Friday, September 19, 2008

The City by Foot

Yesterday, I finally realized that I live in a city.

I mean, I know Austin is a city, and a pretty big one. It has a population larger than Boston, Atlanta, and the entire state of Alaska. But sometimes, it doesn’t feel like a big city, and I think that’s because I drive almost everywhere.

Anslee asked me to walk with her from her house on East 4th Street to Leaf, a salad restaurant on West 2nd Street. Both locations are technically “downtown,” and I’ve often told Anslee that I love her location because it’s so central and within walking distance of so much.

She has made the decision to walk more, and decided that walking to Leaf would be her first experiment. It’s a 2.3 mile walk. Sometimes, I had to stop myself from thinking “I’m walking over two miles for salad.”

But it honestly wasn’t that bad. It took us about an hour. Luckily, we’ve had nice weather this past week (when I say nice, I mean it’s about 85 degrees instead of the upper 90s). So we didn’t end up at the restaurant soaking in sweat.

As we walked along the sidewalks of our city, we noticed buildings and houses and objects we’d never see from our cars. East Sixth Street is particularly interesting from the vantage point of being of foot. It’s colorful and covered in litter, it’s gritty and, honestly, feels like a urban neighborhood. I’ve noticed the old buildings before, but I’ve never seen some of them up close. I found a new appreciation for Austin, and now, I’d like to spend more time not in my car.

2 comments:

Sarah said...

This is so interesting...

Boston is actually a walking city. I think it's known for that in some respects, but having just moved here, I've started to enjoy walking to so many places. It makes life slower, opens your eyes to new observations, almost lets you feel like you're a part of the city. It was a bit difficult at first, adjusting to walking 2+ miles a day, but now that I'm getting used to it, I like it. Of course, it's been sunny most of my time up here. I might not feel the same in the rain...

Heather P said...

and it was nice to be picked up on the way back by a very attractive motorist i'm sure ;0