eatin’, drinkin’, laughin’, and smilin’

Last night I sat out in the back yard of a friend, ate a burger and a brat, drank a beer (and by “a” I mean “many”) and enjoyed some good conversation. It was awesome.

The mosquitos were biting, sure. And after we got home I fell asleep on the couch rather than doing some much-needed laundry.  And it’s quite possible that one of the food items may still not be totally in agreement with my stomach.

But last night is what summer nights are supposed to be about. Friends and laughter. Hot food and cold beer. Talking and listening. Smiles.

And you know what?

More of the same is on the way. More of the same leaves New York in about an hour and points its car south. Two great friends are coming in to town for the weekend. We can’t wait.

It’s one of those weekends where I don’t know exactly what we’ll do (drink. eat.) but I know it will be great.

2 little things about the walk…

I forgot to mention a couple of things from yesterday’s walk.

  1. To get to the discarded stonework area, you enter the park, make a left at the first intersection and then bear left up a trail through the trees. the stonework is in what was once a secluded area that has now been half eaten up by the Clipper Mill development. Anywho, I scrambled around and took a few pictures and then turned to walk down the hill to the main trail. For some reason I decided to take one last look at where I’d been. It was then that I noticed two people standing further up the side path that I’d been on who had apparently been watching me the whole time. I never got close enough to say hello to them, but their stance and body language suggested that I wasn’t quite welcome. It wasn’t really creepy, just a little weird. I wasted no time in getting the hell out of there.
  2. On the other end of the park’s backcountry I was nearing the end of the secluded part and about to pop back in to civilization near the Druid Hill Park pool. As I walked, I started hearing some pretty loud rustling in the woods to my right. I stopped and looked and guess what? Two deer. Both fawns, I think, and they didn’t look too old. I fumbled with the camera to try to get a pic, but they heard me and started to trot off. I, being the genius that I am, decided to run back the way I’d come on the trail and, I dunno, cut them off at the pass or something. Well, the deer being deer heard me running, freaked out, and RAN. Fast. Yes, I am an idiot

An Afternoon Walk…with Pics!

Because it’s been nice out lately and becaue both Emily and I usually haaaat going to the gym, we’ve sort of invented a longish walk that winds from our house, through the backcountry of Druid Hill Park, across the Wyman Park Drive bridge, up through Hampden and then home. The circuit is about four or four and a half miles and takes an hour and a half or so.

It’s a fun walk, with lots of green and a chance to feel like you’re in the wilderness.

Today, I was flying solo after work and for once didn’t feel like vegging on the couch. I decided to do the walk all by my lonesome, but also to take the digi-cam along for the trip so I culd…I dunno… document for posterity. Or something.

Let’s take a look, shall we?

This was taken from our front steps, looking up toward the monoliths of TV hill. Don’t worry, if they ever fell the closest they’d come is the next house up the street.


Look, it’s the old digs of Fox45, back in the pre-Fox days. (superstation45, perhaps?) And who knew we ever had a channel 63?


Just down the hill from the old TV sation is this old Mill. It still contains industry of some kind; a plumber and a carpenter, I think. It hasn’t yet been swalloed by the Clipper Mill rehabs just down the way, but something tells me this grand old building will be upscale-soemthingorother before too long.


My entrance to Druid Hill Park. I casually ignore the ‘No Trespassing’ signs, just like everybody else.


Just inside the park, there’s what I can only describe as a defective stonework graveyard. It looks like this is where they discard pieces of monuments and memorials that have some sort of mistake on them.


A closeup.


Another closeup.


This, I guess, is the back entrance to the Zoo. Walking back here can definitely give you a Jurassic Park vibe: tall trees, thick underbrush, high fences, and the occasional weird animal noise.


As you wind along the old road, eventually you come to an old spring, one of many that were originally scattered around the park. Unlike most, this one still flows; although it is behind a fence. It is called the Mountain Pass Spring.


Here’s the road winding down one side of a gulley before it winds up the other side.


For most of the time in the park, the back fence of the zoo is just off to one side. Here’s an old building just inside the zoo. Long forgotten, but still interesting. Still dignified.


At one point, I sort of got lost in the rythm of my steps. I tried to take a picture of my feet just walking walking walking. Turns out the camera can’t really focus on that too well, but the resulting image is somehow exactly what I wanted to capture. If I do say so myself.


The trail re-enters civilization at the administration building right next to the Druid Hill Park pool. The flag looked beautiful just flying in the breeze, and so here it is.


As you leave the park, you walk across the Wyman Park Drive bridge. Here’s a shot looking north. The thing I like about this picture is that, other than the fact that it’s in color, there is nothing to give away the fact that the oicture was taken in the 21st century. This same picture could have been taken 150 years ago.


Looking south off the same bridge gives you a nice aerial view of the Round Falls.


After that it’s up through Hampden. I like how the old and the new signage are juxtaposed here. And honestly, New System; how soon is soon?


Here’s the thing: with Mamie’s going away, I’m glad this building has a new tenant and isn’t going the way of the empty storefront. That said, look at all the empty space! This building is screaming for a huuuuge sign. Maybe something painted and awesome. This one just comes up, well, short. (and bonus points to me for unintentionally getting a cool shot of an arabber.)

I just thought this was cool. Hampden Hall is getting a mega-renovation, and this artiste is painting a mural on the side. We need more cool stuff painted on the sides of buildings, if you ask me.


Almost home; walking down Union Avenue. In the old days there used to be a trolley line from Falls Road down to the mills. That must have been pretty sweet. Now there’s just the Hampden Shuttle Bug.


Mount Vernon Mill. My favorite of the Woodberry mills. Yes, I do have a favortie mill. No, I don’t think that’s odd.


Look! It’s me! In a cracked mirror! It’s like a comment on my self perception. Except I’m pretty sure my self perception doesn’t smell like pee.


You thought you were getting off easy? Oh no, read and memorize. There will be a quiz. (Taken at the Woodberry Light Rail station.)


And finally, a my favorite picture taken today. I wish the MTA bus weren’t in the way, but what can you do?