Tuesday, May 11, 2010

For the Love of Sitting

Fire Escape

I went home to Virginia this past weekend, to celebrate my mom, to celebrate my parents' 35th wedding anniversary, and to just escape the city for a spell.

It was lovely, being home.  There was cake, and dim sum, and a dachshund.  I helped my parents pick out paint colors and fabric swatches, and my mom insisted on showing me a Tivo'd episode of Dancing With the Stars, so that I could see for myself just what a travesty (her word) it was that Pam Anderson had been sent home that week.

(My verdict: I don't know if it was a travesty, exactly. Pam's Viennese Waltz seemed fine to me, but then - what do I know of Viennese Waltzes?)

My parents recently added a screened-in porch to their house, and I spent many hours sitting out there - drinking coffee, listening to Blue Jays screech, cat-napping, catching up on The New Yorker, reading the paper. (You want to know what's a travesty?  The current state of the Washington Post. Sad.)

I love that porch, I'll tell you what.  You're outside, you're inside.  You can feel cool breezes, but the bugs can't get to you.  You can see see sun beams without being burned by them.  So nice. I want a porch of my own, though that seems unlikely in New York.

While I may not get a back porch, I do have a front stoop.  Three steps separate my building from the street and occasionally I'll sit on them, especially if the weather is being charming. Sure - it's a little dirty and there's no screen to keep the bugs out.  And the lady from the dry cleaners is always sitting on the stoop of the next building over, talking loudly on her cell phone.  And often my super will sort out the trash and recycling on the sidewalk in front of me.

But there are evening breezes, and its a good spot for people-watching; a perch where I can observe the goings-on of my neighborhood while still feeling slightly removed from the continual motion on the streets.

Sometimes I feel really urban, sitting out there on the stoop.  And then sometimes I will see a rat dart in and out of the shadows nearby, and I will feel even more urban, though in a decidedly less cool way.

Yes, a porch would be nice. But for now - I'll take this stoop and the city views that come with it.

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