on the baltimore bike party

DH: Last night I was in here, and one of the trains whistled as it was leaving the station down here. That is so lovely. I mean, that’s right there, and  Penn Station’s out the window, and the activity!

I stuck my head out here the other night. I was watching a movie on the computer. All of a sudden, I heard this commotion out on the streets, which isn’t unusual, because there’s noise out here sometimes. But it’s like these people shouting real loud and boisterously. So I went to the window, and coming up Guilford Avenue, filling Guilford Avenue on both sides, are bicycles. There was evidently this bicycle fete [Baltimore Bike Party] that happened at night, because it was 9:30, quarter-to-ten.

The whole avenue was filled with bicycles going north. That flood of bikes continued for about twenty-five minutes. I stuck my head out the window and just watched.

And some people had a drum on their bike and they all had lights and some people were singing and people were chatting and all this energy and this wave, just this flood of bicycles! Now that was unexpected.

Have you ever seen Amarcord? The Fellini film, Amarcord? That’s a great film. It’s called “I Remember,that’s what Amarcord means in Italian, as far as I know, “I Remember.” There’s a scene in there where everybody in the village rouses themselves, gets on these little boats, and heads out into the harbor. And the next thing you know, out of the fog comes this ocean liner and it’s moving by with all its lights. And all of these people, the villagers, are out in these boats and they’re bobbing like corks. And here is this—the whole landscape seems to be moving as this ocean liner—it’s the most stunning sight. And that’s why they’re out there. And that’s what the bicycles reminded me of the other day when they were rolling by here like that. This mass of lights like this, and sound.

Anyway, that’s one of the benefits of living down here. All that sort of color that’s unexpected and offers variety. And you really don’t have to go anywhere. You’ve got all this variety. That’s the wonderful thing about urban life, all the cultural input and diversity. I really appreciate that quite a bit.


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