Staring Up at Public Housing at 22nd & Charles

Staring Up at Public Housing at 22nd & CharlesWednesday was beautiful but windy, and after a morning bike ride to Waverly and back to meet with R. and O., I spent the day inside, starting a new book and catching up on rest after a busy Tuesday. And then N. came home and asked if I wanted to go on a walk. Why yes, yes I would! I followed her lead up the hill and over and up and over, passing road construction on Charles, dogs walking in Wyman Park, non-Zip Car cars parked in Zip Car Only parking at Johns Hopkins, and the Jones Falls, that part you will never see if you stay in your car, or if you never get off your bike. She took me zig zagging down to Falls Road–those switchbacks are easier on foot than on wheels–and down to what counts as a waterfall in Baltimore City. Continue reading

Chase House at Chase & Cathedral

Apartment Building at Chase & CathedralToday was spent mostly just getting my bike ready for the weekend. I put on my skirt that’s already covered in paint and grease, my painting tank top, and my heels just for the heck of it, and brought all my cleaning and lubing and tube changing supplies to the porch. I spent the next hour or so in the sunshine, slowly and methodically wiping down top tube/down tube/stays/stem and brushing the chain and changing both tires and dropping new lube between each chain and then rubbing all of it off. When I’m working on the bike I’m only thinking about the bike, and it is just terrifically relaxing. Continue reading

Spanish American War Monument at Fayette & Lakewood

It was another rainy, windy day, but I wanted to ride my bike, so I bundled up and took the bike down the hill for some research with my lunch and then snaked my way through East Baltimore and past some of the city’s public housing developments. I just moved to Baltimore, like five seconds ago, so in my mind, the Inner Harbor has always been part of a fancy downtown, and in my experience, cities don’t put their public housing so close to the tourist areas. Continue reading

Abandoned Public Housing at Mazant & Law

I was feeling a little out of sorts today, which is almost always a sign that it’s time to take a bike ride, so that’s what I did with my late afternoon, and yep, that’s exactly what I needed. The bike ride never fails to either get me out of my head or let me settle into it, depending on what I need. I first rode over to the JJPL offices to drop off a check to W. in exchange for his presentation to my students about gender, youth, and prisons in New Orleans. After chatting a bit, I zipped downtown to the St. Claude bike lane where I could pedal in rhythm (except for all those trucks parked in the bike lane–sigh). I took a left and tooled around the upper ninth, stopping at Mazant and Florida to snap a picture of this public housing, abandoned, like much of this neighborhood, covered in graffiti, behind barbed wire fencing. Continue reading

Harmony Oaks at Toledano and Willow

I took a couple days off the bike, so it was especially nice to get back on and go spinning about town today. I headed up to campus for a meeting and some libraries and got that first whiff of back-to-school–love it! But it’s still summertime, so this evening I got on the bike and headed to Mid-City to meet friends for dinner. I passed the new Harmony Oaks development starting at LaSalle. Continue reading

St. Thomas Housing Development at Chippewa and St. Andrew

Houses in the St. Thomas DevelopmentSchool in session has meant a whole lot more work. I fear my job is getting in the way of my mindless riding around town. Today, after my commute to and from work, I hopped back on the bike and tooled down to the Marigny for coffee and writing with S. I rode down Chippewa, through the St. Thomas Development. Continue reading

Sky Above the St. Thomas Development

Sky Over Lower MagazineYes, this really is a picture of the sky in New Orleans today. That blue is ridiculous. I was riding down to a coffee shop to do some reading, and decided to get off Magazine Street and enjoy the occasionally smooth pavement of Laurel Street. This neighborhood–part Irish Channel, part Lower Garden District–is incredibly mixed. Continue reading