Oh. My. God. I hadn’t ever driven before in Boston for good reason, but today, because my mother, daughter and I were doing a less-than-24-hour conservatory tour through Boston, there I was, with a GSP repeatedly telling me to make a U-turn, my mother puzzling over google directions print-outs, and the longest red lights I’d ever seen. By the time I went around the same square of blocks four times in a row, trying to obey the tedious, sarcastic and wrong wrong wrong GPS, and we somehow — through cursing and hyper-ventilating — to our destination, I was ready to throw myself on a bed, weeping into a pile of chocolate cookie dough. Then after we talked with the admissions guy at the New England Conservatory, we had to drive to the hotel. Two miles, only four turns, but still…….if I had to drive in this city daily, I would need a daily counseling, pedicures and anti-depressants. Or I would need to do what I did later: walk.
Once my mom and daughter were settled in the hotel, I hoofed it out there, and I soon found why in the world anyone would live in Boston. It’s a great city for walking. I walked for two hours this afternoon, and over an hour after a dinner, threading myself through hotel areas, the Boston Commons, the trail along the Charles (and over the great walking bridge over a highway), an Asian area, the old City Hall, a produce market area and up and down the steep, lamp-posted streets near our hotel in Beacon Hill.
While I truly live for walking my native city — New York — and I did put in my usual outrageous mileage a few days ago — I found Boston to be wonderfully walkable with interesting turns that brough to view antique red brick building, narrow well-lit alleys of beautifully restored apartments, ducks and sailboats, quirky corner gelato cafes, and lots of other walkers.
Back at the hotel, I think about the last time I was here, three years ago when I was suffering from insomnia, migraines, and other little ailments, and I also walked for hours. I walked myself back to some sense of clarity and balance about how I needed to recast my life toward greater health. Three years later, I did just that — through yoga, enough sleep, better diet, and more open space in my schedule — and of course, walking. Now I walk this city in gratitude, not thinking so much that I could live here, but I could certainly walk here anytime.
Photos from the walk: The Charles near dusk, an amazing tree near the river, and the ducklings in honor of the great children’s book, Make Room for Ducklings by Robert McCloskey.