Wednesday, August 17, 2022



8/11/22 Maple Leaf neighborhood

Maybe I’ve been in the wrong place at the wrong time, or maybe they’ve been scarce this summer. In any case, it had been ages since I sketched an urban couch. When I spotted this one (and on trash day, even!), I was thrilled – but it required extra delicacy and stealth: The couch belonged to our next-door neighbors (that’s our stairway railing behind it). 

They are very nice people, and we occasionally do neighborly favors for each other. Although I’m generally not shy or hesitant about most urban sketching, if they had spotted me, I didn’t want to engage in a conversation about why I was sketching their discarded couch. It seemed like an awkwardness that was best avoided.

I left my house as if I were taking my usual morning walk. Passing their house by a half-block or so, I crossed the street, then walked back toward it. A large plum tree (which usually gets in my way when I sketch from our livingroom window) conveniently blocked me from their view.

Another neighbor raised an eyebrow when he saw what I was doing, but the benefit of living in a city where we are known for being “polite but not particularly friendly” is that no one asks questions around here.

(By the way, our neighbors didnt leave the couch out on the sidewalk hoping someone would take it. Shortly after I sketched it, a proper disposal truck came by and hauled it away.)


  1. Picturing you circling back and then being hidden by the tree made me smile.

  2. How delightfully sneaky of you!! Your urban couch series always makes me smile. Anne HwH


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