I’m on vacation again, this time in New Orleans on a ticket I booked with bonus frequent-flier miles I got for signing up for a credit card, because that’s about as complicated a hustle as I can run. I only had one real plan when I came down here, if you don’t count eating beignets and riding my bike along the Mississippi River, and that was a visit to the new Whitney Plantation, out in Wallace, Louisiana....Read more
It’s my birthday this month—I’m turning 40—and I’ve wisely decided to spend June giving myself whatever I want in celebratory fashion. So far that has mostly meant teaching summer school and lathering on name-brand sunscreen for the bike rides it takes to get me there, but hey, that’s what pushing 40 looks like, apparently. I did, though, fit in a real-life full-on field trip last weekend: Niagara...Read more
I have moved every few years since 1993. This means that I’m simultaneously really good at making myself at home in new places, and really good at not getting too attached. Because I’m so good at this moving thing, I spent the months leading up to my arrival preparing to be a Baltimorean. And that meant, among other things, getting MLB.TV to watch Orioles games, reading Antero Pietila’s “Not In My...Read more
The ladyfriend and I are celebrating our anniversary this week, and because we are both total nerds, we did it up by taking the weekend MARC train to D.C. for a weekend of learning fun. It was hard to balance our desire to read ALL THE SIGNS at the museums with my sense that we should figure out a way to use all 12 cushions of the giant blue couch in our hotel suite’s “living room” (free upgrade for...Read more
When the editors of City Paper told me that my column should be about what’s happening in Baltimore, about Freddie Gray, about the protests, I wondered how they could imagine I could write about anything else. I’ve been writing about what I’ve been seeing over at my personal blog because I’m a writer, and the only way I know to make sense of what I see, feel, think is to write.
And I’m not the only...Read more
I took the afternoon off on Tax Day, a reward for having completed my return a full two days before the deadline. I figured I’d earned a little something after pitching in thousands of dollars over the course of 2014, my tip in the jar that holds the social wage—that chunk we shave off to pay for things we need collectively. Nobody likes to pay taxes, but everybody likes the things they help pay for:...Read more