I’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
Dancers at Federal & Calvert
I spent this most delightful first fall Sunday working on a big project due on Monday and thinking about the exceedingly lovely weekend I had. Oh, and how much I needed a bike ride. So I finished up a draft of the thing in front of the Ravens game, and then it was time to get on the bike for a ride. I headed down the hill to see if I could luck into an Akimbo performance before going somewhere south and east. A volunteer handed me a map, and I snaked my way around to the park at Federal and Calvert to catch the Effervescent Dance Collective. Their performance was delayed by a sea shanty singing quartet that is probably funny if we’re all friends and we’ve had a few (in which case I have no doubt they are amazing), and I wondered about the location of the dancing. And then they danced, and I couldn’t stop smiling, thinking about how clever they were, how free and happy they helped us feel–like when Lily matched her breath to the beat of being pulled up from the water, a sly look–oh, it was so good. I thanked them after–“You just made me so happy inside, thank you”–and then it was back on the bike. I passed a tent on the sidewalk across from the city fueling station on Fallsway. I wondered about why the tent owner’s reclaiming of public space will undoubtedly be criminalized, the home torn down, while the dancers will make me feel just so happy inside. Are we worried the tent is privatising our public space? But wouldn’t we want public space to be used by those with the need for it–I want that in case I need it at some point. Or have we gone so far with our love of private property that we can’t imagine a use that wouldn’t in some way declare ownership? I thought about those and other things on the rest of my ride, over to The Shops at Canton Crossing (it’s still just a Target), up through Brewer’s Hill and down through Highlandtown, up and over and up and over through so many neighborhoods with so many people loving this cooler still-sunny weather. Ravens win!
Photographer Waiting at a Hole in the Fence at Light & Lee
Friday’s ride took me quick-like-a-bunny-rabbit to as east on Fleet Street as I could go for a doctor’s appointment that took too long and then over to the Inner Harbor to see what the Grand Prix was doing so as to add evidence to my complaintapillaring about the thing and then around to Federal Hill for a massage–rough life, I know. Following the googleymap directions to the doc’s I rode past the building I saw on Thursday, and it looked different this time, when it was on the main drag heading south from when it was stumbled upon as I was coming out of being lost. Continue reading
A Condo on a Pier at the Harbor at Leakin St.
I faced a bit of a quandary this morning. I had three places to be today, and in time constraints that meant biking was out of the question, but just barely. And it was a sunny day–first one in awhile–and that meant biking had to happen. Solution? Pop the Brompton in the back seat, drive to the first destination, bike to the second and back, and then return Brompty to the car before driving to campus. This is why they pay me the big bucks. I checked the map to figure out how to get to Canton by car and headed out for another swim lesson. 45 minutes later I was unfolding the bike and mazing my way around Canton and Highlandtown, bright sun and blue skies. Continue reading
Old Town Mall on Forrest Street
I started my morning with S. and J. and our Sunday Morning Hiking Club, which is really the best thing going. I mean, what day isn’t better when it starts with a brisk walk amidst some good old fashioned natural beauty, especially when it’s followed up by a seasonal latte? After warming back up at home it was time to take the bike out for a ride. Continue reading
Tree Growing Out of a Propped Up Wall on Chester & Chase
Last week was so busy busy with so many late nights due to campus events and baseball that I just didn’t have time to ride my bike for anything but transportation. I can’t remember the last time I just rode around aimlessly, and after waking up tired and sickly and leaving the house without enough clothing for the cooler weather, I didn’t think I’d be taking that sort of ride today either. I headed down to the coffee shop to meet V. for a quick grading session before heading the rest of the way downtown to stop at the gym. Continue reading
Baltimore Recycling Center at E. Biddle & Edison Hwy.
Sunday’s a work day for me, but once I got some stuff done I had time to go on a ride without a destination–my favorite. Today’s ride took me down the hill until I decided to take a left on Biddle to see where it would end. Whenever I ride off the very main-est of the main drags in this town (i.e. a street that doesn’t lead to the freeway) I’m struck again by just how many vacant properties are in this city. Just a couple miles on Biddle, if that, and I passed dozens, many on blocks with one or two really nice and well-kept houses, and I thought about what it could look like, if only, if only what. Continue reading
Peale Museum Building at Holliday & Lexington
I have been in NYC for the past few days visiting my sister, so I haven’t been riding my bicycle. I have, however, been thinking about what it might be like to fold up a bicycle and take it with me on my next trip…but anyway. I am back home in Baltimore and on spring break, so when the rain stopped early this morning, I knew I’d get a decent ride in today. After doing some reading and extraordinarily minor gardening, I spent some time giving the bike a quick clean, degreasing, and re-lubing for springtime before taking the newly stealth and quiet ride out into the sunshine. Continue reading
Pedestrian Underpass at Bank Street & Eastern Avenue
Today’s afternoon ride took me to Harbor East to catch a couple of closing exhibits at the Lewis Museum–Roberto Clemente was an awesome dude lost too soon, and there’s an important and often invisible history of African American/Native American relationships (though I think telling those histories is important for reasons beyond recognizing people’s identities, but that’s a different blog). The exhibits were of that new-fangled pop-up museum style, so hopefully they are travelling to a museum near you next. The day was unseasonably warm, so afterward I headed out for a ride with no plan; it had been far too long since I did that. I pedaled along, following the signs first to Patterson Park, where I watched a whole bunch of people feed a whole bunch of pigeons, and then toward Greektown by way of Highlandtown. I snapped this picture half way across the pedestrian underpass on Eastern Avenue. Now *this* is an underpass–spacious, covered in art, brightly-painted bridges above, carrying a train and framing yet another abandoned factory, but I’m guessing that just can’t be helped. I zipped through and around, did a quick turn on some Bayview side streets, and then headed back, hoping to be somewhere familiar by dusk. I passed through Brewer’s Hill, marvelled at the speed by which neighborhoods change and how a blighted warehouse district can become expensive lofts in virtually every city I have ever been in, stopped by Canton Waterfront Park for a photo of the sky on fire with sunset, and took myself to Fells Point for a cocktail and some fancy tapas to toast myself out of 2011, a day early. It has been a banner year for me, and I’m looking forward to my first bike ride of 2012, January 1. Oh, I do so like riding a bike around Baltimore.
Historical Sign Marking Where Frederick Douglass Lived as a Slave in Fells Point at Durham & Aliceanna
I spent my lazy Saturday at home, reading a little of this and a little of that and then watching a documentary about the life and times of Bayard Rustin as I ate my lunch. What a remarkable man, and he said, “We are all one. And if we don’t know it, we will learn it the hard way.” Think about that. Seriously, seriously deep, and not in some facile way where we should all just get along, or we don’t have differences because we’re all just human, but that we are in this thing together, and if we don’t figure that out, and if we just abandon huge swathes of ourselves, we are in serious trouble; we’ve got plenty of evidence that Rustin’s right, all over the place. Continue reading