A repository of possibilities
“Walkers are ‘practitioners of the city,’ for the city is made to be walked. A city is a language, a repository of possibilities, and walking is the act of speaking that language, of selecting from those possibilities. Just as language limits what can be said, architecture limits where one can walk, but the walker invents other ways to go.”
― Rebecca Solnit
I’ve always thought that walking is the best way to really get to know any place — a neighborhood, a city, the woods, the mountains or the beach. So much is more easily visible to those who go exploring on foot.
While we lived in northern California, I used to love to go into San Francisco and just spend the day walking around. I would be so absorbed in what I was doing that usually I would not stop to eat lunch (except for maybe an energy bar or some fruit), and I would not even miss eating. I joked to Jeff about my “San Francisco diet” because, between walking up and down all those hills and skipping the snacks and lunches, it was a great way to lose a few pounds!
I especially loved the free City Guides Tours, which offered fascinating commentary and history on various neighborhoods. Since the tour guides were all volunteers who were there simply for their love of the city and the fun of introducing it to others, there was lively discussion and time for lots of questions. Often, those who were on the tours were visitors from other cities who offered up interesting information about their own home towns.
There may be a similar program in a town near you, but even if there is not, I highly recommend taking a day sometime soon to go exploring on foot. When we take vacations, we make time for discoveries that we might never get around to in our own home cities and counties. Perhaps an afternoon “mini-vacation” is just the ticket to brighten up a dull winter week. If you do go exploring in your local area, send us some stories or photos – we’d love to take a virtual stroll with you!
One year ago today
This post was first published seven years ago today. Perhaps the ideas about local exploration through walking are all the more relevant today, as Covid-19 is still restricting travel and many other activities.
The original post, comments and photo are linked, along with two other related posts, below. These links to related posts, and their thumbnail photos, do not appear in the blog feed; they are only visible when viewing the individual posts by clicking on each one. I have no idea why, nor do I know how they choose the related posts. That’s just the way WordPress does things.