The last two Saturday mornings I have gone for a walk in my neighborhood. Actually, it’s not really my neighborhood. It’s the neighborhood next door to my neighborhood. (Tip for those whose middle-classedness is more historical and/or aspirational than income-based: rent a house just outside
of the nice neighborhood you want to take your walks in!)
Last Saturday my goal was to walk to the library, to get a card and to see what it looked like, and to get a little exercise in the process. It was such a nice walk and such beautiful weather, I came home totally charmed by the whole place. Yesterday, I repeated the walk with my camera to try to capture what had appealed to me. It seemed a little less magical the second time. The air was a little less crisp and the light seemed flatter, the leaves slightly less vibrant. Maybe the storm that blew through mid-week changed the atmosphere a bit, or maybe it’s just that the serendipity and novelty was not as strong. I still love it, though. I am in no way complaining or expressing disappointment. I just felt like I should mention that there were two separate trips, because maybe I will talk about some things I saw on the first walk and I won’t have a picture of them, and I don’t want you to think I am lying. So, some of the charming things were only seen the first Saturday, okay?
(Do you see the gray cat peeking through that gate?)
Anyway. There were cats lounging in yards and couples walking their dogs. Canvassers were going door to door with clipboards. People were out raking leaves. Whole families were riding bikes together.
I love the tile on the steps.
Halloween decorations added a lot of festivity.
There were hints of children everywhere. Jogging strollers on porches, toys in yards, swings hanging from trees. In one yard, taped behind a cartoonish ghost, a sign in third-grade lettering said, “BEWARE of the PAIN.”
A couple of blocks from the library, honest-to-goodness, a young couple was pulling a little red wagon with two toddlers and a stack of picture books in it. I thought I was in a Beverly Cleary book for a moment. I about cried.
It has been a while since I lived somewhere with autumn leaves of any note. I have missed them.
Between my house and the library, there is a block with an Italian restaurant, little market, dog groomer, dry cleaner, dentist, dance studio, used bookstore, and bakery (and probably other things I’m forgetting). The bakery sells coffee, so there were people mingling at the tables outside its door. Across the street from the businesses is a park with a jungle gym and a sheltered picnic table.
The dance studio has big glass windows so I could see the young ballerinas inside at the barre. Yesterday’s class included one in a blue fairy costume, but I couldn’t figure out how to get a photo of her without looking creepy.
The parking lot behind the businesses was decorated. I’m a sucker for this kind of random artsy crap dangling from trees thing. I realized there were shoes hanging behind the dance studio, pot lids and whisks behind the bakery, and bones and mirrors behind the dentist.
Those are my stripey feet. Or, I think, it’s one of my feet, three times. At the very least, one of my feet is reflected twice, because I only have two total.
This is the view from the front of the library. I did not get a good photo of the library itself. Near the library are two churches, one with a preschool.
I just like it. I like the architecture, the weather, the signs of life, the hatchbacks with ski racks, the coolers for milk delivery, the wind chimes, the trees, the planters of ivy and pansies, the brick houses, and the old uneven sidewalks. Even the zombies and giant spiders don’t deter me. I am glad we moved here.