Morris Cove

J and I have been sleeping in the new house, on a futon we’ve set up in the basement. We’ve got two pillows, one thin blanket and a TV and DVD player set up in the corner on a box, but somehow it’s a lot of fun. Last night, after finishing work, I decided I wanted to take a quick walk down to the water and along the seawall, where an asphalt path runs parallel to the road. That’s one of the first things that drew us to the place, the fact that we’d be so close to the water, and not only that, there is a terrific network of walking trails and parks nearby. It’s nice, in this automobile-driven world, to be able to walk places, and from our house we can walk to both the water and to this awesome Italian deli – the kind you never would have found in North Carolina.

So, basically, we picked the perfect location.

Poor J has been really sick, but he opted to join me in this first jaunt around the new neighborhood. In the half block of sidewalk we covered while making our way to the water, we looked at the houses surrounding ours, the various shapes and sizes, and the materials used to build them. Some with old, wooden porches, and some with tiny balconies on the second floor, the kind where you’d imagine wives looking out for their seafaring husbands.

Down at the seawall, we breathed in the smell of salt water and the air felt damp. “There is just something about the water,” I said. I’ve said this a lot over the years, including at the beach with a cold drink in my hand when, yeah, obviously there is just something about the water, but I do sincerely mean it and it’s not a very original sentiment by any means. People tend to like the water, whether it’s a little cove on the edge of New Haven or the vast ocean, complete with crashing waves.

We walked, talking about the area, wondering if we could somehow get down to that little sandy beach in the distance, questioning the purpose of the stone steps placed at intervals along the path, leading straight into the murky depths, and how maybe that’s what you do when you’ve simply had enough – you just walk down that oddly-placed set of stairs and end it all.

From our new vantage point we checked out the houses facing the water. They looked so inviting with their tall windows and warmly lit interiors. Several were built with three levels, each one a little smaller than the one below so that the top level was just one room with, you’d imagine, a wonderful view. A great room for curling up and reading a book.

We came across a young couple, probably about our age, sitting on a bench having a Guinness, said a polite hello and as soon as we were safely out of hearing range, discussed how “totally cool” that was although, remarked J, technically illegal.

“I know,” I said. “But that is another reason why I love this neighborhood. I don’t think people here care too much about the rules – in a good way. Like, they won’t care if we have a party and it’s kind of noisy. They clearly don’t care if people paint their houses pink. They won’t care about Mina, for instance. ‘Your crazy little Chihuahua-like dog hates children? That’s ok with us.’”