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I've walked the world without leaving home

I do not own a car. The garage on my block charges $495 per month, plus an 18- 1/4 percent New York City parking tax. I prefer to occupy an apartment to living in the backseat of a garaged automobile.

And why own a car when other means of transportation are easily available in the form of subways, buses, taxis, my own bicycle, and best of all, walking?

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Walking is the most distinctive feature of a New Yorker's life. In the suburbs, few people walk. Indeed, some suburbs have no sidewalks. For many people living in the country, the longest walk of the day is from house to car.

How pleasant it is to begin the day by exiting my apartment building and walking with vigorous strides along the street. After a night of sleep, the limbs are stretched, the mind clears for the day ahead, and the imagination is stirred by the sight of lively people and attractive store windows.

Each weekday, whatever the weather or season, I walk a minimum of 40 blocks. This works out to two miles.

On weekends I take longer walks around the city - to the foot of Manhattan, to museums, restaurants, the opera, and the park. In a year I walk about 800 miles.

The circumference of the globe is 24,900 miles. I cover this distance over a 31-year period. I have already circled the globe once, walking only on the streets of New York, and am well on my way to doing so again.

True, the soles and heels of my shoes are worn down and my bills for shoe repairs mount, but there is no walking tax in New York City and I need not worry about parking problems or traffic jams.

In my life and in my city, footpower has it over horsepower!

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(c) Copyright 2000. The Christian Science Publishing Society