Saturday in the Neighborhood

When you’re zipping around in the car, bustling back and forth between home and places unknown, do you ever look longingly at places you pass, and wish you could stop and go in?  All along my daily routes I notice what is new, or what is familiar and resist the urge to pull off the road and investigate. I think I am drawn not so much by the places themselves but by the freedom to interrupt an annoying trip to the post office, or to forgo a business meeting entirely because I wanted to try out a new walking path or take pictures of the changing leaves.

But just because  I cannot excuse myself from adult responsibilities all the time  does not mean  I can’t mix  some small adventures in with the drudgery. Today I had a pressing  errand I had put off for a week – returning some tile samples for the condo to the tile showroom, about twenty miles away. Mr. Tile Man was eager for me to return these tiles, and I was eager not to have then whumping around in the back of  my car.

After returning the tiles to the showroom, I got back into my car, turned to my companion  in the front seat and said, “Let’s have a little fun!” Who is my companion you ask? It is none other than my darling Nikon D3000, which I had remembered to bring along. With this  stylish little friend I would reward myself for having had to run such an obnoxious errand.

For the two of us had plans. We were going to drive around  the neighborhood  with no particular destination in mind, taking pictures of whatever  caught our eye. I was in no hurry. My camera was in no hurry. If I saw something I wanted to record , fine. If I did not, that was fine also.  That’s the way life should be! Here is what we saw.

Unused railroad depot against the blue sky.

I retraced the route I take at least twice a week to the gym. My personal training appointment is at 7:30, so there is no hope of dallying along the way, and on my way back, after having been subjected to a challenging workout, I only want to get home and drink coffee as soon as possible.

It says stop! I often wish I could!

The door of the depot.

The roof of the depot.

The depot is actually for sale. The unused railroad line is being transformed into a Green Line trail which will connect the city from east to west. Part of it is already open. When it opens out here, maybe someone will turn this little depot into a coffee shop!

Across the street from the depot are some old buildings, such as this former grocery store. It used to be open as a sundry when I first moved out here, but I don’t know if it is still open.

 This old house is a restaurant, the Cafe Fontana, where Italian food from fresh local ingredients  is made  daily. It hasn’t been open very long, but I’ve already been there several times and was not disappointed. I love that the place is owned by a family in the neighborhood. And when you go in you are welcomed like a neighbor. It’s a good feeling!  This is an old post office which has been preserved by the community. In the background is a church cemetery as well as some new construction. I’m thinking this building may have  been a where people lingered and visited after getting their mail, once upon a time.   In front of the post office is an old school turned into a community center. Alumnae of the school have kept the building from destruction, and committed citizens have made a small museum inside. 

 I guess I had to have a reminder that I am in suburbia! These empty swings and picnic tables are available! Well, for now I DO live in suburbia, which is  not as diverse as I would like, with not as much culture as I would like. But that is another story. For today I would rather concentrate on how no matter where I am, things catch my eye. And that it is important to stop all the busy-ness sometimes and just look around. What about you? What do you go by all the time but never seem to have time to investigate? I hope you’ll make the time soon. You won’t be sorry!