There is something about this city that inspires me to walk and take the bus and ride my bike. Maybe it is that there is so much to do in such close proximity, or maybe it is that everyone else is doing the same, or maybe it's just the annoying parking.
I set out on my bike this afternoon with plans for chai, a pedicure, and maybe Ethiopian, and 13 miles of pedaling later, I had done all three.
That might have been a little ambitious, considering that my bike rides lately have been a mile or two.
But on a day when the sun comes out unexpectedly, how could I resist?
I found the chai place by googling "best chai [Gone West]." It was a tiny little box of a place in a nearby area where I rarely find myself. I sat outside in the sunshine at a little picnic table with spicy tea in a mug whose handle was the arm of a monkey dangling on the front of the porcelain.
I had my toes painted turquoise at the salon, a friendly place back in my own neighborhood. An older woman came in as my pedicure was finishing up, and she exhausted me even in the few minutes I heard her give endless precise directions about the color of the polish and the brand of polish and cutting her ingrown toenails correctly and oh could she see a few more colors before she decides? and isn't this one maybe too old and it will be clumpy?
It was a relief to leave her behind and get on my bike to head to Ethiopian, five miles away.
My friend D. met me for Ethiopian, and I ate ravenously. Breakfast was so long ago. I kept telling myself not to eat, this afternoon, in anticipation of Ethiopian food, and it was worth the wait. We ordered three sauces between us (the four sauces last time were, we agreed, a little excessive). We were delightfully full of delicious food.
But never too full for the ice cream cart across the street.
I rode home in the failing evening light, standing up on my pedals on the hills, feeling so very happy to be alive and to be here and to be now.