The apartment complex where I live is full of spotty college students, because we're right near William & Mary, and because the rent is pretty low. Which means that when I take Kizzy out for a walk I have to keep an eye out for half-eaten pizza crusts and broken bottles of Bud Light. Honestly, I know you're nineteen, but if you're going to drink illegally, at least make it a good beer. Honestly.
But surrounding our apartment is an amazing assortment of greenspace. You just have to be rather adventurous to get to it. For example, if you cross the street and duck through a hedge surrounding an orthopedic sports clinic, you'll be in a little oasis of concrete that contains several office buildings, with four walls of forest on either side. I can be walking sedately on a sidewalk while Kiz is nose deep in nature, red in tooth and claw. Alternately, you can take the secret back way out of our complex, cross through the parking lot that surrounds the funeral home (yes, I live behind a funeral home, although it's not a very busy one), through the parking lot next to the middle school and voila--you're back into the forest surrounding W&M. There's even a fenced-in drainage ditch that works as an impromptu dog run when I shut the gate. Although there's usually less running, more sniffing when I drop the leash.
There is also a new development being working on across from me, a new neighborhood for Williamsburg called (wait for it) Newtown. This is where Other Nicole is building her house, and it's usually where I take Kizzy for his evening drag. (He's a beagle. He wants to stop and sniff. I want to wear him out so I can blog and take a shower without him chewing on power cords. I pull. He pulls. He weighs 17.5 pounds. I win.) I have mixed feelings about developments in general, but this one is turning into something pretty nice. There's lots of dog-friendly restaurants and a Lane Bryant. And I like having pavement to pound, instead of slogging through muddy forest when I'm just out for an evening stroll.
But it makes me sad that the entire world is being covered by concrete. And that's greenspace we'll never get back again. All the planned parks in the world can't make up for the beautiful caos that is a forest in its prime. When I was younger I walked through a half-developed neighborhood with another dog, to an untouched forest where we used to play all summer long. But when it came time to say good-bye to that other dog, I had to walk through someone's backyard. It makes me slightly crazy that the James City County courthouse has such a lovely green lawn--and for what? For nothing. So Kizzy and I romped around on it tonight...it's so squishy and green, perfect for a rubber beagle who likes to turn somersaults while six lanes of traffic meander by. And if we get yelled at, so what. I'll just tell them that we're taking advantage of the pretty greenness, since our apartment doesn't have any, and besides--the court is closed, everyone's gone home. I pick up after him, who are we hurting? Someone's got to take advantage of all this beauty mixed in with the concrete and bricks.
So I might have been feeling a little cocky when we returned home...remember that orthopedic sports office I told you about? Well, as we were walking past, I noticed they had a Coke machine in the lobby...I didn't even want a soda, but I wondered if the door was still open at a quarter after seven...it would be nice to know that it's possible to get a Coke later at night, should the need ever arise. Ah, the door is open. Kizzy and I strolled in, popped in a couple dollars and retreated, clutching a bottle of diet brown, much to the amusement of the few therapists there working late. Hee. Like I said--you've got to be willing to take advantage of your surroundings.