WALK THE WALK THE WALK SCORE WAY
Obviously we rarely bother to write about other websites, we're pretty sure that 1. Since you found outsideleft just dandily, then you're perfectly adept at finding your own favorites; 2. Since we've spent in the region of $XXX to get you here, we're just not about to attempt to send you away in such a hurry.
So what maketh the exception that proves the rule? In this case, I'd say, try The Walk Score - How Walkable is Your Neighborhood. Simply type in your address and zip code and based upon a plethora of walk-centric activities - you'll get your street address graded for walk-ability. And as your walk-ability rate stacks up... handily placed libraries, restaurants, bars, shoes shops... a cute little house scoots across the page as a visual indicator of your need to get out and walk. Neat-o.
On average, American's who live in a walk-friendly neighborhood, and use it, trend to 7lbs lighter than those who do not. I proselytize the walk-ability of the streets around our office, I do, I try, I love it here, once you step over the trash, avert your eyes from the graffiti coating the murals and every other facet of either urban decay or just deferred maintenance, human or otherwise, that the local vistas have come to embody. So when our tech advisor, Walt Disney, yes, his name is Walt Disney and no, he is no relation... drew my attention to walkscore.com I knew we'd score high.
That walking is important is often overlooked in Los Angeles. For many, it's a safety issue. I think that's what makes somewhere like London far more dangerous despite it's relatively diminutive homicide rate. The drive-bys perpetrated by most Los Angeles residents? Skirting the most dangerous neighborhoods alone in their cars. In London, a walking capital second perhaps only to Amsterdam amongst EuroCities, the good and the bad are more juxtaposed, more in and out of each others pockets, in the streets, in tube cars and bus stops.
The Spandex bound and breathable fibre People pounding the promenade out on the SM coast on a regular basis won't have it of course, but mainly we just drive to and fro. Damn, it is not a stretch for me to drive across a mall parking lot rather than walk to the other side. This is the American way. It's an aspect of what we're fighting the whole world to preserve.
Given that I'm not totally American, there are vestiges of a EuroHeritage, clinging, that's probably why I quite enjoy an occasional walk. Particularly, I try to avoid drinking and driving, I really do. At night. This seems like a rather Un-Mexican-American activity from what I can gather from a recent PBS discussion forum and some anecdotal accounts of car crashes. It's unfortunate, I have called for a drinkers' amnesty between 2am and 5am each morning, no pesky DUI's to be given out. No friendly paramedics on hand if it all goes wrong. Just a wide open window to drive home through.
So, look, the WalkScore can be fun, even if you think it meaningless, like, you're never going to walk anyway. It's currently a little g-rated, it doesn't do topography and... the availability of strip clubs, street drugs, and some quite nice looking prostitutes within walking distance of my friends downtown loft might even have been considered a neighborhood impediment, impacting his score in a negative way. And I'm not saying it's like The Wire's Hamsterdam down there, but y'know, if you can walk to it, most likely, you can't get your car impounded.
Tell us your WalkScore and we'll publish a league table of O/L readers neighborhoods, soon! Try out the http://www.walkscore.com
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