by Jordan Kamikawa
I’m surprised my legs haven’t fallen off.
You may be thinking that this blog is just going to be a long spiel about how walking crazy distances have been a pain, etc. etc. Contrary, let me say that I actually have enjoyed walking to most of our destinations. Although over the course of the trip we’ve walked quite a bit, it’s been great to get a feel for city life and to see the it from a slower pace. I feel that riding in a car often removes you from your surroundings in a sense, especially if they are just whizzing by.
In addition, the public transportation in both cities has really impressed me, and it’s been awesome hardly relying on a car for transportation (besides a couple short taxi rides).
I say this because I have never lived in a place that has had public transportation as easy or simple as both New York and DC have had. I grew up in Maui, Hawaii, where public transit was unheard of growing up, until very recently when they started a very small and inefficient bus service (which I have not ridden once). Thus, I grew up always driving to wherever I needed to go, even if the trip was short. Once I got to college in Spokane, Washington, my method of transportation was basically the same. I either relied on people giving me a ride to places, or driving myself when I finally got a car. Again, this was due to the less than mediocre public transportation system.
That being said, riding the subway system for the first time in New York was really a refreshing experience for me. Besides some weird smells and dirtiness, the ease of getting around the city was great. I love being able to just jump on the “train,” as locals call it, and follow a colored route to your stop. Also, it’s handy that the subway stations are located on almost every other block. Washington DC’s metro system was not as easy to use as New York’s, but it was still efficient in getting to all our meetings and the monuments.
However, our public transit experience was not all completely smooth sailing. We did get either confused or lost a handful of times, mostly due to confusing connections and/or directions. However, for the most part, I think we were able to get around very well.
Going back to driving will be weird, and not being able to find my destinations a couple stops away may get to me. Also, the exercise from the walking has been a nice change.
Who knows, you may see me walking around everywhere in Spokane.
Hmmmm...walking in snow and ice in sub-freezing temperatures just to get to Costco or Albertsons? On second thought, maybe not.