We were newly married and living on a street just wide enough for one car. Across the way was an old Ukrainian who spoke little English, stacked his place with garbage, and fed boiled chicken to the neighborhood cats. Farther down there was the one-legged guy who smoked all day on his front step, and a guy who always wore a fur vest. His wife said he owned a ticket agency and had once met Frank Sinatra. On our side was a young drug dealer and his wife, a woman who screamed day and night at her kids and a young couple who worked as teachers. All summer the neighborhood smelled of tar kettles and slop brushes. It seemed someone was always having his roof resurfaced, and the breeze bit the throat as it went down. When the old man's place burned, we all stood outside (except the one legged guy) and watched the fire engines try in vain to squeeze down the narrow street. The full bags of trash burned with a thick, oily smoke.The fire crews ran hoses from the corner and fired blasts of water into the second floor windows. After that, things got back to normal: the one-legged guy still smoked every day on his step, the ticket agent still wore his fur vest, and the drug dealer got busted after his drunk friends tossed a fridge out a window. The old man's family moved him to a nursing home. The cats he'd fed still came around for awhile--then they didn't.