Looking Out at the Old Pier at Fells Point

The ladyfriend took me hiking this past weekend in the Shenandoah, and it was glorious. I loved just driving somewhere away from home with her, something we’ve not done in as long as I can remember. I loved being out in the woods, seeing waterfalls and views, waving an occasional hello to others out doing the same thing. Driving into the park it seemed busy, but once you’re off the main drag, it’s easy to find quiet.

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Church Parking Lot at Chester & Gay

I took my bicycle to DC last weekend. I used public transportation to get there and back, and while riding around DC, I ate lunch at a restaurant, sitting outside, pulling my mask down just for bites. It felt like being a tourist at the end of the world. The place was empty, except for the gloriously alive Black Lives Matter Plaza by the White House and the streams of local runners making their pretty much everywhere. I don’t know how they do it in the middle of the day, but there you go.

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Cars Parked in the Bike Lane at Monument & Mello Court

Cars Parked in the Bike Lane at Monument & Mello Court

I finally had something to do and somewhere to go, so I started Wednesday’s bike ride with a purpose. I had ordered a few running tops from my local running store, because I want my local running store to exist if this pandemic ever ends, and they accidentally sent me an extra one. I emailed to ask if I could just return it, and they said yes. Baltimore City opened up curbside shopping at 9am on Wednesday, so I biked down to the shop in Fells Point for the hand off.

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Looking Down the Pier at Fells Point

Looking Down the Pier at Fells Point

Monday was Memorial Day, and instead of hanging out with family in Michigan as planned, the ladyfriend and I were home in Baltimore, as usual. I’m still at home almost all the time. I go out every day for some exercise and sunshine, and once every ten days or so I go to the grocery store, but otherwise my life is completely home and online.

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Garbage in the Water Next to the Pendry Hotel on Thames Street

20180607_093733 This week was one of regular bike rides, to and from work, just like the pre-cancer days–down the hill, take a right, lock up, and reverse it at the end of the day. It’s a good kind of weird to just act normal, and it’s also exhausting; I ended every day with a bone-crushing fatigue that frankly I’ll take over cancer treatment any day. I’m better, but I’m not just fine, and that’s ok.

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Ironwork at South Broadway & Baltimore

20180509_092129_HDR Today was a beautiful spring day–sunny, not too hot–and I had my penultimate radiation session at Hopkins. I rode my bike the way I ride my bike to the hospital, down Barclay, a left at the Tool Library, across the street and another left at the cemetery, a right, a left into a terrible bike lane, and a right into a slightly better one. I locked up outside on a rack that’s not bolted down and grumbled about that in my head before spinning through the doors to the elevator down to the basement. It’s amazing how quickly routine becomes routine, and this has been mine for the past month.

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View From the Bond Street Wharf Off Thames & Bond in Fells Point

View From the Bond Street Wharf Off Thames & Bond in Fells PointSunday’s ride started with a quick pedal over to R.’s house for a walk around the neighborhood and much needed catch-up time and a discussion of our various mid-life crises. And then it was time to get back on the bike and fly down the hill to meet N. at the Inner Harbor for people watching and a sandwich. I flew down there in about 15 minutes, because that’s what it’s like to ride a bike on a Sunday through a city with a dead downtown. We grabbed sandwiches, watched tourists wander by–those selfie sticks are way more popular than I thought they were, and I’m totally making team t-shirts next time I travel with a group–and then rode over to Fells Point for overpriced gelato and a walk to a shady spot where we could look at the water. I snapped this picture as we lolled about with the rest of the city and was grateful for a day of rest. And then we pedaled back up the hill, sweaty messes when we finally got home, cold seltzers cutting right through it. A weekend out of the dictionary entry for “weekend,” I tell you.

Birdwatching on North Point State Park’s Black Marsh Trail

Birdwatching on North Point State Park's Black Marsh TrailI’ve been biking seemingly all day, every day for the past week. Saturday was especially long, up to Loch Raven, taking the lane on some seriously busy streets, down and over to check out the tulips and babies and puppies and mansions in Roland Park, and then down to Fell’s Point to avoid Pirate Day (you know pirates were often slave traders, especially when piloting the superfast Baltimore clipper ships, right?) and Record Store Day (the ladyfriend’s got that covered) and choke down a quick crepe before taking the Lombard Bike/Bus lane–good lord, I love that thing–to Ridgely’s Delight for a ride home. Continue reading

Blue Skies and Twiggy Trees at Patterson Park

Blue Skies and Twiggy Trees at Patterson ParkI’m on spring break, and oh, it is a beautiful thing. Winter was a rough go this year, and it just feels so good to feel sunshine past 7pm, even if as I write this we are under a winter weather advisory for tomorrow. Whatever, Tuesday was beautiful, even with the howling winds. My ride started heading east, because I’m usually heading west. I took the whole lane because fuck, it’s a holiday (but really because that’s the safest way to ride on 33rd Street), and headed toward Clifton Park. Continue reading

View from Admiral Fell Inn’s 5th Floor at Thames & Broadway

View from Admiral Fell Inn's 5th Floor at Thames & BroadwaySunday was another shockingly beautiful day in Baltimore, and we had an outdoor wedding to attend down in Fells Point, on Ravens game day. This is just the sort of thing that would throw my parking-averse self into a frenzy days in advance, worrying where we were going to put the car, how much parking would cost, when we’d have to leave to find a spot–not to brag, but I can really worry about this sort of thing. But the ladyfriend and I both have bikes, so we put on our formal wear–me, a dress and heels, her slacks and a vest and a tie and some snazzy wingtips–and jammed some lights and a safety vest in a bag for the ride home, and headed down the hill to watch L. and T. tie the knot. Actually, they did so awhile ago in Australia, but they wanted to throw a show for the rest of us, and they couldn’t have picked a more beautiful day to do so. Continue reading