Blue Sky Over the Intersection at 27th & St. Paul

20190106_130412.jpg I’ve been out of town, in South County St. Louis, for a couple of weeks, no bike in sight. It was good to be there with family, especially since part of what we were doing was saying goodbye to my wife’s grandmother. Gma was much  beloved, the kind of grandma who took every grandkid on a solo date before school started, for food and a show. A devout Catholic who said the rosary every single day, she was delighted to have two queer granddaughters and their wives join her for Christmas Eve mass last year, her only request: “No kissing!” Continue reading

View From the Gas Station at 21st & Charles

View From the Gas Station at 21st & CharlesIt was a short ride tonight, just down the hill to meet R. and friends for dinner, the last one before she and her boyfriend head off to Cambridge. I will miss them, and oh my, I get tired of leaving/people leaving! All good things in her future, though, so I’m excited to see what happens next. I rode home up Charles Avenue, a quick stop to say hi to R. and A. as they enjoyed dinner outside–I think they call that “al fresco” or somesuch. R. said it was going to rain, and about 12 seconds later the skies opened up and dumped a monsoon on the streets. I tried to outrace the raindrops, but I gave up as I crossed North Avenue, ducking under the gas station canopy that reminds me of my old favorite gas station where I spent many a night during just this kind of moment in New Orleans. I waited out the three minute downpour and then O. rode up on her bike, and it all just felt serendipitous. Where are you going? Can I join? Of course. We rode to the bar, I bought us a couple of beers, we toasted another successful community fundraiser, and then it was time to ride home, the air just a bit cooler after the storm, but still thick with Baltimore’s promised humidity, another reminder of New Orleans. That place was home, but now this place is, made that way by riding my bike and being willing to get off and say hi.

Jackson & Lee Monument Inscription at Art Museum Drive and Wyman Park Drive

Jackson & Lee Monument Inscription at Art Museum Drive and Wyman Park DriveR. and O. asked if we might all get on our bikes and ride around town a bit to look at different monuments and talk about what they do, and would I mind coming up with a route? It’s like these two climbed inside my head and found exactly what I wanted to do and then asked me to do it, I swear. Our ride was today, so I woke up early, made a list of a few different routes (Patterson Park or Federal Hill? Druid Hill Park or Fort McHenry? Pennsylvania Avenue or Mount Vernon?), and then rode over to the Jackson-Lee monument to meet up and discuss our options. Continue reading

Osprey at Charm City Art Space at Maryland & Lafayette

Osprey at Charm City Art Space at Maryland & LafayetteI didn’t do a lot of riding this week, just back and forth a little bit to dinner and an errand or two–sometimes that’s what happens. Hey, there’s always next week. Tonight’s short ride took me to Mt. Vernon to meet A. and R. for dinner and then to see R.’s boyfriend play bass in his band Osprey’s first show at the Charm City Art Space. Continue reading

Storage Container in the Field at Frank C. Bocek Park at Edison Highway & E. Madison

Storage Container in the Field at Frank C. Bocek Park at Edison Highway & E. MadisonMonday was a beautiful sunny day that called for bare arms, bare legs, and a bicycle ride. I started with a quick flight down the hill to meet E. for lunch and a chat about public history. I tried to stay after to get a little work done, but it was just too tempting, the fresh air and warm breeze, so I packed up my things, hopped on the bike, and took a left on Biddle. Continue reading

Safety Cone on a Toppled Mailbox on St. Paul & Chase

Safety Cone Atop a Downed Mailbox on St. Paul & ChaseThursday night’s ride was brief–down the hill, a lovely dinner with a new friend, and a slow walk up the hill, because sometimes I feel like walking, especially when my legs are feeling a little heavy and I’ve got some thinking to do. The night was cool, but that kind of cool that suggests tomorrow might be a little bit warm because spring is on the way. On the walk back I snapped this picture of an overturned mailbox with a safety cone on top it. What’s being kept safe is a bit unclear, but I’m safety girl, so I suppose I appreciate the warning. I saw this alert earlier in the day from my car window, and it reminded me of New Orleans and the way folks would alert their neighbors about potholes by putting a stool, halogen lamp, wicker chair, or some other tall household item in them. By NOLA standards this safety cone business is downright official.

Lunch Table at the Women’s Industrial Exchange Restaurant at Charles & Pleasant

Women Athletes on a Table at the Women's Industrial Exchange at Charles & PleasantToday’s ride was a quick one, just down the hill to meet J. for lunch and a chat about bicycling, one of my most favorite topics. I woke up to rain, but it was just a bare mist when I headed out, and besides, what am I going to do? Drive downtown and park? Please. I took Maryland Avenue, which is a speedy ride and takes me over the freeway. Continue reading

Banana Peel in a Tree at 32nd & St. Paul

Banana Peel in a Tree at 32nd & St. PaulToday’s ride took me down the hill in the dark to meet up with R. and D. for dinner. We’re all still kinda new in Baltimore, and it was good to talk to folks who are also trying to figure out how and whether to love this place. You know what makes me love Baltimore? Talking about what I love about Baltimore. And that’s what I did, and I left wanting to cancel everything and ride my bike around everywhere and see how it’s all been since I last saw it. But it was already getting late and some of us have to work tomorrow, so I just rode back up to Charles Village, a quick stop to see the neighbors at the bar, enjoying a football rout. I snapped this picture of a banana peel lodged in a tree on St. Paul Street. I wonder what *that* guy was doing. And then I put the hat back on and pedaled back down the hill to home, learning yet again that even if it feels like you don’t need your gloves if you’re only going a few blocks, you really need your gloves.

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

Bike Party Gathering at Mt. Vernon Square at Monument & Charles

It was a long, long week at work, so by the time Friday rolled around, I was a sleepy bee. S. was right, though–we had to get on our bikes and head down to the Bike Party, at least for a little bit, to check out the hundreds of people in costumes ready to take over the streets. I couldn’t get it up to put on more than socks and a sweatshirt, but S. donned her cow costume and we zipped down the new door-zone friendly bike lane on St. Paul, collecting other riders as we went before we all made the smart choice to take Maryland Avenue instead. Continue reading