Tuesday, March 10, 2009

A beautiful day in the neighborhood

Katy had introduced me to this interesting alley of colorful houses, each built with a corresponding set of stairs. At the end there is a view of City College and more colorful houses. She said the houses, the view and the general environment reminded her of Istanbul.

There are more pink houses in the Excelsior than anywhere else I've been. There are also more gratings, gates and iron grille-work than most houses I've seen.

Excelsior has many surrounding hills that are strung with houses like Christmas tree lights, sometimes wrapped on top of each other, other times intersecting at odd angles but making the hills seem heavily laden all the same.

The cul-de-sac, Ellington, was shiny and breezy this afternoon, a sick day I spent snapping some shots. Note the colors of the squat little houses, the lack of trees save two or three and the balconies that are seldom used.

Here on Ellington these five, six months, a few things have become consistent:

1. There is a parrot (or two?) across the street from our house that perpetually, on certain days, whines, mocks, bleats, coos and generally engages in shameless baby talk. Sometimes the parrot upsets me to no end. Other times I can deal with it. Last time I walked past it, however, it deliberately tried to provoke me by saying hello in a voice like a castrated clown's.

2. Certain weekend nights, a mysterious, all-consuming odor of grilled pork mixed with fish-oil seeps up into our bedroom and prevents the nose from remembering a field of wildflowers. In fact, this meaty-dripping-old-fish-scale bouquet tyrannizes the nose to such a degree that the only thing the nose remembers is that it wishes it wasn't a nose at all and would have preferred being born an eye, notwithstanding the sadness of the Cyclops.

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