“Reality is that which, when you stop believing in it, doesn’t go away.”
― Philip K. Dick
The promenade took on a subtle, but detectable, shift in mood as the spectrum of dusk oscillated on the glossy, sullen surface of the Housatonic Seaway. Most of the street vendors tended to pack it in an hour or so before dark owing to infrequent foot patrols following recent budget cutbacks. Quite a few of the first floor shops, cafes, and clubs would be open until midnight, though. The brick and mortar establishments tended to have their own muscle at the door, or at least fairly competent security bots. The more committed buskers remained, serenading tourists in love from pools of lamplight just flickering to life on the cobblestones. As the stars winked into existence, so too did sketchier characters whose various trades have been at home on waterfronts everywhere since the invention of the dock.