I'm not really sure why Gone West feels so much more walkable to me than Universe City ever did. For about the same distance as my usual walk to shopping here, I could have gotten to a reasonable shopping center with some restaurants with outdoor seating in Universe City. And yet, I drove. I always drove. I think I walked there once.
It never occurred to me in Universe City to do what I did tonight: to leave my house at 7 pm, walk 45 minutes up to my usual stroll-shop district, have some ice cream, and walk 45 minutes back.
I think it occurs to me here because I started here with no car. For the 2.6667 years that I lived here before, I just walked and walked and walked.
On my way home today, I tried to walk a new route to see the pretty houses. (I love the houses. They are a whole 'nother post, the houses.)
I literally do not think there is a block that I have not walked in this neighborhood, in a rectangle about 15 blocks wide and 20 blocks long. I keep thinking I've found a street that I didn't used to walk down much, and then I remember how very much I've always liked that house, or that yard, or that fence.
The only change is that the houses are even more beautiful than before, because the housing prices continue to go up in this neighborhood. I cross the street to look at a window or the trellis over the porch, and I worry that someone is going to think I'm scoping them out for a burglary or something, but the fact is that I am white and middle class and not obviously drug addicted, and the combined privilege of those things exempts me from a lot. I get smiles instead of suspicious looks.
I wrote the previous paragraphs last night, before I fell asleep with the computer still on my lap.