This must be the place

When I got home from jury duty, I took an evening constitutional. It's part of my new "move your body every day" campaign and a celebration of the bright sunshine.

It's been a long winter. I haven't been out in my neighborhood much in many months. I love my neighborhood. I love the houses. I love the flower beds - the kempt and the unkempt - which are just now beginning to intimate greenness and growth. I love the big, tall maple trees. I love that these are the streets on which my children have learned to ride bikes.

More than any place else in my life, this neighborhood is home. And most of all I love the people here. Old people, young people, artists, working class folks, young doctors, retirees, pinko lawyers. Families with young children, people who have spent their whole lives here. Straight people, gay people. All colors and religions. Even a Republican. Some of us know each other well-ish. Many keep more to themselves. Both are good. This is a truly diverse place. And in my utopian soul this is what I think the world should look like.

True, this neighborhood has seen better days. We have too many empty houses, fewer now I think than at the depths of mortgage crises, but maybe I've just gotten used to them. We have fewer of the big old maple trees. Our houses are a little more worn. But this evening, in the sunshine, with the birds singing, and girls on roller skates, it seemed just fine.

Fine, but like anything else alive, it felt fragile. I hold this place and hope we can make it last.

Reading: Unmentionable Cuisine by Calvin W. Schwabe, a sort of encyclopedia of weird foods, firrst published in 1979. I've owned this for ages, but have only barely opened it before. The blurbs on the back from Craig Claiborne, James Beard, and MFK Fisher all declare this to be an important and fascinating volume. Some blurbs. Tonight I just got a page into the preface.

Writing: I'd hoped to have more time in the jury assembly area than I finally did.

Dinner: Cheese tortellini in chicken broth with parmesan cheese and gremolata, and a green salad.

Soundtrack: Well, Talking Heads (see blog post title) was in my head on my walk.

Random thing: One of the things I like about jury duty is that it takes me downtown. I like there was someone clever enough to call their sneaker and cell phone store Walk-n-Talk. Aaron Sorkin should be proud.