I went out into the night

Many nights, after we’ve finished eating dinner and watching The Daily Show on Hulu, Mr. WholeHog and I head out on a walk. Sometimes we walk because we’ve eaten too much at dinner and need to walk it off. On other nights, we might walk somewhere to get dessert. On the rare warm nights, like we experienced earlier this week, a walk is a way to get out of our stuffy apartment; on other nights, it’s a way avoid doing the dishes. And sometimes, like after making an offer on the apartment that we now own, walking helps us clear our heads.

I thought about our evening walks when we were looking for a place to buy, and Noe Valley is a pretty good area. It feels relatively safe, the streets are fairly clean, and we don’t run into crazy street people or drunk kids — although at times, we have to wade through the crowds of people waiting for their number to be called at Mitchell’s ice cream. Usually the people we see on our evening strolls are out walking their dogs or going on a nighttime run.

There’s a lot to see in the dark. TVs are now so large and bright that on our walks we’ve watched the neighborhood’s TVs turn from the Olympics to football to politics. Given the home improvement projects on our minds these days, we’re often more interested in the paint colors or the built-in shelves we see in other people’s living rooms than what they’re watching on TV.

On our recent strolls, we’ve watched the predictable start of Decorative Gourd Season. First, there was just the occasional pumpkin sitting on the front steps, but now the full-on Halloween assault of spider webs, ghosts and jack o’ lanterns has begun. One night, as we walked toward Glen Park, we heard a strange shrieking sound and found two skunks fighting over a bowl of cat food that had been left out on someone’s front porch. Earlier this week, a hot Indian summer night, we walked up Bernal Hill in the dark and watched a huge orange moon rise up over the East Bay hills.

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