I love neighborhoods. They always smell like a mixture of laundry, wood smoke, pine needles, October, and those little red berries that are poisonous if you eat them. At least mine does, anyway. Sometimes when I walk down my street in the evenings, I can smell people's dinner cooking, or pastries fresh from the oven. It's such a comfortable feeling; you can get a little slice of someone's life just by strolling by their sidewalk.
When I was little, I used to look out the back window of our car on the way home at night and look at the houses we'd pass by, wishing I could go in and explore every single one of them. The orange glow of the lights pouring through from the inside made them all seem so inviting and, I don't know, homey I guess. I was just so interested in people and where they lived and why they lived there; if they had a rocking chair in their living room, or lots of family pictures on the walls, or one of those little island things in the middle of their kitchen and whether it was made of granite or just some cheap plywood. I still wonder, kind of. I think when I get my driver's license, I'm going to spend most of my time just driving through random neighborhoods and examining the houses there. Not in a creepy way, though; just a curious way. I'll probably end up being one of those people that can drive around for hours and never get bored.
I love when I see little kids riding bikes outside my window and playing basketball in the cul-de-sac up the street. I love hearing their childish shrieks and shouts echo through the silence and bounce off the pavement. It makes me remember what it was like to be absent-minded and carefree, and helps me realize that I still can be from time to time. I think everyone should be, even if they're old and grown.
The thing I love most about neighborhoods, though, is just walking through them at night. Not like, late or anything, but y'know, around 7 O'clock or so. Evening time. I like breathing in the crisp, cold air and seeing the ground scattered with leaves. For whatever reason, things like that always make me feel poetic; they make me notice things in a different way than I normally would. Like last night when I took my dog, a pretty little Daschund puppy, for a walk and looking at her made me think of ballpoint pens and old English men with wonderful accents. Okay, maybe that's not necessarily poetic, but I don't know, it's weird. Walking in my neighborhood reminds me of petticoats, gloves, peppermint coffee, literature, jack-o-lanterns, and glasses with black frames. All the things I love I guess, but what I really love more than anything is when the sun is setting and the sky gets so bright that the trees look black against everything. God, that's so pretty.