Now that the weather here has finally turned mild (highs in the 70s, breezy), I’ve felt less inclined to go to “the gym” and more eager to get out in the fresh air. A nasty cold kept me in for a week or so, but I’ve since had several opportunities to reacquaint myself with the neighborhood. As usual, changes are more noticeable when some time has elapsed. The “little pink house” had been reduced to an empty lot the day after I reported it as a pile of rubble, and when I next saw it, on October 25, workmen were digging trenches for the footings of the new construction. The following day, a cement mixer was on site pouring concrete. The next time I got out (November 1), several courses of concrete block had been laid on top of the foundation, and the wall has continued to rise over the past week.
A few blocks away, I was astonished to see another vacant lot. The previous property owner had died some years ago, and the house had been empty ever since. The yard had been allowed to grow up into such a wilderness that it brought to mind visions of the prince hacking through briers to get to the Sleeping Beauty. Some months ago, the yard had been cleared, leaving only a few shrubs, and it was rumored that the property had been sold and the new owner intended to “remodel” or “renovate” the house. I was dubious. The property is a large corner lot overlooking the bay, and the house was small and run-down. The new owner had undoubtedly paid a pretty penny for the location alone. So I was not surprised that the house had been demolished, just startled to realize that it had happened while I wasn’t paying attention. Now the property is surrounded by erosion control fencing, but a yellow building permit sign is the only other sign of activity so far.
As an aside, one advantage of walking on a treadmill for several months is that I’ve gotten in the habit of walking faster, so walking outside should be better exercise for me than before. I’ve yet to match my time on the treadmill, at least in part because of traffic. Yesterday I stood in a crosswalk looking impatient while half a dozen cars passed; I felt justified in shaving that 20 seconds off my time. Today, on the other hand, a car actually stopped for me in the same crosswalk. Since there was a car speeding toward us in the opposite direction, I just shrugged helplessly. But the considerate motorist seemed bent on being courteous, and the other motorist, seeing that one car was already stopped for me, also stopped. Amazing! I was too intrigued by this drama to even notice how many seconds that diversion had cost me.