I can go east. Or I can west. Heck, north or south for that matter. Bob Seger may have had a directional dilemma deciding which way to go but I just feel spoiled for choices.
It's all about this wonderful thing called the sidewalk.
We can tell people to get out and walk for their health but without good infrastructure that walk is bound to be an uphill journey.
Just yesterday the Star Trib reported on the population shift out of the burbs. As part of that trend, now that we're living in the city, we simply walk out our door and head off to explore, eat, shop or just walk to be walking, all made easy by something so simple as a strip of concrete.
When we first moved to the burbs five years ago I remember asking the realtor if I could walk to Wayzata from the house we were considering. She assured me I could. But when the snow finally melted I found it was possible but not very pleasant. Walking along a busy highway sharing the bike lane with the daily tour de tonka, next to drivers engaged in animated conversation on their cells, was an arduous undertaking.
Way too late I found that home had a walk score of 3 out of 100.
I felt captive in the cul de sac. I found I had to drive to take a walk. Now studies show it is the unhealthiest place to be. Once prized for privacy and safety it turns out they are the least conducive to exercise and human interaction.
As I traverse the alphabets and numbers of the gridded streets of Minneapolis, I may not run into otters and turkeys that were frequent subjects of this blog before. Although I've been told there are deer and foxes, even eagles about. I do see a future of getting to know the raccoons and crows a lot better. Their knack for urban adaptation begs deeper inspection.
I do miss the critters but find I'm no longer alone in the garden save for them.
The saddest fact about the old cul de sac was the lack of garden give and take. I no longer pass by the yearly pot of pink impatiens and nondescript shrubbery and sigh. Now I never know what horticultural enthusiast and endeavor I may come upon as I turn each corner; a boulevard planting of labeled hostas, 10-foot tall nodding sunflowers, an explosion of lilies, it's all good.