msnowe used to be surprised by all the things she would observe while simply walking down a street in the city. Half-naked people, people pushing catering carts full of food, people talking on the phone the same way she imagines they would while in private, etc. Then today it finally hit her, while she saw, in 30-degree-weather, a cater pushing his cart of coffee urns down the sidewalk, deftly avoiding small patches of ice spattered across the pavement as if second-nature:
People in the city treat sidewalks like hallways, or enclosed spaces--there is a vanishing sense of being in public.
And this is easy to understand, perhaps. As the concrete buildings block out the natural light, and the crowds of people make you feel anonymous, there is no sense of guarded privacy, and the businesses and amenities don't make it feel like you could possibly be outside, unless some strongly adverse weather condition is constantly reminding you (i.e. pounding rain or howling winds).
Perhaps that is why, sometimes when msnowe shuts the door on the inside of her apartment after her trek home at night, she might feel glad to be out of the cold, but she doesn't feel like she's really come in from the outside. . .