Monday, December 26, 2011

Baltimore's Best Back Yard

Took advantage today of global warming's gift to Baltimore--60 degrees and sunny leading up to and following Xmas. I walked up to Druid Hill Park, as I often do, and though the Park is more regularly occupied now than it was when we moved to Reservoir Hill almost 5 years ago, I still often have acres to myself.

I passed by familiar statues: pockmarked marble George Washington, defiant granite and bronze William Wallace, deteriorating Colombus, and found a tiny unpaved footpath into a corner of the Park I rarely visit on foot or bike. The path meandered through a small wooded area littered with Magnum and Lifestyles wrappers--obviously a pleasant spot to bust a nut or two. I emerged somewhere southeast of the zoo, back by the fenced pond. There, on a sloping hill, was an impressive bronze bust of Wagner I'd not noticed before. An inscription announced that a Baltimore choir won first place at a singing competition in Brooklyn, and this statue was awarded to the city on their behalf.

The Park is full of such surprises: disused old fountains half-buried in the woods, abandoned and decrepit cemeteries, formerly segregated swimming pools now filled with dirt, paths and antediluvian light posts hidden away. I love it. It's the best back yard in Baltimore, and I don't have to mow or rake a goddamn thing.

Unfortunately I had no camera today; it's quite lovely despite the absence of leaves. The reservoir was an astonishing blue, like something mixed by Vermeer.

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