W is for Walking

| April 13, 2014

Subsequent to parking in the Village last night, my cousin and I walked nearly a mile to reach the restaurant “Dallas BBQ.” The former purposefully parked from this distance because he says that he desired to have “a good walk in the city”; I retorted, “You just wanted to park far away so you could have an aesthetic experience with the village—and to meet the love of your life.” He laughed.

My cousin’s desire to engage with the village’s beauty made me start thinking about the notion of walking, akin to our discussion of Lines earlier in the semester—how walking in itself can be an aesthetic experience if we do perhaps take pleasure in the activity. Throughout our time toward the restaurant and therefrom, I found myself observing everything—the people in the cafes, the towering skyscrapers, the windingly small streets (near serene, hidden alcoves), the dimly lit apartments—and the life found in all (or perhaps lack thereof). I usually do so, either consciously or unconsciously, but since my cousin proclaimed his admiration of the vicinity, he illuminated mine as well. The act of walking as an experience fascinates me because we are intimately engaged in whatever we are walking in or to, whether we take pleasure in this time or not. The lines that we follow when walking might not have uniformity, but the experience itself matters the most (as long as we like where we are going).

When I went to the open house for prospective students at Teachers College, Columbia University’s main campus overwhelmed me. The lights, the people, the architecture. One year later, I still find myself pleasurably walking through the entire campus in that I can see that which surrounds me.