Call Me English

A little corner of the world where I talk about what I want.

Life in New York: Walking

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When you live in a city where you likely pay thousands upon thousands (or even millions upon millions) of dollars for the mere privilege of living in a tiny, dank apartment with a view of a brick wall, a gaggle of loud neighbors, and no washer or dryer, you have to find a way to spot deals when there is one out there to be spotted.

One of the last great deals left in New York is also one of the most convenient and most interesting forms of exercise you can engage in: walking! This is a walking city. It has always been a walking city. Even before the Commissioners’ Plan of 1811, which laid the egalitarian and perhaps rigid street grid plan onto most of Manhattan, New York was a city best enjoyed on foot.

It is not simply a process of elimination that makes the city so much fun to walk. It is not because driving in the city is an anxiety-fuelled nightmare. It is not because commuting by subway, bus, or taxi is some dystopian combination of crowded, slow, and smelly. What makes walking through New York rewarding and fun is the same thing that makes any city worth visiting or living in: its people and its neighborhoods.

There should be no surprise when I say that the people-watching here is without parallel, but when you combine it with the fact that neighborhoods change color and flavor every few blocks, you wind up with an entertaining and different walking experience every time you go out… and I can’t stress how important that is for me. If exercise feels like a repetitive chore, I won’t do it. I won’t want to get off my butt on the weekend, no matter how nice the weather may be outside, if what I get is the same every time.

We have really begun to get back into the swing of going on long walks to different parts of the city and think about planning the next walk before the one we’re on is even done. And this is not just on weekends, either. As with a lot of other things in life, results are what matter… and we’ve got them. In the month of May alone, we have walked more than 100 miles (160 km).

Not too bad!

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Written by Dave

May 29, 2016 at 23:45

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