Important Notice

Special captions are available for the humor-impaired.


Tuesday, October 26, 2004

Walking and Biking


As I sit here looking out the window I watch someone try to parallel park an expensive German automobile. They seem rather uncomfortable with the endeavor and the solid engineering doesn’t seem to make it any easier for them. I am a great parallel parker; I’m a great parker, period. My middle name should be Urban Parker. I never pay to park--paying to park is for pansies. What I have even more talent for than parking, either parallel or otherwise, is walking and biking. I walked here this morning. It’s only about three blocks from my apartment so I don’t want a pat on the back but every once in a while I like to talk about what a great luxury it is to not have to drive a car day in, day out.

I have a great parking spot for my car in front of the restaurant by my apartment. My “Veteran for Kerry” bumper sticker has transformed my seldom-used Volkswagen into a campaign billboard. Putting a Kerry sticker on your car in Seattle is like bringing coals to Newcastle, but that’s the subject of another essay. My point is that I have been completely foot-powered for about three weeks solid. Rain or shine (This is Seattle so it has been mostly the former) I either ride a bike or walk.

My neighborhood is completely self-contained; everything I need is within about ten blocks. There are times when I would like to go out to another area of town to check out a new restaurant or club. On those occasions I either take a cab or change my plans and stay in my neighborhood. I can never seem to summon the energy these days to drive a car just to go to a restaurant. There are lots of good restaurants within walking distance without the worries of having too much wine.

A local politician here was criticized for saying that Seattle was like Mayberry, the archetypical hick town from The Andy Griffith Show. Some Seattleites think we are a chic, sophisticated city. I would split the difference and say we are a chic, sophisticated Mayberry. I don’t need a car much here in Mayberry unless I want to drive up to the country seat at Mount Pilot or wherever the non-The Andy Griffith Show equivalent of that is in Washington state.

In the October 18, 2004 issue of The New Yorker magazine David Owen states in his article entitled Green Manhattan: Everywhere should be more like New York that NY is the most environmentally friendly city in America. Most of this is due to the heavy population density and the fact that New Yorkers can actually walk places.

Every time I see a new apartment high-rise go up in Seattle I can’t help but think that a hillside east of here was spared the bulldozer’s wrath. The 150 or so new residents of that building can now walk to stores, restaurants, bars, dry cleaners, and to church I guess. Is there a church around here? What I am trying to say is that if you live in a dense urban area you don’t have to drive much which leaves more time for prayer.

No comments:

Post a Comment

If you can't say something nice, say it here.