The Pedestrian Chronicles #1
Following up on the original urbanist manifesto.
I don't know why this hasn't occurred to me before: Ray Bradbury's 1951 short story The Pedestrian —about the magical and somehow radical act of walking—is the original Urbanist manifesto; a call to action in Bradbury's creepy mechanized future of blue-gray view screens and auto isolation.
My underwhelming bank account doesn't fully explain why walking has always been my No. 1 way of getting around; even growing up as an upper-middle-class kid in the suburbs, I cruised around on foot more than made sense given my easy access to cars. I was pretty dreamy about walking from neighborhood to neighborhood, especially, like Bradbury's Leonard Mead, late at night.
Even during my fantastic 18-year-old summer in NYC, I chose a daily walk home from work—45th & Broadway to 102nd & Riverside Drive—instead of the subway, carving out one of the most memorable blocks of time I've ever had.
Walking is still my preferred option. And for this premiere installment of The Pedestrian Chronicles (a shout out to Bradbury's Martian Chronicles) here's a picture from Saturday night's walk home in the snow.
9:30 PM, 2/8/14, 20th Ave. E. between E. Denny Way & East John St.
Send your own flâneur pictures my way, and I'll work them in to this semi-regular feature.