Easter Island Statue on Calvert & 22nd or So

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The weather today was perfect for bicycling, so I dragged myself out of my Saturday lazy bed and took the Surly down the hill for a quick run through the gym and then back up the hill to home for lunch before heading back out and down the hill again to the Baltimore Book Fair. I love books and I love fairs, and though I miss the baby animal barn, this event’s kind of made for me. Traffic was terrible in Mt. Vernon, so I got off the bike and walked a few blocks before locking up to a street sign. The lack of bike parking in Mt. Vernon, a biking and walking neighborhood, is pretty amazing. But anyway. I got myself a soft serve cone to put a little “fair” in the occasion before settling to hear Dean Spade and Laura Whitehorn speed through some big, tough questions to the delight of (most of) the crowd. After some wanderings and some snack with some very old friends-like, we used to watch General Hospital together friends-it was time to get back on the bike and head home. I snapped this picture on my way, of one of those Easter Island heads sharing an empty lot with an old bed frame that I think is art too. There used to be a sign advertising new condos here, but that’s gone; maybe the condos are on their way. Today’s ride was mostly about transportationn, but the great thing about being on a bike is that you can stop, get off, and check out this art. Now, who knows where it came from?

Dean Spade Speaking at the Radical Book Pavillion at the Baltimore Book Fair

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I hadn’t been on my bike since Wednesday, which was far too long, but I wasn’t driving–I was just in New York, where nobody I know ever even thinks about cars. Oh, it is magical there! I didn’t have time for a bike ride, busy as I was with the fantastic Barnard Center for Research on Women conference and a side trip wandering through Harlem, visiting a couple national parks, but there were bikes and bike lanes everywhere, and C. reports the one on Second Ave is about to go all the way to the tippy top of the island. I can’t wait to bring my bike there and just go wild. Sigh. I took the train back to Baltimore, rested a bit, and then took my bike to the book fair to hear D. talk and lead the kind of discussion you hope to get at that sort of thing but rarely do–thing is, the state is the site of so much violence, we kind of need to think of strategies other than going to that same state for redress or protection if we really want all of us to be safe, in the most expansive sense of that term. It was a weekend full of reports, ideas, new plans, and old friends, such a treat. But it was good to ride my bike to the coffee shop, grade some papers, and then climb back up the hill, because that’s the sort of thing that feels like home.