's community opening. During this two-week period, though, Freeman's fence prevents people from entering the park's four quadrants and even extends into the street a bit, adding a new wrinkle to parking on already tight neighborhood streets.
Unsurprisingly, neighborhood residents weren't pleased. In reader comments and personal e-mails I've received, people have expressed outrage over the inconvenience and Freeman's glibness. Where are Mount Vernon residents to walk their dogs or play with their kids? Where can they sit and enjoy the day or read or hang out with their loved ones? How dare some bourgeois academic
keep neighborhood taxpayers from enjoying a public good.
Now, it would be ever more glib for me to tell people to get over it--because all these responses aren't overreactions at all. Anger, exasperation, and outrage are the sane and rational reactions from people who don't know the why or for how long their neighborhood will be held captive by some outside force. It usually looks like this:
which you would find if you walk two blocks over from Mount Vernon Place to the corner of Howard Street and Madison Avenue. So, yeah, perhaps Freeman isn't exactly subtle when he calls attention to a public space in one of Baltimore's most renown and beautiful neighborhoods by surrounding it with a
-painted chain-link fence, but that makes his biggest sin obviousness--not moral blindness.
Three days into this fence's erection, I really don't know how I feel about it, even though I see it every day because
's offices are in the neighborhood. I'd probably have a stronger opinion on it if I lived in the area. Then again, I'd probably have a stronger opinion about many chain-link fences surrounding more common transitional areas--such as the Baltimore neighborhoods impacted by the East Baltimore Biotech Park--if I lived there, too.