The Way Is The Goal

Americans don't like to walk

Why is it that people in the US look so surprised when I tell them I rather walk 20 minutes than taking a cab or bus? This was one of my surprises while in Boston. We all know that the average US-American is less healthy than the average European, but still – it is as if they don’t care at all!

If not for the heartbeat-collective and Matrixpoint I would not have enjoyed Boston that much. I was over for a week to the States, enjoying great views of the city from a 17th floor many stars hotel, for my j-o-b. I was thankfully pointed into the right direction by Anu and Sky, making it possible for me to actually make my trip something useful and slightly less boring.

While John gave me lots of insights on the birth and death of CS 2.0, the Heartbeat Collective gave me a lot of inspiration for projects and ideas, adding more roots to them. I was especially happy when I learned about the rhizome collective, and the urban farming projects they do. Somehow I also discovered that -though the US has a lot of toxic soil- apparently there are some really beautiful flowers growing there.

Some other things that come to mind when thinking about Boston: carving pumpkins; pirates; Obama equals hope; the radio-stations played great music but were full with bullshit in the mornings; food is cheap and there are vegetarian meals everywhere; people don’t walk, don’t cycle, but they do talk a lot; I am not born for bowling (nor my j-o-b).

Check out more stuff I wrote while in Boston here


  1. sunlightmyfire

    i agree with you 100% about americans and getting lifts places. they suck at walking and don’t know why they have legs most of the time…

    especially people brought up in LA…

    glad you had fun in Btown!

  2. giveaphuk

    maybee they are in fear of getting mugged, so feel safer to travel in the safe confines of a vehicle?

    As for toxic soil, yes I hear the same, my dad actually worked in the US for a company which removed toxins from soil built up from many years of massive monoculture industries. He would agree that he was never without work because of this.

    great post, trust you enjoyed your trip!

  3. amylin

    I would rather walk 10km than pay bus fare in Morocco. Bus fare in Morocco = 30 – 70 euro cents (3 – 7 dirham). I prefer walking. Walking is still honest.

  4. Star

    Bullshit. You were simply and absolutely asking the wrong people in Boston. If you want to meet hordes of Americans who love walking, go to Wisconsin, and I can easily introduce you to folks who bike everywhere (Alaska to Argentina, for instance?)

    Boston is all about biking, and walking’s not far down on the list.

    Also, Bostoners are very far from representing “uh-mrr-kins”, though I find that foreigners tend to think such a gigantic country could be represented by any one of its microcosms.

    One question I get a lot while I travel is, “so what’s the weather like in the US?”.

    Considering that my hometown is in Hawaii, the question is hilarious and impossible to answer fairly, but mostly highlights the mistaken idea that it’s possible to regard the US as a single thing.

    I wish I could have told you about all the good parts of the city I just recently lived in! If you go back, be totally sure to visit the awesome MIT hacker-hause called tEp.

  5. Star

    Granted, Boston is not “all about biking” in quite the same way that Amsterdam is, but fixie/bike-hax0r culture has a strong pulse.

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