Makeshift Tower and Legg Mason Skyscraper From Bugs Charter School in Fells Point

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It was a sunny Saturday in Baltimore, and there were about a trillion things going on, from the Ciclovia between Druid Hill and Roland Parks, the American Visionary Arts Museum’s Kinetic Sculpture Race, the Flower Mart in Mt. Vernon, a Cinco de Mayo street fair on Broadway in Upper Fells Point, the Maryland Film Festival, and a speak out about the Baltimore Development Corporation downtown. I’m feeling under the weather, but it was the kind of day I’ve been waiting for, so I sucked it up and took my bike on a tour of some of those things before I lost my steam and the afternoon rains came down. I saw and heard so many things on my bike ride today, from a giant pink poodle powered by bicycles to a carpet of flowering plants around the Washington Monument, from the inside of that old Methodist church on that Mt. Vernon corner to salsa dancers in the street. It was such a lovely day. I snapped this picture at an unexpected side trip to the student-organized and run farm stand and market at Bugs charter school. They were selling tomato and pepper starts, homemade candles, and lunch alongside facepainting and carnival games. I looked up and saw the cool structure I’m guessing kids helped build, framed by the Legg Mason building further toward the harbor. That’s one of those big development firms, the kind that runs through our tax dollars as they are funneled to and fro amongst scam artists at the many levels of “development” in Baltimore. Just think what a world we might live in if we let these kids do a thing or two with our cash instead. I pedaled all over today and tonight and had such a nice day doing it. I can’t wait to see how days will feel when I no longer have this sickly frog in my throat.

Jay Brodie of the Baltimore Development Corporation Speaking at a Meeting at 36 S. Charles

I spent my day doing one of my favorite things: talking to students about capitalism. It’s a profit motive, and there’s only so much you can squeeze in terms of raw materials and the means of production, so how do you get the most out of labor for the least amount of money? It’s just the logic of the system, and it’s stark and important to see. (When I point out that they pay the college for credit hours so they can work for free at an internship, well, um, yeah.) The afternoon class didn’t do the reading, so that was a wash, and at that point I was ready to head home, slap some bike shoes on with this dress and these tights, and get on the bike to pedal out some frustration and anxiety. Continue reading

Cyclists Learning About Banks at the Wells Fargo at St. Paul & Fayette

Today’s ride took me up to campus in the afternoon for another faculty senate meeting, and I could feel the difference regular riding is making in my stamina, and it is really exciting. I’m not scared by hills anymore, even that one that gets you up to Haverhill Road. The ride makes sense in its chunks–down the hill to Mt. Vernon and up through Bolton Hill, Lafayette through West Baltimore, South on Monroe–serious traffic today–Frederick and up the hill to Caton Avenue, Caton and Wilkens, and then finally the weird cul-de-sacs of Arbutus–et voila! I only took one wrong turn and knocked 3 minutes off my time, but what really surprised me was that I wasn’t exhausted when I got to campus, and that felt amazing. Continue reading