i obtained (that makes it sound like an illegal buy) a dog two years ago. said dog is pictured above. dog ownership catapulted me into the neighborhood line of vision. no longer anonymous, i now talk to literal strangers who stop to ask about her, and i know other folks w/ dogs who walk theirs around the same times.
don't have a dog? borrow one. i am sure your friends would love to let you take their dog out for a few hours.
off-leash park if they're well behaved and will come when called. walk your dog to ocean beach and watch them nearly burst out of their skin with joy. sand!
let's not joke: having a dog is super hard work. it's like a mini kid that never grows up or takes karate or goes to bates. however, it's pretty awesome to see your city from the perspective of a dog. the 15 minutes it takes every time i take my dog out means i have 15 pure solid minutes of observing one or two streets in detail. i know which houses have cats, or leave their garbage bins out too long. walking a dog in the city forces me to slow down and look up from my phone and creates human interaction. it's pretty nice.