June 4, 2008

My walker card.

I never walked to school as a child but was always jealous of my friend Carolyn being termed “walker” by our elementary school since she lived a mere 2 blocks away. I longed to walk to and from school, however, I dealt with the fact that the yellow school bus was my mode of transport from kindergarten through freshman year of high school. This deep-rooted yearning to walk to school is what I think really made my last two years that much more fulfilling as I was able to walk to work while living in midtown Manhattan.

In the span of those two years (as crazy as this may sound) I was able to walk to not one, not two, but six different jobs. I walked north to the Upper East Side to a small boutique design studio, I walked south to an advertising agency, I walked a bit west to an in-house design department at a national publication, a little closer west to a chic beauty business, just one block north and one block west (by far the closest commute I have and will ever have in my life...until my dreams of having a small studio in my own home come to fruition) to a public relations firm, and then most recently a small walk south and then over west a little to a large beauty corporation.

For two years I was able to know exactly the time my commute would take. I did not have to think about the trains being slow because of rain or snow or other inclement weather. I could watch the businesses in my neighborhood open up for the day – the sound of the metal chains being raised and the locks unclicking in their doorways by the morning manager. I watched couples kissing goodbye on street corners before they parted ways for their workday. I watched a single father walk his 4 year-old triplet sons to school. I watched a mother ride on the back of her son’s razor scooter as his small feet stayed on the board and hers did the pushing off. I learned which street fruit vendors sell the best strawberries. I observed buildings’ construction from start to finish (and some which are still not finished). I ran into old friends from high school, college, jobs, and even old apartments.

Sure, it was tough in the rain, as anyone who walks anywhere in the rain in New York City knows that it is aggressive out there on the streets where people walk with umbrellas large enough to shelter a family of five. Sure, it was tough in the snow when slippery sidewalks and corner puddles beg to be stepped in and slipped on, but I still loved every minute of knowing that I was in charge of my commute. Knowing that I could practice my Spanish podcast lessons aloud on the street. Knowing that I could talk with my best friend who, while I had a half hour walk to my office, had a half hour commute in her car in Boston. Knowing that I had this time that was all my own. I was finally a “walker”.

And now, just a few days ago, after two years, I passed in my “walker” card. I moved off the island and moved to Brooklyn to begin the next phase of my life.

1 comment:

megan said...

Oh, that's what i loved about living in NY, all the walking, never was in better shape than when i lived there.