Tonight’s ride took me up to Hampden to join J. for a night of preseason football. I could write about any of the many things I saw: the obscene numbers of televisions in this place; the inexplicability of a non-high def TV at a bar with this many TVs; what understaffing looks like; the 7-11’s 2010 “Top Breakfast Sandwich Sales” trophy; the girls tossing a ball between them on the porch, counting how many times they could pass it without it dropping; the crowd at the new ice cream shoppe; or a zillion other things. But tonight’s ride was all about that feel when flying down the hill: I was a little chilly. It was such on odd sensation, one I haven’t had in months and months, but there it was today, another reminder that time passes; best make the most of it.
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.
Sunday’s ride took me over to Waverly to meet friends for a drive to Leakin Park before taking the bike back down the hill for a quick swim. Wow, swimming is hard and wonderful. And then it was game time. I had a coupon for a chain restaurant in Fells Point, so I biked over there and grabbed the last spot at the bar, ordering up something they called “pizza” and a beer. And then a second beer, because the Miller Lite Girls were there in tight bedazzled v-neck t-shirts handing out free beers. Continue reading
Oh, I wanted to ride my bicycle yesterday! I had a bunch of teensy errands to get done on different sides of town–the perfect time to ride a bicycle, in my book. I checked the weather and saw they were predicting steady 25mph winds with gusts at 55-60mph all day long–my very least favorite weather conditions of all–and, well, I decided to take my car. Sigh. Continue reading
Today’s ride took me down the hill and around the harbor and up again to Federal Hill, with a final left to Locust Point for a much-needed haircut and an afternoon of grading/watching football. I meant to go straight home afterward, but then I just kept riding west back through Federal Hill and over to M&T Stadium to watch the hordes of Ravens fans walk to their cars. Continue reading
Today’s ride took me up past Hampden to meet folks at a bar to enjoy some playoff football. I don’t know if you’ve heard, but the Ravens are in, and they’re my team, now that the Saints are out after last night’s heartbreaker. It was chilly chilly, so I rode as fast as I could and took advantage of the sun and the hills to warm myself up. I passed a lot of people in purple, already tipsy with the day. There as a drink, some. Fried food, and a whole lot of yelling, and then it was time to roll back down the hill. I snapped this picture of the remnants of the brick wall of some ghost of a building. If it were a different wall, this might be an Historical Landmark, but here it’s just another remnant of a past Baltimore–so, so many of these. In the light and with that sky, though, today it looked beautiful. I pedaled home and was reminded that the downhill is much, much colder. I best get used to it.