Monday, May 12, 2008

Manhattan Living I

I used to travel to the Midwest a lot, and I got used to the “Are you some kind of Martian?” look I got when I said I lived in Manhattan. New York, not Kansas. Eventually I worked out this little set-piece that started: “It’s the warmest, friendliest place I’ve ever lived” which had the dual virtues of flying directly in the face of a caricature of New York and of being true.

Being on foot in a densely populated area creates social contact. You can’t walk by someone two or three times a week without acknowledging his or her existence. You can’t walk your dog three times a day without meeting other dog owners on the same schedule. You don’t make weekly trips to the grocery store five miles away to collect a dozen bags of groceries. You make daily trips, and get to know the checkers, who are currently making fun of my bringing a tote.

Everyone’s living space is small, and so the outside world is like an enormous, shared living room, with the Park a shared back yard. That sharing creates comity.

atriots downstairs are comparing walk scores.

Don't know what brought that on, but mine is 95.