Tuesday, April 2, 2013

No Longer About The Mileage

I got the idea to walk from house (Philadelphia) to home (New York). "Home" will always be where my parents reside, until I start a family of my own. So, as cliche as it sounds, it became more about my journey and less about the mileage (99.2 miles) to NYC. Particularly, the self dialogue concentrated around the lack of pedestrian pathways connecting town to town, and even within neighborhoods. Once you leave the city it becomes a real problem if you have to walk to your destination. Whilst sitting in a Starbucks outside of Princeton I had a telephone conversation with a like-minded friend from New York, Ryan Bourne. Ryan and I discussed how we are slaves to our cars. Starting in the early 20th century, and followed in subsequent generations, cars have been viewed as agents of personal freedom; that life is a highway and begins when rubber meets the road. Sadly, this walking journey has me believing the exact opposite. We are slaves to these personalized vessels that cover vast distances with little to no effort on behalf of the occupant. The driver and passengers fail to experience the environment as they pass through life. There is correlation between experiencing this world with sweat on your brow and one's overall state. Mind you my "outdoor" sentiment refers to the concrete jungle I inhabit. With that said, Vitamin D, from the sun, and air, however tainted by the metropolis's pollution, remain, to name a few, key components to human well being.

The next step for this project:

I purchased 50 corrugated plastic signs (think political campaign lawn signs, 12x18 inches) with a yellow background and larger black font that says, "Sidewalk?" I plan to have a videographer film me driving these signs intro the ground, stake first, as I retrace my 47 mile walk from Philadelphia, PA to Princeton, NJ. I plan to put a sign wherever the sidewalk ends and the shoulder begins.

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