Walking everywhere can be nice and relaxing. I’m always noticing the sound of the birds, and how pretty the raindrops look on branches and shit. No, really – you gotta watch out for the shit on the sidewalks. It’s everywhere. Seriously though, I really do enjoy walking to and from work when the weather isn’t too bad. After sitting at a desk for much of the day, walking the two miles home is a great way to destress.
I think people all over the world heard about the insanely cold and snowy winter that Boston had this year. As a pedestrian I had it quite easy compared to people with cars, or the poor people that depend on public transportation. And god bless the souls who rode their bikes around here all winter. The only thing that was challenging for me, other than having to dress up basically like an Eskimo every day, was maneuvering the sidewalks. There were times when I wished I had snowshoes or those traction things that mountain climbers wear on their feet. On my way to and from work sometimes I’d have to stand and wait for a minute for someone to come up the extremely narrow path on the sidewalk. This was actually quite nice because I’d get to do something nice for a stranger or neighbor I didn’t know. The nice people would always say “thank you”, or we’d strike up a brief conversation. You’d get to see people walking their cute dogs wearing adorable jackets with little hoods on them. Or a lady with a little kid strapped to her back. Kudos to the lady I saw do that every day in below zero weather.
The only thing I truly dread about walking in the winter, other than non-existent crosswalk entrances, are when these spots have epically long and deep puddles, and there’s really no way around them. One time when I was approaching one of these lakes at Beacon Street, and was considering how to get through it, a guy suddenly ran by me – this was a tall and very husky young guy, I mean running like he was in the Olympics – and his did this amazing hurdle jump over the puddle. I was so excited for the guy, I’m pretty sure I went, “YEAHHH!” He turned around and looked like “Did I really do that?” Unfortunately I wasn’t so successful with that puddle. I tried to do a jump, and missed by about a foot. It didn’t really matter though, since I had my ugly boots on. These boots are so ugly that no one else would be caught dead in them, but they always keep my feet nice and warm and dry. I’m not talking about Ugg boots, by the way. I would not be caught dead or alive in those things.
The thing that can be really annoying working and living in a place filled with students and tourists is dealing with people who don’t respect the rules of the sidewalk. These rules are (according to me): Always keep to the right; be respectful of others and not take up the entire sidewalk, and don’t stop suddenly. The first rule about keeping to the right was something I was taught in the first grade. Our teacher took us for a walk through the school, and taught us some kind of chant about keeping to the right So this was ingrained in me. For some reason, people don’t know this rule. When I’m feeling particularly bold, if I see someone walking towards me, and not move out of the way, I’ll imagine a force field around me, and force them to move. Other times though I wimp out, and think, “whatever, dude”, and let them go on their oblivious way on the wrong side of the sidewalk.
I get super annoyed with groups of people that not only take up an entire sidewalk (no matter how wide it is, it doesn’t matter to them), but they go s l o w. I love rainy days when this happens so I can hit them with my umbrella. I’ve only done this a couple of times, but it was extremely satisfying. Hey, I can’t be nice 100% of the time.
The people who are walking in front of you, who have a momentum going, and then suddenly stop need to be kicked in the ass. I’m sorry if you suddenly got a wedgie, or whatever, but don’t be doing that unless you want to be bodyslammed from behind, buddy. The people who have done this in front of me have so far been lucky. Most of the time it’s somebody who’s looking at their cell phone, and just not aware of anything around them. People. Be aware. The end.