Druid Hill Park was Baltimore’s first municipal park. Today it is home to the Maryland Zoo, one of Baltimore’s public swimming pools, tennis courts, basketball courts, pavilions, and a track that runs around the reservoir in the park. On nice days instead of going to the gym I prefer to get my exercise by walking over to the park and then around the track (which isn’t really a real track, just a concrete track, but it serves my purposes just fine). The walk from my house to the park around the track twice and then back home is approximately 5 miles, which is just about the perfect amount of exercise for me.
It is great to get outside and enjoy the pleasant weather whenever we have it, which as I mentioned yesterday can be a rare occasion in Baltimore. I also enjoy the much nicer view of the water and the city in the park than what I get at the gym. There’s a really great view of Baltimore from one of the corners of the track because as the name of the park indicates it’s up on a hill.
I also appreciate the cross-section of people I get to see while walking the track. You get everyone from people like me out to get some exercise, to people walking their dogs, moms and dads with kids on bikes or in strollers, runners, bikers, people alone, people in groups, people from all walks of life. These are the people who live in Baltimore all out enjoying some time the park. Also, the park seems to bring out the friendliness in people. It’s stereotypically true, but living in the city people often are going about their business just caught up in their own world. People don’t tend to greet strangers on the street, but I don’t think I’ve walked the track without at least one person saying hello to me or asking me how I’m doing. Today two people did.
Sometimes it’s easy to forget in a city that can often seem run down and just plain full of concrete, that there are some really beautiful spaces it. All it takes is a walk in the park to be reminded.