Living in Shaw with no car: Walking

This might be another great InShaw series, or not. But I should start somewhere.
I haven’t owned a car since 1993 when I sold my one and only car after graduating college. Since then I either had no money for a car (gas, insurance, maintenance, etc) or lived in areas where parking was a game of skill and cunning, and there was ample public transportation, I just never bothered to buy another car. So here I am, more than a decade later, and still no car. So I walk.
I chose the neighborhoods where I lived in the DC metro area based on the public transportation and what was in walking distance. When I first moved to Shaw, over in Logan Circle, I picked the place because #1 it was cheap, second because within walking distance was a Laundromat, the Giant, the metro station, and my hairdresser. Whole Foods hadn’t opened up until I was ready to move, it was 3 blocks away. When I bought the house and moved to the other end of Shaw, I could still walk to the Giant, I can walk to a Laundromat, the metro, and on a good day, when the sun is shining, my hairdresser.
Walking and having to walk is one of the good things about living in the city. Separates us from the far flung suburbanites. We got sidewalks, lots of ’em. Things are just close enough that you can walk to them, when there are things to walk to.
Almost everyday, I walk to the metro, to and from work. Depending on my needs and the season, I walk to the Giant or to the corner store for milk. I walk to the Dunkin Donuts, canceling out any health benefits walking may give. I walk over to friends’ homes. Sometimes I just walk to look around and see what is going on with the neighborhood.
Walking, good for you.

6 thoughts on “Living in Shaw with no car: Walking”

  1. I wish all of my friends didn’t live in NoVa and points south. I have no one that I can walk to and hang out. 🙂 The closest I can get is a metro ride to Vienna and a bus to Fairfax City. (Or the less than favorable trip down VRE to Woodbridge where I have to spend the night).

  2. The friends are people I’ve befriended in the neighborhood. The other friends are out in Maryland and VA. But lucky me, all my good friends live within the beltway.

  3. MM-

    Good for you! My wife and I are carless as well and love it (in fact she does not even have a license)…when we “need a car” we rent it (zipcar member and hotwire is cheap). The hilarious thing about walking is when we have friends/family in to visit that do not walk as much as we do and it DRIVES THEM CRAZY when we walk everywhere (everything is “5 blocks away” even Georgetown). I wish there were more folks like us because I am about done with agressive drivers who treat walkers like they are cars…THIS HAPPENS THE MOST IN SHAW!

  4. I am looking forward to be able to walk to places near where I live. Unfortunately, I don’t see that happening any time within the next 5 years. Anacostia is still the bastard step-child of the District.

  5. Your frickin blog is growing on me, dam you!!!!! I don’t think its good to walk everywhere. What if somebody you know is hurt and you need to drive them to a hospital. Are you gonna rely on 911??? Oh gosh please don’t.

  6. I am not a medical professional but from the training I’ve had because I have had to work with the public, is moving a hurt person can cause more damage and possible permanant injury. Best leave certain things to medical professionals. Also running into the ER ain’t gonna move me up past the guy with the broke arm who was sitting there for 3 hours.

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