I had one of those Fridays full of meetings, so I didn’t get my usual bike ride in today. Instead I just got a quick zip down the hill to meet J. and friends for a couple of beers and a trip around MICA’s MFA Community Arts Thesis Exhibition. R.’s giant inflatables were inflated, N.’s phone app design was running on the computer, and D.’s woken carpet of old bicycle tubes was laid out for strutting. There were illustrations, videos, folded paper sculptures, (you have to see it–so much more than folded paper), and so many arts everywhere. My favorite part was the places made by the installation of the art–these were good places. And then we ate dinner and then it was time to pedal back up the hill for an early night. I’ve got a long way to ride tomorrow. Oh, bicycle, whatever would I do without you.
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.