The rain had stopped, after days of continuous precipitation, making a blustery evening feel surprisingly pleasant. We took our usual route, hanging a left out the door of the building, pausing to pee on the grates, then meandering down the block and across the street into Union Square Park, where we do laps on the walkway fringe until the business occurs. A tall pile of remaindered excrement, left by another dog and a careless owner, resembled a pile of mousse to my dog, who had a bite (and a toothbrushing upon our return home).

In the aftermath of the rains, the park and the street were subdued. The newsstand and the corner entrance to the subway were closed for the holiday. Alone on the park benches in Union Square, a young Asian man sat practicing a speech, papers on his lap, staring at nothing as he recited, likely as glad as I was to have a rare quiet moment in the square.

This is the first in a series of Dog Walk pieces that will be published on this site. The solitude of walking my pup leads me to observe and appreciate the city around me, and the more literary moments will be chronicled here. I hope you enjoy them. Click on the permalink plus-sign of an entry to display the date, time and location of the walk.