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 late at night, just like Bradbury's Leonard Mead.
And during my fantastic 18-year-old summer in NYC, instead of taking the subway, I walked home from work everyday—45th & Broadway to 102nd & Riverside Drive. That sound decision = 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, 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.