Last Week in August

What is so rare as a day in—-August?

for then, if ever, come perfect days.

One does not think of perfect days and August in the same sentence, but this year is an exception.  Overall, we have had a lovely summer, but none better than this week.

I know, I know–it’s supposed to be in the 90’s next week, but let’s live for today.

The weather is perfect for gardening, for walks, for picnics,  for baseball games,  for Kick-the-Can, for House or Garden Walks, for outdoor concerts, for sidewalk cafes, or anything that takes one outdoors.


June's porch

But I hope you have a screened porch for less active pursuits such as dining, reading, or other forms of relaxation…

Patty's porch

…or for entertaining,

sleeping porch

…or for sleeping.

One of my favorite things is sitting and reading on my front screened porch in the evening.

I can do 2 things at once: I can read and I can observe the passing parade on my sidewalk and street.

Dog-walkers, walkers without dogs, joggers, bicyclists, mothers with babies in strollers, families with children on trikes and in toy cars and wagons; if it moves, it goes past my house.

ny house august

My house in August

Front porches, however, seem to be a thing of the past.  Decks and patios are popular now, but always at the rear of the house–for privacy.  But I like the dynamism of a front porch, connected to the passing scene.  And it makes for a safer neighborhood–Jane Jacob’s famous “eyes on the street.”

“… the sidewalk must have users on it fairly continuously, both to add to the number of effective eyes on the street and to induce the people in buildings along the street to watch the sidewalks in sufficient numbers. Nobody enjoys sitting on a stoop or looking out a window at an empty street. Almost nobody does such a thing. Large numbers of people entertain themselves, off and on, by watching street activity.”

Jane Jacobs, The Death and Life of Great American Cities

Are you a street watcher or do you go for a stroll after dinner?  What brings people out on the street in one neighborhood and not another?  Tune in next week.


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