For the better part of the last year, I've been walking. To work, to concerts, to dinner, and so on. It began as a way to become more active without actually becoming more active. Truth be told, it takes the same amount of time for me to walk from my house to my office as it did to take any combination of public transportation options (although that's less a reflection of my physical prowess as it is an indication of just how badly fucked SEPTA, the Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority, is these days). What started as a half-assed way to work off my morning Franken-Berry has become more than just a regular part of my day, it's become an ever-unfolding adventure.
Though I mostly stick to the same 30 minute route to and from work each day, the very nature of living in a city as large and bustling as Philadelphia has meant that no two days' walks are ever the same. Or boring. I see sleekly designed houses spring up from long vacant lots. I see the sad, well-dressed masses of Philadelphia's businessfolk emerge silently from cramped subway staircases. I see whimsical set-pieces for a touring revival of The Wizard Of Oz unloaded from semi-trucks like common crates. I see women dressed head-to-toe in anachronistic glamor that even Norma Desmond would find tacky. I see a city hum faintly with activity in the after-hours. I see where a young man lost his life one bright morning.
In this most recent winter, I braved several snowstorms just to walk. Not out of pride or spite, but out of habit. When it came time to renew my SEPTA pass for the spring months, I opted out. The money I had previously put toward a guaranteed, slow, late, inconvenient ride found better use elsewhere. Like getting the soles of my boots replaced.