I’ve had a thing for alleys since I was little. Most of my friends lived along four blocks in the old North End of Colorado Springs that were all connected by an alley through which we had a great deal of freedom to roam. Without the speeding cars on Nevada Avenue and most adults, it was a like secret passageway lined with lilacs, weeds, car carcasses and barking dogs that allowed us to move swiftly and stealthily between our respective homes to play and, later, drink our parents’ liquor and make out. There’s still an other-worldliness and anonymity about alleys that’s magical.

 

4 Responses to Planet Alley Revisited

  1. susan leek says:

    I absolutely love this piece. I have always loved alleys too and so did my kids. I grew up in the mountains and alleys are one of the good things about cities.

  2. joyce cheney says:

    Great fun. Thanks. Alleys are wonderful spaces. You can walk down an alley and experience others’ living spaces via sight, sound and smell. No one notices you except the dogs. In St. Louis, MO allies, lots of goods are exchanged. Leave the old chair/lumber/clothing etc out and someone will come by and pick it up.
    Post Apocalyptic BBQ – good name for a band.
    And the Rolling Stones tongue was great – careful paint of the tongue – faded, peeling paint on the rest of the garage.

  3. Sue Grise says:

    Delighted to find someone who shares my love affair with alleys. I live and walk downtown, and I know where there’s an ancient hewn-log stable off Shook’s Run Park and where people hauled off the old octagonal tuberculosis huts and turned them into gazebos or sheds or home additions. People’s front yards are their public face, but their back yards are how they really live.

  4. Karl says:

    I’ve always traveled down alleys as a kid and now as a adult they are very cool to get a glimps of peoples lives and there is neat stuff to see and find.

News

Alex Matzke for NPR
March 30, 2015 | NPR · Police today are identifying fewer murder suspects than they did a generation ago. One criminologist says that may be because departments are more focused on preventing crimes than on making arrests.
 

Alexandra Starr
March 30, 2015 | NPR · The neighborhood in Queens has become a kind of urban United Nations, with people from 100 countries living there. The more diverse, the better its residents get along.
 

Bloomberg via Getty Images
March 30, 2015 | NPR · Amid record production, some analysts worry the U.S. will run out of places to put it all. One says lack of storage space could drive oil down to around $20 a barrel, less than half the current price.
 

Arts & Life

March 29, 2015 | NPR · During the Sino-Japanese War, Huan Hsu’s great-great-grandfather buried his vast porcelain collection to keep it safe. Hsu went to find it 70 years later, on a trip about more than missing china.
 

Showtime
March 29, 2015 | NPR · The Bronx native grew up in a blue-collar household; a life in show business seemed far from reality. He spent time in the Air Force and as a cop before he finally gave his childhood dream a chance.
 

March 29, 2015 | KVCR · Palm Springs was the desert playground of golden-era Hollywood. Then its glamour faded. Now its midcentury architecture, its retro style and the allure of its past are fueling a rebirth.
 

Music

Courtesy of the artist
March 29, 2015 | NPR · The singer-songwriter reconvenes with her longtime co-writer and producer, Richard Swift, to craft 11 seductively seclusive pop songs about motherhood, exile, insecurity and devotion.
 

Courtesy of the artist
March 29, 2015 | NPR · On its second album, the British rock duo moves smoothly from tantrum to anthem, crafting songs with singalong hooks and buckets of sweaty, cathartic rage.
 

Courtesy of the artist
March 29, 2015 | NPR · Writing a breakup album is one thing. Writing a breakup album with your ex is another. A stunning hard-rock record, Crooked Doors grapples with what it means to live with your own history.
 

Get the KRCC iPhone App

The Writer's Almanac

Radiolab