Billie Holiday Memorial at Pennsylvania & W. Lafayette

The weather report said it might rain, and a glance at the sky assured me that it would, so of course I put on a skirt and a light jacket and headed out for a long bike ride to campus–oh, the curse of aspirational dressing! I was cold all day. Regardless, it just felt good to be on my bike after three days off due to what I’ve decided was a pollen-induced multi-day headache. I zoomed down the hill and then took my right through Bolton Hill and Marble Hill over toward Upton. Continue reading

Blighted Building at Gilmor & Lafayette

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It was a beautiful day and the sky was the color of what you think a blue sky should be, and I wrote my words, listened to my songs, got to meet withthe folks who I think think like me, and had plans for my evening, so all that was left was a bike ride. I happily pedaled to campus, feeling good, through West Baltimore. And then there are scenes like this, everywhere, the burnt-out abandoned houses of a city in decay. It’s complicated, to live in a city and pay attention.

Cloudy Skies at Preston & Howard

I checked the weather report before I got on my bike to ride to work this morning: high winds and a 90% chance of rain. I looked at the sky: blue with clouds out my bedroom window, ominous gray outside my west-facing living room (and I was heading west). Yeah, everything said don’t take the bike, but I wanted to ride, so I tossed my new rain cape in my bike bag and headed out, hoping to maybe beat the weather. Continue reading

Painted Train at Hollins & Lipps

It has suddenly turned cold in Baltimore, so I bundled up a little extra as I took my bike out to ride to campus for an afternoon “party” with the Dean and some new colleagues. The fancy fleece jacket kept me warm, but the headwind was strong enough to keep me pedaling, even on the big downhills. Sigh. Fortunately, I was in a chipper mood, so pedal, pedal, pedal I did, and it felt good. I wonder if I’ll ever get over the pleasure of the rhythmic round-and-round of the bicycle–let’s hope not. The commute now feels like it comes in four parts: down the hill, taking a right/going west, the uphilly part, and Arbutus. I snapped this picture as I took the soft left onto Lipps from Hollins. I’m guessing that used to be a brick wall, and now it’s just the remnants of one, but the leftover bits do look like a train, which is what I think is painted on here. There are so many scenes like this all over town, helped along by the seemingly endless remainders that make up Baltimore City and its canvases. But this is a pretty face to paint on the block after block after block of crumbled, abandoned, blighted, burned, and decaying homes and businesses that make up that 9.2 miles ride. But really, sometimes, what are you going to do? Gotta put some beauty in here.