By Emy Louie, Edited by Raj
I recently moved into a city in the Southeastern United States. There is a charm in the rhythm of life in this city.
There are lots of people around who are enthusiastic about exercising. Some enjoy going their morning runs before most of us are even awake. On some days when I go went for a walk, I bumped into a couple of former elected officials and familiar faces from the political arena who were out walking or jogging. This is bound to happen when you live within a walking distance from the State Legislature and the City Hall, where a good number of government officials live.
The city park, near my house, organizes a lot of activities. During the week there is a men’s group exercising on some days and a women’s group on others. Once I even saw a group of people practicing Yoga in the park.
On the weekends, there is a “fun run” that starts in the park. Many weddings also take place there, usually late in the afternoon. Some of them have had live bands playing right in the middle of the park. I have also seen soccer and volleyball being played out there.
Although there are a lot of dog owners walking their dogs in the park, I have never stepped into dog poop since there is a rule that requires the owners to pick their dog’s poop. Frisbee is yet another activity that usually has a lot of kids involved.
Symphony of Sounds
The different and unique sounds around remind me that I’m in the city.
Like the church bells that I hear tolling on my walks, the train that I can hear from my condominium and even the high school marching band that practices in the afternoons. On Friday nights I hear the marching band play at the local football game and on Wednesday nights there’s the sound of outdoor concerts from the entertainment district.
The entertainment district nearby comes alive on every Wednesday, Friday and Saturday night with restaurant and bar goers flocking in huge numbers.
Sometimes after dinner, I like to take a walk to and back from the entertainment district. Every time it’s like a new adventure. It gives me time to observe my surroundings and people. There are so many things to see, people to watch, the breeze to feel, the moon to gaze on a clear night. And every time I step out for a walk wondering, “What am I going to discover this time around?” There are times when I ride the bus that passes through the entertainment district to get to another set of bars, restaurants and museums in the city.
The entertainment district also plays host to a lot of music and art shows like the First Friday art scene. St. Patrick’s Day and Halloween weekends seem especially bustling with people.
One morning I decided to go on a cemetery tour. I was able to do so at a short notice since I live in a historic district and there are several historic sites close by. There are science and history museums in the city, which the school groups visit.
During the day, one time, a girlfriend came over to my condominium and we walked around the park and went over to the local coffee shop and then we walked back. It may sounds rather simple, but it was a really nice break in the middle of the work day to just walk and get some sun and exercise and some social time in.
It’s easy for friends to visit me since I’m in town and they are usually in town for some reason sometime in the week. So my social life is healthy.
In fact, taken to the other extreme, I was talking to some parents of my daughter’s high school. People in this city are usually curt in order to avoid having long winded conversations.
Restaurants and Stores
I can walk anywhere. Sometimes, I walk to the theater that features independent movies. I walk to the local library and shopping mall. Once in a hot summer day, I walked to a restaurant just to cool off, had lunch and watched The World Cup.
I walked to a corner pharmacy/soda fountain that featured sandwiches for a few dollars. Later, I bought a box of doughnuts at the landmark bakery.
There is a nearby street that I can walk, bike or drive to, that has a flower shop, bicycle shop, car wash, camera store.
When I just want to hang out and not do much of anything, I drive my car to the park and hangout in my car with windows rolled down enjoying the fresh air, sunshine and watching people.
Life and the city!