Kids Collecting Autographs at Orioles FanFest at the Baltimore Convention Center

Getting Autographs at Orioles FanFest at the Baltimore Convention CenterIt was downright warm out on Saturday, and after wasting half of it in bed with books and cats there was a flurry of activity as I got myself together to jump on the bike and head down the hill to see what was happening in our fair city. Oh, it was good to be on the Surly again! I am so much more myself when I get to pedal about town, and this ride was just what I needed. I took Maryland down and up and down and up and down again to the Convention Center, which was bustling with activity for middle class folks of various stripes: baseball fans, people into planning expensive weddings, and dance/cheer team enthusiasts. I had a ticket to precisely zero of these events, but hey, I’m part of The Public, and I’ve got the skin of somebody our society’s decided to trust, so I just walked in and around to see what folks were doing. Continue reading

Fan at the Top of the Stairs Crossing President at Fayette

Fan at the Top of the Stairs Crossing President at FayetteIt was another surprisingly cool and totally perfect late summer day (I can’t say “fall” yet–too real), so after a lazy morning I hopped on the bike and headed down the hill to Little Italy to take in a second day of fried dough–I mean the Feast of St. Gabriel. I’d been down the day before with N. and R. in a car, if you can believe that. Guess what? Way easier on the bike, though having those two to share the fried dough was a wise move. I locked up to a street sign next to the heavy police presence called for at events like this, apparently. I got my fried dough, ate it too quickly over Bingo, and slugged down their specialty cocktail, my blood finally running at full-sugar. That didn’t stop me from eating some of N.’s candy at the movie, however. Continue reading

Gray Skies and a Blighted Building at Lloyd & Granby

Gray Skies and a Blighted Building at Lloyd & GranbyToday’s ride took me back down to BronyCon where I spent my day talking to people about why they’re Bronies (new friends, great show), whether girls are Bronies or Pegasisters (a more complicated debate than I expected), and who their favorite ponies are (Rainbow Dash comes up a lot). And then I got back on the bike and headed to the Patterson Park pool for my volunteer shift staring at t-shirt tags to find the smalls everyone wanted (or the extra larges–not a lot of in-between sizes at the water ballet today). Continue reading

Raised Beds and a Tiny Barn at Exeter Street Gardens in Jonestown

Raised Beds and a Tiny Barn at Exeter Street Gardens in JonestownI had plenty of time on Friday for a bike ride and that was exactly what I wanted. After another lazy morning lolling about I hopped on the bike and rode down to meet R. for girl talk and sandwiches at the cafe before riding over to East Baltimore to see what Patterson Park and Canton Crossing have been up to. It had been awhile since I’d pedaled that way–I have no idea what I’ve been doing instead, but it was really good to see what the neighborhood’s been up to. Continue reading

View Across the Harbor at Canton Waterfront Park

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I finally had time today for a slightly longer ride, and oh it felt good to be on the Surly, clipped in, and just pedaling. I headed down the hill, took a left, and zipped through Fells Point and over to Canton for a swim, and it all just felt like the right kind of home. I stopped on my way back to snap this picture at Canton Waterfront Park. It’s a familiar view at this point, the naval ships and industrial parks and rising condos and all the ugliness behind those things, but today it was all water and sky and Baltimore just felt beautiful. I made a quick stop for eggs and toast before snaking my way to Gough Street and the ride to Little Italy, back through Jonestown and up the Fallsway to home. Oh yes, that’s better.

So Many Cars Everywhere Downtown

Monday was unseasonably warm, but I had to spend most of it inside offices and classrooms. And then I didn’t, so I rushed home, changed into short pants, a tank top, and a sweatshirt, and hopped on the bike down the hill to enjoy the waning moments of light on a premature spring day. (Something’s not right here, but I will let the climate bloggers worry about that.) What did I see? I saw a burning red disk of a sun sinking into the western skyline, kids in short sleeves throwing balls around an alleyway, a just-dead squirrel I had to go around, folks waiting too long at bus stops, three buses in a row going the other way, and cars. So many cars pulling out of parking lots and turning corners and waiting in lines to get on the JFX. They were all trying to get out while I was trying to get in, but even if that hadn’t been the case I could have zipped ahed of them at all the lights. Total gridlock downtown and it wasn’t even 5 o’clock yet! There has to be another way. I did my turn at the gym and the grocery and headed back up the hill and to Hampden where folks are in their cars again, touring 34th Street’s holiday lights. Me, I will take the bike every time, especially in such nutty weather.

Blue Skies and Houses East of Fallsway Before Chase

I’m a bit under the weather, but I had a long-standing lunch date down in the Inner Harbor. What was I going to do–drive there? Nah. I layered up and headed out the door for a zippy race down empty streets, Maryland Avenue through Mt. Vernon and the Westside and over to the giant Hilton. As always, as soon as I was on my bike I was glad I was. Continue reading