The view from the author's window of the park across the street.

The Park Across the Street

One of the things that I discovered when I moved into my apartment was that the tennis courts across the street were a bit loud. People drove from other parts of the city to use them and would play tennis until sundown. 

So from my apartment, I could hear the sound of a tennis ball thunking back and forth until at least 9 p.m. most spring and summer nights. 

This spring, I am spending almost all of my time in my apartment — my home is now my office and my office is now my home. It’s been a fun transition into madness and slowly abandoning my desk for working from my couch. 

A laptop and cat

The author’s workspace and “co-worker” Winnie.

I find myself, while isolated, spending my time observing the people who spend their time in the park across the street. The dog walkers, the parents and their kids letting off steam, the tennis players — even the party of more than 10 that came together on one pandemic Saturday. 

I live on a bike boulevard and right across the street from a bus stop. All through the night, I can hear the slow comforting hiss of the bus as it stops to drop off or pick up my neighbors. 

Lately, there are less tired souls with a coffee in hand heading off to work in the morning. Fewer bikers at 7 a.m., clearly on their way downtown. I, the one in the window, also not going anywhere anytime soon, am sad to see fewer commuters off to the old grindstone. 

Still, all through the day, the comforting hiss of the bus continues. Whether carrying ten people or one person, the bus still comes. I still see bikers — many in athletic clothing rather than work clothes. The world still turns. 

And more and more I see people using the large park across the street. The thunking of tennis ball to tennis racket continues to plaque my ears along with the playful screams of children whose parents, fed up with homeschooling, have taken them to the park. 

The view from the author's window of the park across the street.

The view from the author’s view of the park across the street.

From my window, I also see and hear the transportation of my city changing. There are fewer cars and more delivery trucks, less traffic in the morning and way more people using their feet. 

Single walkers and people in pairs and trios wander by — it’s more than just the dedicated walkers, the dog owners and their pooches. The sidewalks are suddenly crowded. 

My neighbors’ cars sit untouched in their spots — as does my own — I’ve got nowhere to drive to. 

People are out and moving their bodies in a way I’ve never seen before in my neighborhood. While the reason why is a bit depressing, I find the change fascinating. 

I know the world’s problems and current crisis don’t boil down to more walkers on the street but in an effort to keep my own sanity, I’m just going to focus on the park across the street. 

About Frances Stevenson

Frances Stevenson is a communications professional for a Twin Cities nonprofit. Her background is in professional journalism. When not advocating, biking, walking or contacting her elected officials, she can found reading or finding dogs to pet.

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