Is it weird to call “walking” a hobby?
I think I developed the habit when I traveled back to Edinburgh by myself in May. I walked for hours through the weird and winding paths of a city that is hundreds of years old, and I love, love, loved it. I got to go back to one of my favorite places, Holyrood Abbey, and stumbled upon quiet spaces like Dunbar’s Close Garden. Also, it’s pretty hard not to fall in love with beautiful places like The Meadows.
As stunning as Edinburgh is, I truly believe that I live in one of the greatest walking neighborhoods in the world. Cambridge is simply beautiful without being touristy (minus Harvard Square), with cobblestone sidewalks, tree-lined streets, historic places, squares that aren’t really square, and you know, the random cow tunnel.
When I’m home, I take long walks about 3 times a week. I will run errands just to take walks. If it takes 45 minutes to walk to a friend’s house, I leave early and treasure the time. I’m pretty sure this is 100 percent related to the fact that I work entirely online – walking is forced time away from the screen and from checking your phone.
There are a handful of streets that I really, really love in Cambridge.
Inman Street is absolutely gorgeous. It’s around the corner from where I work, and most days I’ll walk it during lunch. It’s a super short little stretch, jam packed with colorful houses and trees.
Broadway is beautiful because it has so many attractions. First, Sennot Park:
… always more fun if you’re walking a dog…
… or doing some acroyoga hula hooping.
Broadway is also fun because it’s packed with little escapes.
- Cambridge Public Library, with an expansive park where you can sit and read quietly for hours.
- Squirrel Brand Park, which has an enormous tree wrapped around a metal pole – I always wonder how long it took to get that way.
- Dwelltime, the most hipster coffee shop in Cambridge (I feel slightly uncomfortable about how un-hip I am every time I’m there, I love it).
- And finally, this little purple house next door that always seems to have the right message at the right time.
- Lee Street has unusually tall trees (either that, or all the houses are really short).
- Bristol Street is pretty and curvy, but I always get confused at the intersections.
- West Street has a pretty little vine walkway.
- Magazine Street is packed with churches – six in a twelve block stretch.
- I also don’t particularly care for Hampshire Street (too many parking lots, too few trees) but, in the fall there are ivy-covered surprises.
- And River Street is terrible at rush hour, but when it’s quiet, you notice little gems like this:
I’ve saved the best for last. Harvard Street between Central Square and Harvard Square is my absolute favorite. It’s a perfect walk, 20 minutes each way. Cobblestone sidewalks, regal homes, ivy-covered buildings, and gorgeous, gorgeous trees.
The funny thing is, I didn’t even realize I had a mental map of all of these streets until I sat down to write this tonight. I guess it’s the little things you notice – and it’s what really makes me love my neighborhood.