by Ana Fernatt
I’ve been spending a lot of time on the walk streets recently. They are their own magical haven of quiet and fancy houses. I like to take my dog Figaro down them and imagine which house we could live in. Right now, I have a couple favorites: one has a spooky overgrown privacy hedge, and the other has white roses that enclose a field of weird spiky succulents.
When you compare it to the hustle of Abbot Kinney, the walk streets are a sanctuary. If I’m walking to Erewhon to get one of those vegan chocolate chip cookies they keep at the checkout or to Intelligentsia for a latte and croissant, part of the experience is half hearing private conversations of dozens of strangers, pushing past strollers and stepping over terriers. The other day, I was walking my own terrier past a pizza place on a busy night and didn’t hedge as much room as a disgruntled man deemed appropriate to his stormy needs. He responded by cursing under his breath/into my ear/across eternity/in my thoughts as I fall asleep at night.
Modern society lives an existence of constant noise and sound bites. We are running into and around each other at all moments, catching small glimpses of another life. The hustle is vibrant and exciting. It’s why I’ve chosen to live in a city in comparison to a sleepy, remote town. The hustle makes the contrast of peaceful stillness so much more blissful and to be able to find those secret alcoves within a city is like finding a rent-controlled house with backyard and free utilities, ie. a miracle.
I like the walk streets. They are where I go to look cute for absolutely nobody. They are where I go to dream of my future life with a husband, kids, and maybe even a historic house ghost. They are where I go to listen to podcasts and smell the fresh greenness in the air from the watered landscaping.
Sometimes, I meander down the walk streets at night when families are gathering for dinner. I imagine them discussing their days and their houses smelling of rosemary and slowly stewing vegetables. I fantasize about the normality of that in the same way they might reminisce on the spontaneity of my own current life. I see myself having a glass of wine on the deck and talking to my partner about our days. I see us having deep conversations and drinking in the beautiful life we created.
I know that this new life will come in its own time. And when I’m there, I’m sure I’ll think about the days of my independence and freedom. I’m making sure to live in the luxury of my current reality and find the blessings as they exist presently. The exciting part is that I know it is all happening now. It’s all coming together now. Until then, I’ll keep strolling down Amoroso and stopping to smell the roses.
Ana Fernatt is a columnist, blogger, and leading podcast host. You can find Ana Fernatt on Instagram and Twitter at @AnaAndThings, in upcoming issues of Yo! Venice and maneuvering the streets of Venice with her dog, Figaro.