Well it’s been almost a week since I started my car-free existence in Midtown, and I’ve got to say, it’s been a great experience. Of course, the temperature has been perfect and the rain has held off until the right times, so that’s made things easier. We’ll see how things are in August. The hardest thing so far was buying groceries for the first time. As I just moved in my new place, I was starting from scratch. So while shopping I had to be conscious of how much I would be able to carry, and even then, I ended up with a little more than was really comfortable. I guess I’ll become a little more European in that respect, buying fewer things fresher and more often.
I’m already a slim guy, but I swear I’ve lost five pounds in just the past week as a result of my walking. It’s really amazing to think how much less obese this country would be if more Americans had an at least somewhat walkable lifestyle. I work out regularly, but the vainest part of me always had a hard time keeping off that little layer of fat that sits below the bellybutton - I don’t think that will be an issue this summer.
Overall, I’d say being carless puts you in a more thoughtful mindset. You’re more aware of your surroundings; you notice the little things that whiz by at 45 mph. Not to sound too Asheville, but you also become more in tune with the universe. The weather actually matters, and you appreciate the cycle of the seasons. That’s my take on it, anyway.