I love lunch time walks. It gets me out of the office, gives my mind a break and gets my blood pumping. But I don’t like walking in the suburbs, where so many offices are located. There are few choices of roads, and usually at some point there is a stretch of road with no sidewalks and quite a few cars. The streets are usually stip malls with lots of traffic, or wooded streets with one road in, one road out, and row after row of 20 year old houses with prominent garages (who thought of making a garage the primary focus of the front of the house, anyway? What happened to the days of tucking garages below or in the back?). In short, the walks in the suburbs are — for me — boring and slightly dangerous… I love the city. I love walking along a grid, where I can turn right or left at the end of any street, where there are shops and people and tall buildings and brick buildings and old buildings mixed in with new buildings. It is interesting, vibrant and offers different routes. And if I walk too far? I just hop a bus back — piece of cake. I am a city boy at heart, one who loves to live in the city and take trips out into the country — not the other way around — and would be more than happy to skip the suburbs all together.
There has been a wonderful buzz in the air in the city the past two evenings. The pubs are full, people are out walking, it is light past 7 PM. Spring is here. You can feel it in the buzz (and I would’ve missed it if I drove home from work).
On a related note, I feel very grateful as I walk on these evenings — when I was diagnosed with lung disease 5 years ago, there was a 50/50 chance or so I would not survive 5 years. And yet here I am to appreciate it!
Nearly every day I don’t have client meetings, I take the bus. It means a minimum of 10 blocks of walking (5 blocks each way) and instead of worrying about the road, I stare at my phone, stare out the window, cloes my eyes and think or (best of all) close my eyes and don’t think. So I’m more fit, less stressed and promoting less traffic and less fossil fuels. What is not to like?
Whenn I was in high school, I was bussed across the city as part of the desegregation initiative, which means there were a number of times I took public transportation nearly 2 hours. Those were simple times, and riding the bus today — as a 40-something — takes me back to those times.