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07:40 am: sidewalks
We're spoiled in Longmeadow. It's a great town. Crappy restaurants, but wonderful schools (which would explain why I'm paying private school tuition?). Convenient location without urban sprawl or crime. Really lovely.

One of the best things about it, which Peter first noticed, is the sidewalks. While I wouldn't say I disregarded them, I definitely under-estimated their impact on our happiness.

Longmeadow is a great walking town. There are hills if you want them, but mostly it's pretty flat. And the sidewalks are fantastic. Every street has them on at least one side (most on both). They're kept clear. And there's a wide strip of lawn between the sidewalk and the street (3 feet at a bare minimum, and up to at least 40 - yes, forty - in some places). So it's safe and comfortable.

Everybody is extremely good about curbing their dogs, too. I don't think I've seen a single dog poo anywhere unless I'm unfortunate enough to see the poo make its exit, whereupon the dog owner immediately scoops it up into a bag. Every dog walker has a leash (or several) in one hand and a plastic bag (or several) in the other.

(Excuse me for going on about dog poo, but we had quite a few incidents right in front of our house in West Roxbury, so we're very aware of Teh Poo.)

I hadn't thought consciously about the sidewalks much until the other night, when Teddy and I took a walk in Newton. It's a lovely city and still feels like home to me in many ways (25 years in a place will do that to a person). It's safe and there are sidewalks most places. But people either deliberately or through neglect have all kinds of bushes and brambles and stuff bursting from the edges of their yards, fences, and walls. Teddy and I walked after dark, and I got whacked on the face quite a few times.

There's also a standard 2-foot (I'm guessing, of course) strip of grass between the sidewalk and the street, which doesn't feel like enough any more.

On the other hand, Newton is much better lit than Longmeadow. I don't think TPTB (DPW?) want Longmeadow residents walking around at night.

It's not stopping me so far, though perhaps I ought to get one of those reflecting strips or somethin'.

Current Location: Longmeadow
Current Mood: sickdizzy
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