Return to Suburbia

At several points during the summer, I contemplated the idea of living in Boston year-round. “I probably could, but I think I would miss driving too much,” was usually my response. I like the experience of being on the road, especially with a good soundtrack to keep me company, or good company to entertain me with conversation. After watching Elizabethtown, I’ve wanted to take a solo road trip around the country to visit a combination of significant and obscure landmarks. Driving is even one of my favorite activities on facebook.

Now that I have returned to the suburbs after a month in Boston, I’m not so sure I would miss driving as much as I thought. I spent the last six weeks relying on my own two feet and MBTA, with only one round-trip drive in a car during the entire time in Boston. I liked having unlimited rides on my T pass, giving me the freedom to hop onto a subway car and ride to the studio or the harbor or the beach. To my surprise, I really enjoyed walking too. Sometimes I walked with purpose, with the grocery store or a restaurant as my destination. I think more often than that, I walked rather aimlessly, choosing a direction and going, hoping I wouldn’t get caught in the rain or become too tired for the return home. It was on these walks that I stumbled upon Chinatown, a festival for AccessSportAmerica, the Cheers bar, and a graffiti-covered railway bridge over the Charles River. I’m not usually one for exercise, but I enjoyed the time outdoors over the time spent idling inside. I don’t really have the opportunity to explore or walk around aimlessly in the suburbs, though one would think it should be safer. Rather, pedestrians are limited to the shoulders of bustling roadways to get them from residential developments to shopping centers. The other day, I drove from my house to Chick-Fil-A across the street, a distance I would have walked without question in Boston. It’s probably as far from my house as the Kenmore Square T stop is from our dorm. It seemed senseless to me, and with that I began to think I could do without driving and live in a city long-term, provided there is a good public transit system there. So at this point, I am allowing myself to look at jobs in Philadelphia, Boston, Washington DC, and Chicago (I couldn’t afford to live in NYC…) and using an exercise ball I bought after driving to the store.

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