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An Urban Scene Share This on LinkedIn   Tweet This   Forward This

10 June 2020

The word urban has had a pejorative whiff to it. City life is ugly, dirty, disgusting. Uninhabitable. And yet, millions manage. Thousands enjoy it. Even if everybody has a complaint.

An Urban Scene. Captured with a Nikon D300 and 18-200mm Nikkor at 20mm (30mm equivalent) and f5.6, 1/250 second and ISO 400. Processed in Adobe Camera Raw.

If the last few months have shown us anything around here, it's that the urban landscape is, underneath it all, rather pleasant, inhabitable, even beautiful.

So many neighbors have taken daily walks to enjoy the views, the sun, the fog. And instead of the usual urban scowl and diverted eyes, we nod and say hello and even wave to each other.

The predators have fled. Everyone you see lives in your neighborhood.

We took this shot on a hike this weekend not up Twin Peaks but along the western edge on Panorama Drive. Not at the top, not at the bottom, but in between where there is what we urban types call green space. As if it has to be planted on the naturally-occurring concrete.

But for all the world, it's an idyllic rural scene with a handmade swing at the end of an uncommonly long rope tied to a strong branch above a dusty trail into the woods.

When actually, it's just around the corner from us.

No optical illusion, no cropping out the skyscrapers, no hiding the homeless. It is what it is, an undoctored urban scene.

Could it be that our complaints had nothing to do with the city itself but the rats running all over it looking for every unguarded morsel they could grab?

One of the side effects of the closure of all the city's restaurants has been a drop in the rat population. Turns out the level of nightly leavings was insufficient to sustain it. They began eating themselves.

That hasn't been the case with the coyotes. On Monday we saw three of them loping past our house on their way to church. They're becoming domesticated. And, apparently, Catholic.

We suspect the bubble will burst when everything opens up again and people fight for parking places and seats on the bus and places in line.

But when that happens, we know where we'll go for a bit of respite. Just around the corner.

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