Art is the Handmaid of Human Good

Life in Lowell, Massachusetts, USA

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Days 18 & 19


What a week it has been. I have lived in Massachusetts for longer than I’ve lived anywhere else in my life. So while I was born in Chicago, and say I’m “from” Connecticut, Massachusetts is really the place that matters. It’s where I’ve chosen to live as an adult (because, let’s be honest, I didn’t have any influence in where I lived as a child) and, while those two years in San Francisco were lovely, I always knew I’d end up back in Eastern Mass (and I always thought that meant the Boston area, until Lowell stole my heart.)

Boston is also where my life as a bike commuter really began. When I first moved to Boston in 1993, I took the T most places. Soon, I realized that the T maps were deceiving and that a lot of Boston was much closer than time spent on the T would have you believe. I started walking places, and then started thinking about biking. I got my younger brother’s hybrid bike from my parent’s house, took a class at MassBike in basic commuter skills, and never looked back. I biked to work. I biked to school. I biked to the bars. I biked everywhere.

I learned to ride a bike in Boston traffic, in a time before there was anything remotely resembling bicycle infrastructure, and that is a skill that has served me well in every place I have lived since. If I hadn’t started riding then, I probably wouldn’t be doing 30 Days of Biking now.

Living with what happened on Monday has been so difficult because it hit so very close to home. My heart absolutely aches for the families and friends of those who were killed; Krystal Campbell, Sean Collier, Lu Lingzi, and Martin Richard; and the far too many who were injured.

I am grateful for the medical professionals who are caring for the injured. I am grateful for all of the courageous men and women in uniform who worked together to make sure that the suspect was caught alive. I am also grateful for our legal system that will ensure that the suspect will be brought to justice. I am grateful for Bostonians and for everyone who held the City of Boston in their hearts. I am grateful that now we can come together and work on healing.

Yesterday was the first time that I have missed riding my bike during a 30 Days of Biking month. I had to drive because of things I had to do for work and I was glued to the radio while I was driving. Once I got home, I was glued to the television. I was so relieved when the suspect was finally caught last night that all I could do was unclench and go to bed.

I am looking forward to moving on and continuing with my usual routines, including riding my bike every day for the rest of April.

As I’m sure you know, there are ways to donate money to the folks most affected by the bombings. One Fund Boston is accepting donations and, if you’re local, there is going to be a fundraiser next Saturday, April 27th, at the Old Court. More info, including how to RSVP, can be found here.


Day 14: Lowell’s First Tweed Ride

Today, a group of lovely ladies and dapper gents outfitted in their finest tweeds and woolens came together to enjoy a civilized Spring ride through the scenic hamlets of Lowell, Tewksbury, Billerica, and Chelmsford.






20130414-183314.jpg(Photo courtesy of Mr. Junkculture)

After our ride, we stopped for a tasty repast at Ward Eight.



The entire afternoon was a jolly spot of bikey fun! Many thanks to the organizer, Sophan!

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There’s more to life than books, you know. But not much more. But not much more.

Attention readers! The annual Friends of the Pollard Memorial Library Book Sale will take place on May 16th – 18th! What does that mean for you? More books (and CDs and DVDs, too!)

The prices are great, and all proceeds from the sale benefit the Friends of the Library, a volunteer group dedicated to supporting Lowell’s awesome Pollard Memorial Library and its programs. The largest program they support is the museum pass program, which allows patrons to visit museums either for free or for drastically reduced admission.

If you aren’t already a Friend of the Library, you can learn more about becoming one here. As a Friend, you not only get to be a part of a great and friendly group of Lowellians, but you also receive membership benefits. Some of the benefits of being a Friend are that you get to attend the Friends Preview Night at the Book Sale *ahem, the very best selection of the sale, ahem* and you also get to participate in fun Friends events, FOR FREE,  like Winterfest Trivia Night. Basically, you’d be a fool not to join (not that I’m judging or anything 😉 )

I hope to see you at the sale!

Friends of the PML Book Sale


Day 9

After beginning with a crazy thunderstorm, today could not have been more lovely if it tried. The skies cleared up, the sun came out, and we almost made it to 70°F.

It was so lovely, I took the long way home along the river and canals.
My ride took me through a couple of the UMass-Lowell campuses where I was amazed to see so many students sporting blue Riverhawks t-shirts. I’m not much of a hockey fan, but the students’ enthusiasm was contagious.