I have a new hobby, which is exploring the alleys of Gone West. Like Universe City, there are many neighborhoods in Gone West that have alleys halfway between the streets, i.e. they make a cross shape in the middle of a block. The alleys are unpaved, and they have no name. (There are a few streets that peter out into dirt roads for a few blocks, too.)
I love the alleys and dirt roads: I love wearing flipflops, crunching on the stones. I love peeking into people's backyards. I love pushing through the high grass where no one has mowed the lanes yet this year.
It reminds me of being somewhere not-so-paved, somewhere less sanitized.
I love this city, but sometimes I get bored by living in a place where everything goes so smoothly. The most excitement in a day is generally a bad driver sharing (or not sharing, usually) the road with me.
And so I wander, and I pass through these almost secret little paths in the middle of a city, where one house is neat in front and full of junk in back, where one house has Private Property signs on the grass next to the two-track, where a dog barks at me through a fence and I say, "Hey! Be quiet!" and from the other side I hear a woman say, to the dog, "Yeah, hey! Why are you barking?" and I laugh on the inside.