It’s another crisp autumn morning and I am heading in to the office. The past couple of weeks I have been getting off the train a couple of stops early to extend my walk in. Originally it was because I was part of a family itBit challenge to walk the most in a week. But, now I find that I am really enjoying it.
While I may have run a half marathon I am by no means athletic. There is a part of me that enjoys the walk and how invigorating it feels. The fresh air, even when it is cool, blows through what little hair I have. It opens up the senses and gets me to look around. When I get in to work I feel so much more awake than with just coffee.
The other nice part of it is that I am walking through a great city, and like a lot of other large cities there is a huge mix of ethnicities blending together. And as I walk along you can see the mix of businesses as well, all vibrant in their own right. The mom and pop pizza shop is sandwiched between the Wendy’s and the Subway. Or the hat shop – as in Fedora’s and similar hats – that sits among the ice cream shop or the Starbucks.
The small side streets, not even wide enough to be called an alley, beautifully decorated with flowers. Despite the small space owners find enough space for a simple chair and small table. This is home. It easy to imagine that these people are not even seeing the city, but their own little slice of heaven.
And the people are so very different. For a writer it is a dream come true. Almost every day I pass a store or a person or a building and think – that has got to be in my book. How do you leave the middle aged man in a Brooks Brother suit and tie walking three dogs at 8am out of the book? Especially when two of them are poodles and the third is a doberman.
Everyone says that their city is the best, whether you are in New York, Dallas, Boston, or Los Angeles. Or here in Philadelphia. I just hope that you can take the time to walk through it. Open your eyes and look around you. Even if you are not writing a new book, you will see things you can’t see driving down the streets.