Heart rate and calorie burning are all well and good, but they are not the first thing I think of when someone says Good Walk! I prefer the less rigorous approach.
1. Keep up a sauntering pace.
2. Take frequent breaks for observation.
3. Stay alert for mysteries.
4. Acquire a souvenir (or two or three).
5. Don't forget to hydrate.
Last week I took a break from research at the public library downtown to amble down Hayes Street to Patricia's Green (named for a local gourmand).
See the sign above the sign? It always makes me do a doubletake. Who's going to touch down first? Left? Right? Right appears to have the advantage, but considering where the sign is, the left will probably win.
Patricia's is a pocket park with lots to offer. There are some rules for using the park. Including...
...no skateboarding on the benches. I'm not a rules freak, but I do like the gingko leaf details they chose to discourage the grinders. Besides, there are other things to do.
Ponder this sudden explosion of branches. It's outside. No guards. You can get up close and see how it's built.
You can think about the poetry of things coming and and going, of nature and its forces, or just of beginnings that begin again.
Of course, you can also just read the sign and move on.
But my walking rules include observation. The designers of this park understand that. See here...
Come a little closer.
The possibility to see the everyday in an alien way is right there. If you're short (like I am)...
...just ask the guy in the polo shirt to move his bike. If you visit this park there are plenty of benches to people watch from. You might get a spot of knitting in or eat a sandwich. Yes, it is a shame one can't skateboard, but — escorted by a child — one can climb.
If you fall, the playground is surfaced with cool, cushy rubber made from old athletic shoes. FYI, three ladders in the middle. Send in the clowns! If this isn't your style then saunter around the corner for a little mystery (rule #3).
The big doors let in the really big people and the little doors? I dunno, but the architecture style brings very short conquistadores to mind or maybe it's a gateway to another world. Which reminds me that a souvenir or two is in order (rule #4). A stop at Bibliohead fits the bill. Ha! Who needs the book stalls along the Seine?
Any one can Bake is my new favorite cookbook. It was published by the Education Department of the Royal Baking Company in 1929 and includes a short history of baking powder and suggestions for packing wholesome school lunches including graham biscuit sandwiches with chopped meat filling. I am an aficionado of school lunches. The thought of fish sticks and jello makes me sorry I grew up. Really!
I also bought a Dover book on costumes which I read while following rule #5. Lucky for me a nearby coffee house was serving iced jasmine tea.
I lingered and read until it was time to go back to work. FYI, I finally finished that monkey and thanks to the Dover History of Costume, he's ready for Halloween. While other simians dream of evolving, my little guy dreams of Jeannie, but then he was made in San Francisco.