Tuesday, January 12, 2010

My Own Two Feet

While living in NY, I walked everywhere.  When I first got there, I often took the subway, but soon enough realized that walking is what really gets you somewhere.  It almost always gets you something, as well.  I gained new friendship, gathered new goodies, and rarely met a sidewalk-discarded-something-or-other I didn't pick up and take home.

I never had a car, I never longed for a car, I never needed a car.  There wasn't any other place to go, why would I need a car to get there?

When we moved to SF, everyone said it was a car-kind-of-town.  Since we had planned to drive across country, it seemed a perfect marriage of new place + used car = new life.  After 2 years of tickets, parking frustrations, and a one-time towing, the car had seen it's day (the breakdown on the freeway--the car's, then mine-- might have been the actual straw that broke the camels back).  We donated it that summer and never looked back.  We've been car-less now for a little over 2 years and, while I don't exactly love it all the time, I have recently re-discovered my old NY-walking-feet-ways!

When I was driving the car, I never looked around.  I used to get truly frustrated trying to navigate this city and it's one-way streets.  Once the car was gone, I moved to the bike, which gave me great insight to the city.  While avoiding curbs, people, poles and parked cars, I looked up, down and all around as much as possible.  I was moving slower and had a lot less blind spots than in a car.  Of course, as the saying goes, all good things must come to an end and that good time came to an end when my bike got stolen.
Back to my own two feet.

On foot I see things in the nooks and crannies of everyday life that I wouldn't see any other way.  I see the hidden graffiti and the small tchotchkes on window ledges indoors.  I see the strange flyers that are posted and the sorta seeming open-but might be closed-cuz i'm not sure it's a studio-or a shop shop/studio (man, I've seen the inside of a LOT of those and feel lucky to say so!). 

Maybe I'm just feeling a bit melancholy because any month now, I'm hoping we'll actually get a car.


Marion Williams-Bennett said...

I love walking in the city, it brings our all my senses - the smells, the conversations, and of course the beautiful glimpses (like your wonderful photo.

But then it's grocery day, and canned goods are on the list and there's the day of the library book sale, and well, a car does have it's appeal.

Do you have ZipCar in San Francisco?

Happy new year, friend!

paige said...

I love your last line. You are the cutest. And you make me remember how much I like walking too.

So walk in the city... and save your car for trips to come see us... cause it would take too long for you to walk up here.


Ivanhoe Books - Art And Design said...

love the "i heart us" photo. love.