It’s March 1 and spring is in the air, so when I saw those Friday meetings on my work calendar, it just made sense to take the bike instead of driving. It has been awhile since I rode to campus, but I just followed my bike’s memory and away we went, down the hill, a right turn up the hill, and over into West Baltimore. The neighborhoods change so fast over here. Bolton Hill is so fancy pants, but crossing into Marble Hill blight comes quick. Continue reading
It was sunny and clear out when I woke up this morning, but S. called me up after she left my apartment to warn me that it was cold and windy and not to be fooled by the lighting. You see, I have a tendency to dress aspirationally, for the weather I want rather than the weather I have, and that gets me into trouble sometimes. Continue reading
We had another unseasonably warm day today, at least in my estimation, so after a busy morning, I hopped on my bike and headed to campus to take advantage of what they keep telling me is one of the last few warm days before winter really gets here. I flew down the hill and then made the Park Avenue climb to Lafayette and took my left. It’s amazing how quickly the neighborhoods change along this street. Once you cross Eutaw Place, for example, it’s like you’ve entered a different universe. On the ride back I was struck by how once I left Marble Hill for Bolton Hill, the asphalt turned that smooth black of brand new road. When Crossing Pennsylvania Avenue into West Baltimore is even more pronounced. All of a sudden the trees disappear, as does the stately red brick, replaced by row after row of abandoned row house. I snapped this picture of a row house at Lafayette and Fremont (which is not the same as Fulton–I made that mistake once, and it took me a looong time to correct it). This empty side suggests another row house used to be cuddled up next to it, those patches maybe marking windows, or just the shared walls. Off in the distance more and more of these vacants line up, but some of them are redone and occupied. How hard it must be to share the neighborhood with these, and the empty lots filled with crumbled buildings and trash that dot the neighborhood. So often when I’m riding around Baltimore I wonder, where did everybody go? I know, I know, the suburbs, but where did everybody go, and what are we going to do with all these empty and decaying blighted properties? I continued my ride, and when I got to Arbutus, just a couple miles further, I was reminded again of how many different cities are all butted up against each other in this place, some of them just ghosts.
A couple of cold days in a row made today’s 38 degrees and sunshine feel downright balmy. After finishing up a little of this and that at home, I layered up and hopped on the bike to head to campus. It was so warm I didn’t even need my fancy pants gloves! I flew down the hill on Maryland, went around that growing sinkhole just on the other side of North Avenue (can we at least spray paint around the thing?), and then up through Bolton Hill and Marble Hill. Continue reading
It was cold out and I’ve got a little cold, but sometimes you just need to ride your bike, so I decided to put on my fancy wool top (thanks, Pops!), tights, long sleeved socks, and some gloves (thanks, S.!) and pedaled over to campus. The sun was out and I traced my regular route, thinking about my first visit to Baltimore. Continue reading