Ryan Homes Towns At Eager Park in Middle East, Baltimore

20160913_132701-1 I had a day with no deadlines on Tuesday, a rare one in the past month. That meant I got to spend my morning finishing up a task I’d been avoiding for a few weeks, and then I hopped on the bike and headed south and east to complete one of those tasks I am middle class enough to do: register for TSA Pre Check so I can be one of those people I have been sneering at for the past couple of years who bypass the serfs on their way to the front of the airport security line.

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View Above New Development Off Liberty Parkway in Dundalk

20160617_150700 It was my birthday last Thursday, and I was a bit apprehensive about it, my first without my dad. Firsts are tricky, or so I’ve heard, so I didn’t make any big plans for the day in case what I wanted to do was sit in bed and cry. That’s not what I wanted to do, waking up in a celebratory mood instead. I decided to keep it going on Friday with another vacation day, this time for a bike ride. I set out without a real plan, except a vague desire to collect my free Birthday Burger at Red Robin down in Canton. I zig zagged my way there, got a burger that I ended up paying for–don’t worry, the free one’s on my card for later this week–and then decided on a whim to bike over to Dundalk. Getting there’s a bit of a pain–Holabird Avenue’s not exactly bike-friendly–but once you’re there it’s a dream of wide bike lanes and quiet streets. I made my way slowly over there and took the lane on Holabird to avoid that close-call feeling as cars imagine they can pass you even when they can’t. I went past the Amazon warehouse where all the magic happens, noted its ample bike parking and wondered if the company doesn’t have the clout to get a bike lane in front, and talked my way through the truck traffic before making my right on Dundalk Avenue.

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Vacant Homes at Lanvale & N. Patterson Park

Blight at Lanvale & N. Patterson ParkIt was another spring-like fall day in Baltimore on Tuesday, and I had a few spare hours in the afternoon for a bike ride. I left the house with vague plans for ice cream, but I took a left instead of a right at the intersection of the grocery store and hardware store, and ended up heading south and east on streets I’m not used to–the very best. Continue reading

View From Watersedge Park in Dundalk at Bullneck Road & Dundalk Avenue

View From Watersedge Park in Dundalk at Bullneck Road & Dundalk AvenueTuesday was one of those perfect early fall days that feels like late summer. I got up early and got my day’s tasks done, hit the gym with my favorite gym buddy, O., joined her for lunch on her sunny back porch, and then it was all me and my bike. I headed south and east and south and east, a quick stop for froyo at a place where I got myself a gift certificate a few months ago–planting a present for future me–and then kept heading south and east, under the freeway, a left and a right and then I was in Dundalk, riding its bike lane which is also a parking lane, but I’ll take what I can get. Continue reading

Railroad Tracks Under Edison Highway Between Madison & Biddle

Railroad Tracks Under Edison Highway Between Madison & BiddleI’ve been riding my bike this past month–it’s how I get everywhere I go–but I’ve been so snowed under with other writing and work that I haven’t had the energy to write about what I’ve been seeing. Last week I looked up, noticed the bay windows along Park Avenue, and noticed that I haven’t been looking around much these days. The only fix for that is a longer bike ride without a set destination, and I got that today. Continue reading

Frank Bocek Park at Madison & Ellwood

Frank Bocek Park at Madison & EllwoodThe spring semester is over and summer school doesn’t start until next week, so in spite of the grading and class prep that lingers, I’m treating this week like my vacation. I kicked it off with a a whole bunch of reading in bed interspersed with grading and rec letter writing–there’s always some work to do–before checking the weather report with my lunch to see if it was going to rain. Continue reading

Cloudy Skies at Collington & E. Fayette

Cloudy Skies at Collington & E. FayetteSaturday was another lovely spring day framed by the ugliness of being in a city under martial law. I spent the day catching up on this and that, and then I was back on the bike, heading south and east and south and east again, through Clifton Park, East Baltimore, and down to Patterson Park for an art opening at the Creative Alliance. It felt like a regular spring Saturday in spite of it all–people sitting out on their porches and stoops, kids playing ball disturbingly close to car traffic, folks running car washes out front of their homes. Continue reading