Nearly-Empty Chips and Dips Display at the Safeway at 25th & Charles

Nearly-Empty Chips and Dips Display at the Safeway at 25th & CharlesSunday’s ride was another in unseasonably warm weather (or maybe the cold has been unseasonable? I have no idea if seasonality still has meaning anymore), this time down to the Inner Harbor to meet N. for lunch before our trip to the Wedding Experience, Day 2. There were dresses and cake samples and lots of stares–which one’s the bride? (neither!)–and then it was time to walk back, her to her car, and me to my bike to meet again at the grocery. Walk+car was about equal to biking, but I’ll call myself the winner, because hey, I’m the one writing this. Anyway, a trip to the grocery store on Super Bowl Sunday is an excellent reminder of how many of us are doing the same thing at the same time, even if we’re not doing it together. Continue reading

Casino Under Construction From the First Bridge on the Gwynns Falls Trail Behind Ravens Stadium

Casino Under Construction From the First Bridge on the Gwynns Falls Trail Behind Ravens StadiumLast week’s heavy workload and heavier rains conspired to keep me off the bike for far too many days, so I was happy to have an open afternoon and cloudy but dry skies today for a longer ride. I headed up the hill for lunch and some football before heading down the hill to see what the football fans were doing at the stadium–hint: leaving early–and then I dodged traffic cones and wide-turners on my way to the Gwynns Falls Trail. It finally really feels like fall, but the greens are still mostly green and the overgrowth is still overgrown. Continue reading

Gate Behind a Gate at MICA on Collington & Madison

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Today’s ride took me over to East Baltimore for a tour of R.’s studio and master’s art project~inflatables, quilted ones that you can sit in and hold workshops and conversations, inside outside~I can’t wait! Her studio’s in MICA’s new-ish building for community art in East Baltimore near Johns Hopkins’ new developments, a neighborhood that as far as I can tell has been the target of a whole lot of ideas. The ride over took me on some zigs and zags, the kind I take if I’m trying to get lost, or if I’m trying to follow directions from the computaltor. Today it was the second, and as soon as I got there I knew where I was. The building’s that kind where unless you have been expressly invited, you can’t figure out how to get inside. Once inside it feels so, so different from where you were a second ago. It’s a community center ostensibly, but it does a very, very good job keeping the community outside until expressly invited in. As I was leaving I snapped the picture of a gate inside a gate with floodlights and a camera, I think, at the other end. I’m not sure what’s going on here, but the gated gate fit right in with the rest of the building. It’s complicated. And then I rode toward Fells Point for sushi, beer, a table to grade on, and the game. Once you cross to Butcher’s Hill, wow, whole different planet. Oh, Baltimore. I graded, ate, drank, hit the highs and lows of the sports fan, and then it was time to race back up the hill to catch the second half with friends. Empty street, empty streets~it’s game time.

Beers on a Bar in Fells Point at Broadway & Aliceanna

Drinks on a Bar in Fells Point at Aliceanna & BroadwaySunday’s ride took me over to Waverly to meet friends for a drive to Leakin Park before taking the bike back down the hill for a quick swim. Wow, swimming is hard and wonderful. And then it was game time. I had a coupon for a chain restaurant in Fells Point, so I biked over there and grabbed the last spot at the bar, ordering up something they called “pizza” and a beer. And then a second beer, because the Miller Lite Girls were there in tight bedazzled v-neck t-shirts handing out free beers. Continue reading

Crumbling Bricks at Cox & Falls

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Today’s ride took me up past Hampden to meet folks at a bar to enjoy some playoff football. I don’t know if you’ve heard, but the Ravens are in, and they’re my team, now that the Saints are out after last night’s heartbreaker. It was chilly chilly, so I rode as fast as I could and took advantage of the sun and the hills to warm myself up. I passed a lot of people in purple, already tipsy with the day. There as a drink, some. Fried food, and a whole lot of yelling, and then it was time to roll back down the hill. I snapped this picture of the remnants of the brick wall of some ghost of a building. If it were a different wall, this might be an Historical Landmark, but here it’s just another remnant of a past Baltimore–so, so many of these. In the light and with that sky, though, today it looked beautiful. I pedaled home and was reminded that the downhill is much, much colder. I best get used to it.

Tulane VS South Alabama Women’s Basketball Game at Fogelman Arena

I teach a lot of student athletes at Tulane–basketball, volleyball, cheerleading, football, I teach them all. Athletes get a bad rap sometimes for blowing off coursework for the culture of the game. Well, all kinds of students manage to blow off coursework, so it hardly seems fair to lay that on the athletes. And in my experience, athletes balance an incredible number of commitments, often impressively. So when the football team invited me to go behind the scenes at a game, I eagerly said yes, because I wanted to show my support for my students, and because who doesn’t want to watch the game from the field! My body was requesting a rest from the bike, so I thought I’d drive, but alas, when you leave your car idle for weeks because you’d rather ride your bike, the battery dies. So I put on the bike shoes, climbed on the Surly, and headed down to the Superdome with N. in tow. Continue reading

Halftime at the Superdome, Tulane V. Southeastern Louisiana

Fall is officially in the air. I might just feel like that because the last two nights, riding my bicycle home, the air has been almost chilly. Well, tonight it’s 80 degrees, but that’s chilly after the last few months of sweaty heat. Fall means football season, and tonight I took the bike down to the Superdome for Tulane’s first game of the season, against the Lions of Southeastern Louisiana State. Continue reading