Trash at St. Paul & Mount Royal

Trash at St. Paul & Mount RoyalThe weather’s better, so I’ve been on my bike basically every day. Unfortunately, though, that’s mostly because I have to be to get where I’m going. I’m never sick, but I’ve come down with a case of tonsillitis that just won’t go away. My tonsils are so inflamed and swollen that my primary care physician (yes, I have one of those! they’re awesome!), who never shows even a stray emotion betrayed one with a raised eyebrow and a toneless statement: “I have to admit those are larger than I expected.” They’re practically touching, and just a little bit of talking or heavy breathing, such as caused by biking uphill, for example, clogs the tiny throat hole that remains and makes it hard to breathe. It’s not exactly a recipe for pleasant biking, but there you go. Tuesday’s ride was a quick one down the hill, the bike doing all the work, and I was plenty chipper with my good mornings and how-you-doin’s. I shouted my apologies that I had no tools to help the guy dealing with a dropped fender and wondered why that guy was walking in shorts when it was still in the 30s until I noticed it was my friend C. walking to work, so I yelled my confession that I’d just run a red light. I didn’t get it all the way out, my throat clogged by its own self, but it mostly just felt great to be a part of the world.

The ride back was less fun. I was tired out, because being sick can tire you out, so I just put myself in an easy gear and took my time. I got off the bike to walk across the intersection of St. Paul and Mount Royal. I peered over the railing to watch the cars zooming underneath on I83, glad not to be in a car, at least. I snapped this picture of all the trash accumulating back there. What makes a person just toss their trash here instead of walking it to a trash can? What flavor Cold Stone did that person enjoy? How thirsty were you that you chugged that water and just threw the bottle over your shoulder? Or did the trash all blow in from somewhere else? There’s not a bus stop here, so why would someone stand on this particular corner and throw things here? And will it ever be cleaned up? Littering’s the worst, even when it’s just a bit out of sight, like this pile. And then I was back on my bike, a slow pedal home, eyes up. Here’s to feeling better soon.

Litter Pooling in the Tiny Lake in Patterson Park

As the guy stopped next to me at the light on 25th & Guilford said, 15 degrees cooler makes it almost fun to ride our bikes again, and it did. I headed out to run an errand and then just kept riding, enjoying the feel of a regular summer day. I zipped down the hill and over through Little Italy and Fells Point, through Patterson Park and over through Canton to Brewer’s Hill for some iced tea with my writing. Continue reading

Nothing Says I Love My City Like A Full Trash Can at Calvert & Preston

I had a long day at work, but I got to cap it off with a trip to the theater with some students–win! I ate a quick dinner, mussed around on The Facebook, and then hopped on the bike to Centerstage at 700 Calvert for Stoop Stories. The show was good, if a bit narrow (attention, middle aged white dudes: your “I was drunk/high at a college party/study abroad/sporting event” story isn’t actually all that interesting), but I was tired and most ready to head home at the end. Continue reading