Tuesday, March 24, 2009

A Tale of Two Cities: Part B - Getting Around Town

I'm going to start this post by asserting that I love to drive.  I really do.  Always have - always will.  I like cars.  I like to drive them far too fast, except when the boys are with me. 

Then I feel guilty for speeding.

Anyway.  Some of you may recall that Dr. SmartyPants bought me a convertible Mustang for my 40th birthday.  I love love love my car.  It's pretty.  It's fast.  It's topless.

But not in a sleazy way - more National Geographic than Playboy.

In any case - this is my sweet ride...

Happy Birthday to Me

Now then.  I also have to confess that I HATE driving in traffic.  People get in my way.   They don't understand how and when to use turn signals.  They drive 5 miles under the speed limit.  It's very very VERY very irritating.  Yes.  I know that makes me a jerk.  I don't honk, though - does that count for anything?

In suburbia, there really is no other choice but to drive.  If we want to go to the library, the nearest one is 6 miles away, on back roads with no sidewalks and no shoulder.  There is no public transportation where I live.  They never thought the cows in the pasture would require it.  The nearest grocery store is about 4 miles - same scenario as the library.  If I want a Grande Americano from the multitude of Starbucks in my town - 6 miles.  I realize this is not a hardship.  My parents have to drive something closer to 20 miles for an Americano.

Here's where the urban lifestyle wins out, hand over fist.

From my townhouse, if I want to go to the library (not just a little branch library, but the main, Central Library) we walk out our door and are there within two blocks worth of walking.  Starbucks?  Two blocks.  Grocery store?  Across the street.  Dry cleaner?  Across the street.  You head out, no stress - no one cuts you off in traffic - no turn signals needed.  Mall?  6 blocks.  Restaurants?  Take your pick and walk to one. 

No searching for a parking place, no paying for a lot, no validation needed.  Two feet, comfortable shoes and off you go.

Anything else outside of my 6 block radius can be handled by one wonderful little tool.


That goes with this rather large one...

Orange Line

For a couple of bucks, round trip, I can be in the heart of DC in about 15 minutes.  No fighting traffic, no worrying about where to park, no vehicle emissions.  Just a two block walk to the station and a 15 minute ride to the city.

Where we can walk to our hearts' content.