Empty Lot and Row House at Lafayette & Fremont

We had another unseasonably warm day today, at least in my estimation, so after a busy morning, I hopped on my bike and headed to campus to take advantage of what they keep telling me is one of the last few warm days before winter really gets here. I flew down the hill and then made the Park Avenue climb to Lafayette and took my left. It’s amazing how quickly the neighborhoods change along this street. Once you cross Eutaw Place, for example, it’s like you’ve entered a different universe. On the ride back I was struck by how once I left Marble Hill for Bolton Hill, the asphalt turned that smooth black of brand new road. When Crossing Pennsylvania Avenue into West Baltimore is even more pronounced. All of a sudden the trees disappear, as does the stately red brick, replaced by row after row of abandoned row house. I snapped this picture of a row house at Lafayette and Fremont (which is not the same as Fulton–I made that mistake once, and it took me a looong time to correct it). This empty side suggests another row house used to be cuddled up next to it, those patches maybe marking windows, or just the shared walls. Off in the distance more and more of these vacants line up, but some of them are redone and occupied. How hard it must be to share the neighborhood with these, and the empty lots filled with crumbled buildings and trash that dot the neighborhood. So often when I’m riding around Baltimore I wonder, where did everybody go? I know, I know, the suburbs, but where did everybody go, and what are we going to do with all these empty and decaying blighted properties? I continued my ride, and when I got to Arbutus, just a couple miles further, I was reminded again of how many different cities are all butted up against each other in this place, some of them just ghosts.

Blight, an Empty Lot, and New Construction Near LaSalle and Fifth

It was another cold and crispy day in New Orleans, but today was game day. Last day of the regular football season, and the Saints were ready to finish a good one. Or not. I hopped on the Surly and headed down to the Treme to find out. Continue reading

Sunflowers in a Vacant Lot at Seventh and Laurel

I flew back into New Orleans last night after a quick jaunt to Boise, Idaho to see the parents, and it feels good to be home. I was way too tired to take the bike out yesterday, so I was especially excited to take Rhoda out for a quick spin. We didn’t ride far due to other plans involving a car, but riding around Uptown was a great reminder that I live in a beautiful place and that yes, I love riding bikes–just a couple pedals and I’m back in myself. Continue reading

House Raising in Central City

I got a lot of riding done in 95 degree heat today. It felt so, so good. I was jetting through Central City on my way down to the Marigny when I saw this lot, vacant except for these stilts upon which a house will hopefully soon be perched. Continue reading