Friday, June 18, 2010

round about the neighborhood

This is one of Seattle's ubiquitous roundabouts, which you'll discover slowing traffic in about half the intersections of the residential neighborhoods throughout the city. The weekend before last, on a sunny Saturday, I saw an older couple at work pulling all the weeds out of this one, which is half a block from my apartment building, at 112th and Phinney. They weren't getting paid for this, and they weren't part of some organized neighborhood cleanup day; they were just doing it because it needed doing, and they're neighborhood people. I see a lot of that kind of community spirit around here, but there's always room for more.

Today I biked to my Yoga for Parkinson's class at Northwest Hospital, which is only about a mile away but tough to get to. There's a fenced-in cemetery in the way and a large arterial to cross, so I guessed at what would be the best route and guessed wrong. I'll do better next time, but it might take a while to find the best, most traffic-free passages. Much complication for such a sort distance!

I was going to bike home as well, but Professor Pete suggested I stow my ride in the copious cargo hold of his ancient, rusting Chevy Suburban and we go to lunch somewhere. He ended up taking me to the little Japanese restaurant right near my house, at 105th and Fremont, which I'd thought a thousand times about trying (Japanese food is my favorite), but never did since it looks kind of crumby from the outside.

Surprise! It's bright and attractive on the inside, and the food is very good, and very reasonably priced. It's not the absolute best Japanese food I ever had, but it's certainly not sub-par, and I can see myself becoming a regular there, since it's five minutes away from my apartment by bicycle, or ten minutes on foot.

Professor Pete and I talked pleasantly about life and literature -- he was an English lit professor and I was an English teacher -- and I recited some of the lyrics to "Subterranean Homesick Blues"* for him, since I've always thought of that particular Dylan song as a companion piece to "Catcher in the Rye," about which Pete has a recent book, an excellent readers' guide.

Afterward I biked home, and went walking in the neighborhood this afternoon while the sun was shining. The clouds are supposed to roll back in tomorrow.

*Apparently Dylan's own famous version of Subterranean Homesick Blues from the DA Pennebaker film "Don't Look Back" is not available in any on-line video format.

No comments: