I know I complain about my bad neighbors, late night drunken party traffic and a serious lack of lawn. But when we move from this apartment, I can honestly say I will miss our front stoop. The paint is chipping, the steps are warped, and it offers a limited view up the walkway of a street light, some chain link fence, and pavement.
It does have a roof, which can make it a nice place from which to watch and listen to rain and thunderstorms. At night, you can sit in relative darkness and watch the world go about its quiet way... dog walking, couples holding hands, evening runners. You can usually see the Big Dipper from the stoop, and sometimes Orion's Belt. Time moves a bit more slowly when you're perched on the steps out front.
I sit there for lunch, often in the sun which beats down on the steps spring through fall. Today I ate almost an entire container of the sweetest grape tomatoes while reading a cold war spy novel - it's summer on the stoop alright. I closed my eyes in the sun, heard a lazy bumble buzzing around the garden, smelled flowering trees on our street. The steps themselves smell of summer - worn, dry wood and the hot metal of the nailheads - a dusty, metallic smell. I knew they'd be warm enough to burn my bare feet a bit when I finally went into the house. I shook my iced tea glass, just to hear the ice clink and settle. Time moves very slowly on the stoop. I'm going back there after work.