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Life in one city is much like another
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jducoeur
We had some errands downtown today, so Kate and I decided to go have lunch in the North End. Following that, Kate discovered that I had never been to Mike's Pastries, so we headed over there to pick up some dessert for tonight. (Mmm -- espresso cannoli.) Thence back towards Faneuil Hall, where we went our separate ways -- her to work, and me to quickly poke around, since I hadn't been to Quincy Market in an age.

After a quick reminder that Quincy Market is just like any other mall (aside from an exceptionally good food court), I started to head home. But I quickly decided that Park Street was out of my way, so I headed towards Charles MGH.

When I got to Charles, I was still slightly tipsy from the monumental cocktail at lunch (a tasty but idiosyncratic "Manhattan", dominated by cherry liquor), and I wanted to walk it off. So I headed across the Longfellow to Kendall.

By the time I got to Kendall, I was finally clear-headed again, and enjoying the walk. So I kept going towards Central.

By the time I got to Central, I was fully up to speed, and realized that the stubborn side of my brain had engaged. So I gave up on illusions of the MBTA, turned right, stopped in Whole Foods for a bottle of iced tea, and walked home to Ball Square.

All told, it was about six miles home from Mike's -- add to that about two miles of walking before lunch, and it's been a good day of exercise.

And the thing is, it doesn't feel *strange*. My feet are a tad blistered, but it reminds me of nothing quite so much as a good day at Pennsic, where I probably average about six miles of walking per day. The details are obviously different, but the general notion feels very similar: starting from home, walking downtown, doing some errands, having lunch, hitting some neighborhoods and walking home again. Granted, here I'm not carrying a big bundle of archery equipment, but the effect is nonetheless much the same, and it's really quite lovely.

I have a feeling that I'm going to get very used to city life, very quickly. I suspect I'm never going to be comfortable in the suburbs again...
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Hadn't been to.... I'm flabbergasted. And very glad she corrected that oversight in your cultural and culinary record.

Having unexpectedly walked 8 miles last Sunday I agree that even if it isn't the norm, it isn't an overly burdensome bit of exercise.

And yes, meandering through any town like that... there's something of a similar experience where you walk a bit, do a thing, walk a bit, see a thing, walk a bit, talk a bit more than all the other things, and wend back to home base.

But I'll keep my suburbs. Sunday's walk was through the neighborhoods to the state park. Checking out gardens and house architectures, chatting, pushing a pram, and at the park wandering the trails and observing the great scads of dog owners and walkers who bring their animals to the state park. I love spending a day going around the city, but I wouldn't enjoy it as an everyday activity.

You're making me exceedingly homesick.

I don't know if I ever did 6 miles at a stretch, though I don't know that I didn't either, but I remember when the way from JP/Forest Hills to Simmons/Fenway to the Prudential/Back Bay was my playground, and walking from Central to Harvard wasn't something to really even blink at. Even Kendall to Harvard, really, with enough spare time at hand.

Granted, here I'm not carrying a big bundle of archery equipment

*SNORK*

But yeah: walking is awesome. We're a little on the fringes, but still accessible enough to get at least into Medford and Camberville where many friends live.

(Not that you can't walk in the suburbs. But you tend to need to walk quite a ways to get anywhere, as opposed to walking past all kinds of awesome on your quite-a-ways perambulation to somewhere particular.)

Where in the North End did you have lunch?

Antico Forno. Somewhat unprepossessing place -- very traditional-neighborhood-Italian-looking, without the fancy menus and details of modern upscale restaurants. But it was quite good: Kate's rigatoni was piping hot and tasty, and the Risotto Special that I got was absolutely lovely, melding asparagus, pancetta and mushrooms perfectly to make one of the best risottos I've had in quite a while. And the price was excellent, only about $30 for two before tip, including my whack-upside-the-head cocktail.

Their arrosto di agnello (lamb sandwich) is tasty.

when I used to work in the financial district of Boston, we would often walk home on nice spring days like this. There's something about walking to kendall that makes you feel like, well, I've come this far, and central is close enough, I'll keep going.. And once you're at Central, well Ball Square isn't THAT far away.. it's a nice walk. I love walking across the longfellow bridge.

After enduring major traffic disruptions en route to the office this week, I feel a much greater appreciation for having been able to walk to most of my destinations when I was living overseas (or while I was in college, come to think of it).

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