I fully expected several things out of my stay in Baltimore this summer: the ability to sleep in past 8 on a weekday without feeling pressed for time and/or guilty about it, the end of my meal plan days (and the curly fries in Levering Hall), and finally getting around to some pleasure reading (i.e. starting June by reading this horribly depressing but ultimately very good book about WWI). I’d be starting an internship at The Contemporary and hopefully getting the hang of cooking my mom’s lentils correctly, even on our small electric stove in Bradford and with less than half of her knack for eyeing measurements out. But the in-betweens of these things have truly brought my summer here into full color — the moments of pure breathing space that generally speaking, during the school year, I’m unable to relish in lieu of upcoming deadlines and lots (LOTS) of pragmatic powerwalking

Baltimore in summer is a constant flux of traffic noises and striking tableaus of old architecture against a blue sky and not too many, but just enough people walking around Charles Village each day. Simple walks to the grocery store down St. Paul Street are accented by the relief of a cool breeze and at least three Dog Sightings, or the repeated realization that no, there aren’t any readings to annotate or intro paragraphs to write for tomorrow. So it’s totally fine if one of your bosses at your internship invites you to take a 2 hour long drive to the Maryland Archaeological Conservation Lab at Jefferson Patterson Park & Museum, and you say, “¡Yes!”

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The Park & Museum happen to be located on a beautiful farm that is proximal to an equally beautiful body of water and is basically heaven on earth.

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It’s also a place that makes fast, affordable (but still very exciting) travel within reach, especially when you want to plan a semi-spontaneous trip to NYC to see pals and also, you know, see NYC because you’ve only ever been there once in your entire life. And so you (I) go, and you (I) visit the MoMA for the first time and float on a boat in the Hudson River at nighttime thanks to JHU_Ian. Somehow, you’re back to Balti in 3.5 hours with just enough time to catch the tail end of HonFest and eat a home-cooked meal, no post-trip powerwalks to Gilman required. Thank you, Bolt Bus!

4 friends 1 boat, oh and there's New York

4 friends 1 boat, oh and there’s New York!

The moral of this blog is that a summer in Baltimore is far from a strange, parallel-universe-like continuation of the Hopkins school year, despite some initial worries on my part that I’d be unable to unscrew my headpiece and give myself some space from the full-time student side of my brain. I’m just getting started with it all — my internship, my grocery list, my ability to process having weekends off (the tip of the iceberg) — but if the first few weeks in any indication of the next few months, I think I’ll survive.