Looking South From the Prison at Eager & Fallsway

A barbed wire fence in the foreground, a tree at the left of the picture, and the hint of an old stone building behind the tree. The sky is gray and cloudy, and behind the fence you can just see Baltimore's downtown skyline.

Tuesday’s bike ride was like most of my bike rides these days–to and from downtown to catch the shuttle out to work. I’m on campus most days in June working with a few students on a project in Special Collections, which means great teaching and learning experiences, and also a whole lot of bike commutes. On the way home, though, I took a detour around Baltimore’s many prisons and jails that I ride by on my way to and from several times a week, to take pictures for another project I’m working on.

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Flower Trees at E. Monument & Fallsway

Picture of a bunch of trees flowering with white puffy blooms against a blue sky etched with clouds.

It’s flower tree season in Baltimore, and because I don’t have allergies, it is my favorite season. I have lived here long enough to have my favorite spots–the pink ones that always seem to bloom first in front of the University of Maryland School of Nursing; the puffy white trees in front of the old phone company building that is now apartments on 31st and Guilford; the tunnel of pink ones that make the ride up Charles or Guilford spring magic. And then there’s this bunch of trees, right where Fallsway and E. Monument Street meet.

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Baltimore City Jail Being Demolished at Fallsway & Eager

View down the street at the Baltimore City Jail being demolished. In the foreground on the sidewalk is a red star with a name of a victim of police violence.

Wednesday’s ride took me down the hill in the sunshine for a quick haircut at the barber. I know many don’t feel like that’s a safe activity, but I do, so I wore my mask, joined B. and one other barber and client inside, and got the back and sides cleaned up. It was so good to be out of my house and neighborhood for even just the 20 minutes I spent inside there.

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Safety City in Druid Hill Park

Sunday was my long run, and I was so grateful for the drop in humidity from Saturday. I put in my head that I’d go five miles, but would check in at three and see if my body wanted to keep going. It was only 70 degrees, but when there’s no shade, it gets hot fast. I loaded up both water pouches, put on my running vest, and headed out.

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Parking Lot and Prisons at Fallsway & E. Centre St.

Parking Lot & Prisons at Fallsway & E. Centre I hadn’t ridden my bicycle in a couple of weeks, due to holiday travel and holiday sit-around-the-house reasons, but I finally got in a ride today, and wow, I instantly felt so much more like myself than I have in some days. It was a beautiful day, finally sunny, blue skies peeking out more and more as the day went on. I rolled down the hill, made a quick stop at my gym to earn the 100 bonus points you get for checking in to the gym nine times in a month (a very on-brand choice, if you know me in real life), and then down to Harbor East to meet my work wife for lunch.

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Fences and Barbed Wire at Fallsway and Madison

20170712_151039-1 Wednesday’s ride took me down the hill really early so I could hop the 7am bus out to campus. It was my turn to send Greetings From the Faculty at new student orientation, and when you don’t have a car, that means you’ve got to leave your house at 6:45 am to get there on time. That early it’s still a little bit cool out, and it was a pleasant roll down Guilford with the early bird cars and buses, until I got downtown. There’s just no way around the unpleasantness that is gridlock in a downtown core, but until we agree to move work all over so we don’t all have to pass through here to get where we’re going, we’re stuck with it.

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Trash Under the Overpass at Eager & Fallsway

Trash Under the Overpass at Eager & FallswayI haven’t been riding my bicycle much in the last few weeks. I don’t like to start a ride in the rain and I never ride on snow or ice, and that means weather has kept me bus-bound for awhile. I’ve been on my bike every chance I get, but sadly, the chances have been rare. I miss the ease of riding and the control I have over my time that comes with ice-free roads. My mood is better, my wait times are shorter, and I feel free in a way I just don’t when I have to depend on an undependable transit system. Continue reading

Baltimore City Detention Center at Warden & Eager

Baltimore City Detention Center at Warden & EagerI’ve been riding my bike all over town in the past couple of weeks. Down the hill to pick up the shuttle for work, back up the hill to home. I’ve ridden the new bike lane in Roland Park so as to knowledgeably engage in online debate about whether or not it’s a good bike lane (I think yes, but everyone needs to be patient so we all learn how to use it). I’ve ridden to lunch, to after-work drinks, to acupuncture and therapy appointments, to a friend’s in Federal Hill. I’ve also ridden down the hill a short left on Eager Street where I’m teaching a women’s studies class to a group of women who are part of Safe and Sound’s ELEVATION program at Baltimore City Detention Center. Continue reading