R. and O. asked if we might all get on our bikes and ride around town a bit to look at different monuments and talk about what they do, and would I mind coming up with a route? It’s like these two climbed inside my head and found exactly what I wanted to do and then asked me to do it, I swear. Our ride was today, so I woke up early, made a list of a few different routes (Patterson Park or Federal Hill? Druid Hill Park or Fort McHenry? Pennsylvania Avenue or Mount Vernon?), and then rode over to the Jackson-Lee monument to meet up and discuss our options. Continue reading
The Stonewall Jackson National Shrine in Guinea Station, Virginia
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
Diorama of the Pratt Street Riot at the Baltimore Civil War History Museum on President Street
I had one of those frustrating days where you are on hold for 45 minutes to no avail after being tranferred multiple times, getting more teary with every subsequent operator. Hint: Verizon’s on strike, cancel, but give yourself a couple hours to do it. Anyway, it was finally time for me to flee the house, so I tossed my National Parks Passport in my bike bag and flew down the hill to the Baltimore Civil War History Museum, because there’s nothing like a little popular history to take my mind off the Kafka-esque world of telephonery. Half of the museum is devoted to remembering the Pratt Street riots, which happened as the Union sent troops south through Baltimore at the very start of the war. The city was full of Confederate sympathizers, and they attacked the soldiers as they transferred trains, shedding the first blood of the war. I snapped this picture of their diorama of the events while standing under the sound umbrella-thingy with its gunshots and crowd noises. Then there was the display about the Underground Railroad (not really a railroad) and Henry “Box” Brown who shipped himself to freedom (get in this box and see how it might feel!–that part was creepy). It’s an odd nostalgia. Later, when I was reading about the 1968 uprisings in Baltimore at the bookstore, I wondered if we’ll ever have a museum to that, reenactments, nostalgia that at least reminds us of the ways the social, political, and economic choices made that led to the riots continue to shape our everyday. And then I rode over to the stadium to watch Ravens fans pour in for the preseason, the beat goes on, the beat goes on.
New Orleans Antebellum, Civil War, & Reconstruction History at the Cabildo in Jackson Square
I’m feeling quite out of sorts with all the moving and things this week, but today, after a brief stop at the old place to clean out a cabinet and collect my security deposit, I am done. For now. What I need is a little normalcy, so I took myself out on the bike to meet friends for some work at the coffee shoppe and then to the Cabildo for a little Louisiana history. Continue reading
Overgrown Weeds and Abandoned Housing at Governor’s Island
I am having a most wonderful vacation in NYC, in spite of having to *gasp* walk. This town is made to bike, and there is a ridiculously fantastic bicycle infrastructure here. Sharrows! Buffered bike lanes! Bicycles, bicycles everywhere. I want to move back here with my bicycles and bike every last one of these lanes. Today, though, I rented a bike and was just happy to get to pedal a bit and let my feet and legs rest. I am in great biking shape. Walking? Not so much. I rode around Governor’s Island, learning some history and dodging a zillion bicyclists and walkers and Civil War reenactors (not Rebs, like they’d be back home, but just as weird). The sun was bright and all was right with the world. I snapped this picture of overgrown weeds in front of some abandoned Coast Guard housing. Right across from here are views of the Statue of Liberty and Manhattan and all kinds of big city views of a fantastical nature, but this is the view that reminded me of home. Oh, I am most pleased to be living here and there, now.