Tuesday was one of those surprisingly packed-with-work days that reminds me that a lot of academics don’t get “summers off,” as much as I wish it were so. The highlight, though, was guest teaching a class for a friend of mine about Baltimore history. I did a broad-sweeping story, all of it geared to understanding how this city, street by street, neighborhood by neighborhood, is constructed on a miles-deep firmament of white supremacy.Continue reading
Wednesday’s ride was all about the weather, the first commute ride of the winter season. I realized as I rode down the hill to work, the freezing wind eating away at that bit of exposed neck, that this week’s rides were mostly going to be about weather. It’s like this at the turn of seasons–a flutter in my stomach that oh no, maybe I can’t keep riding my bike all the time in more extreme weather, followed by a few rides that remind me that yes, even though a bunch of my two-wheeled counterparts put their bikes in storage for very good reasons, I don’t have to do that. I can’t, really, because I don’t have a car. And as my friend A. wisely points out, it’s way colder to stand on the corner waiting for the bus than it is to take a ride. Continue reading
I didn’t ride a bike today, but I did take a walk with my Sunday Morning Hiking Club. We did a repeat walk around Leakin Park, and here are some of the things I saw: a rusted out backstop with the winter remains of ivy climbing up one side, stands of skinny, naked trees, the undersides of giant thrown trees caked with mud, two cupped mushroom caps on stalks poking out of leaves, piles of deer shit, the leavings of experiments and observation, piles of corn, a deer stand, a yellow-green golf ball, the front wheel and pedals of a Big Wheel, a baseball worn down to the threads, a plastic grocery bag, an empty and unmarked brown glass bottle, an old tire, green scaly mushrooms growing out of downed trees, a tiny salamander in his tiny tree bark house, a sledgehammer head, and unidentified scat. There were other things, I’m sure, but I wasn’t taking notes. All in all we maybe tramped around 1/20th of the park. Good thing there are many, many Sundays in Baltimore in my future, eh?
Today’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.
Today’s ride took me down the hill, around the Inner Harbor, and up into Federal Hill to my favorite overdeveloped mini mall, McHenry Row, for a massage, because I am a decadent little thing. I thought today would be the obligatory “it’s fall, look at the colors!” post, but it’s still in the 80s here, warm and muggy, so instead of looking at leaves I thought about how the air felt warm and heavy around me as I flew down the hill, taking extra special care not to put on the brakes–it’s like flying; nobody told me about the downhills when they were complaining about the uphills. Continue reading
Many moons ago S. asked me to accompany her to her mom’s fundraising party for the MS 100 ride in Damascus, MD, and then it was finally today and time to head that way. Because she is awesome, S. kindly requested I fold up my new Brompton and bring it along for a ride on a park trail. She borrowed a mountain bike, and we were off. The bike is just so much fun to ride, and the gearing lets me keep pedaling while going down some fairly steep hills. I was flying, and damn, it was so much fun. But, as my father always says, what goes up must come down, and that’s true the other way, too. Yeah, I think I need a grannier gear on this thing for sustained climbs, or maybe I just need to get stronger. Overall, though, it was most perfect to be pedaling in the shade offered by trees like these, which we stared up at from a bench near the end of our ride. What a treat.
Oh, rain, please give it a rest! And it did this afternoon. Sure, there were gray skies and clouds and some spitting, but I managed to sneak in a ride in the relatively dry afternoon after a good day of work. I decided to head over to Druid Hill Park to check out the green, and there was a lot of it. Continue reading
Another day, another bicycle commute to work. It was positively lovely out, again, and when I headed home at the end of the day, it was still sunny and the sky was a most brilliant blue. I stopped at the edge of campus near St. Charles to snap a picture of this bright pink flowering trees that recently showed up in front of Dinwiddie Hall (yes, that’s really what it’s called). They seem so out of place in January, and the rest of the trees surrounding it are all limb withered leaves, so what’s the deal? Continue reading
Do you ever have those days where you just feel exhausted in the very marrow of your bones? Today was that kind of day for me. Which meant that as much as I wanted to ride my bike to the Po Boy Fest or the Congo Square Rhythms Festival or out to Chalmette, I walked to brunch and then straight back home to laze about with my cats and The Grapes of Wrath. I can’t believe they let high school kids read this anti-capitalist, anti-private property, anti-disciplinary state apparatus screed, or that there isn’t a revolution of the working class led by high school juniors every year. Everybody should read this book. Anyway. Continue reading
Is this a birch tree? I most assuredly do not know my trees, but today as I was riding downtown after a long work day, I was scoping out the trees. We don’t get fall colors here in New Orleans, because we don’t really have fall like that, and we certainly don’t have a lot of deciduous trees. I saw one tree that looked golden from afar, but when I got closer it turned out the golden was from the sun hitting it just right. Continue reading