing on a river, O. asked? Sometimes you find the right people, and oh, it feels lucky. Afterward it was finally time to take the bike out for a ride. I zipped down the hill, fast as could be, and then up and around and up and down and up again to Fort McHenry. Continue reading
Ok, I didn’t see it from my bike today. I saw it from N.’s car. She drove me back to Virginia to pick up my car after it broke down there last week. How nice is that? People are awesome. Anyway, I didn’t see it from my bike, but it’s why I have a car, and it’s something I’ll come back and see by bike someday, because the Fredericksburg and Spotsylvania National Military Park has a bike map! Sometimes cars are really helpful. Anyway, this is the house where Stonewall Jackson died after one of the battles at Fredericksburg over the course of 18 months during the Civil War, halfway between the two capitals. Continue reading
Today was bike tour day, so I woke up early, kinda nervous, and reviewed my notes for our six-stop tour of historic War of 1812 sites in the city before bringing Brompty downstairs for a good ride over to our starting point at Riverside Park, one of the oldest parks in Baltimore. A small group gathered, and we made our way over to Sharp-Leadenhall, where I talked about the history of African Americans in the early Republic, and especially in this neighborhood, the oldest African American neighborhood in the city. Continue reading
I knew it was a beautiful day today just from the cool breezes coming through my bedroom window, but it still took me some time to pry myself out from under books and cats and onto my bicycle. I decided to head over to Druid Hill Park, where I hadn’t ridden in weeks and weeks and weeks, kinda weird since the park’s just right over there. I pedaled west and up the hill and around the circle. A turn around the reservoir shows you so much of Baltimore–the JFX just underfoot, abandoned factories, Hampden’s American flags, rows upon rows of rowhouses, cranes in the air in Mt. Vernon, the Inner Harbor’s all-business skyline, blighted blocks, abandoned mansions, and the park, which is its own little Baltimore. I biked around looking for the Memorial Pool memorial up past the holy place that is Safety City. Continue reading
Oh, it was a beautiful day out today, and lucky me, I had time to go for a bicycle ride. It took me up to Hampden for brunch and the start of a new book and then down to Druid Hill Park, where I thought about T. and how much she loved this place, and how much the park will miss her. Today the reservoir was taken over by dogs and their humans for the Maryland SPCA March for the Animals. I tried to zip my way through and around the canines, but I quickly figured out this was a losing proposition and decided to head up through Reservoir Hill again, but this time follow the bike route signs. Continue reading