Charm City

It can be difficult to make sense of things. Less than six months after the April 2015 death of Freddie Gray in police custody — and the riots that followed — Baltimore has mostly returned to business as usual, but in places slightly bruised and still a little tender. At High Grounds Coffee, owner Michael Wood uses a Diedrich roaster on hundreds of pounds of beans every day, importing organic and fair-trade coffees, selling directly and through groceries, with bittersweet aromas wafting onto the sidewalk and into the street, blurring lines between inside and out. In this photo, an incomplete diagonal of warm, orange siding transitions by red framing to a plate glass window hand-painted with the store's name and lyrical curls. A patriotic display of flags intermingles with burlap sacks from different countries. In reflection, a line of businesses across the street, blue sky, some trees and parked cars, plus — barely legible with everything else going on — a white police cruiser, the only object in motion, keeping a low profile.

High Grounds Coffee — Eastern Avenue — Baltimore, MD
August 2015
camera:  iPhone 6