Friday, July 15

Stoop kids

While I tend talk very highly of the garden unit (as there are many things to speak highly of), there also exists some limitations. For instance, while the alternative apartments in our building have balconies and sky view windows, we are balcony free and look out to the street. However, if you look at our unique situation from a slightly different angle, it becomes clear that such "limitations" are not limitations at all, but rather have lent us to situations that are great reward. For instance, our street view windows allow us to look out to lovely flowers and plants landscaped along our building. We can often see as friends and roommates approach, and thus can greet them with great joy! Similarly, our lack of balcony has lent us to another great reward; the discovery of our front stoop.

Lately, myself and the other current garden unit residents, Jill, Bridget and Alex, have been spending much time on the front stoop outside of our humble abode. Decorated with potted plants that we have added, the stoop has become our summer hangout.

Over the past couple of days, I have filled some of my free time reading Aldo Leopold's A Sand County Almanac (for the third or fourth time, might I add!). In it, Leopold beautifully records his observations of the patterns of nature, that he observes from his farm in Wisconsin. Through many years of observing, Leopold and his family comes to expect the bloom of certain wild flowers and the arrival of various birds and animals throughout the year. As I read through the months of his record, I began again, to feel limited by my urban home. Though I love the city so much, I was feeling a bit sad that I was so removed from the natural cycles of nature.
As I sat on the stoop this afternoon, however, I realized how silly my longing for natural cycles were. While sitting on the stoop, I had several conversations with walker-bys, none of which I knew personally; and all of which would not have happened if I were in the country or even perched on a second story balcony. Then, as I sat longer, I watched as a pair of friends walked by. I realized that I see them every day, from the stoop, walking and talking together just as they had for the past who-knows-how-long. Alex came home and left, my neighbor Jordan came and left, a passerby asked me for directions. All the while, I sat on the stoop, enjoying the nice weather and the company of the cycles surrounding me!

It seems that the cycles of life, that Leopold writes about, exist all around us. How silly of me to be blind to them. I hope that you too have not been blinded by the hustle bustle of the city, to dismiss the beauty that exists within the urban cycles.

Thank goodness for stoops!


  1. what a lovely post, always focused on the joy:)

  2. Lovely post, wonderful reminder of the urban charms all around. It was such a pleasure meeting you ladies at the Green Market today. Love the blog and look forward reading future posts and trying out some of these recipes.

    <3 Liz