Took My First Decent Walk This Afternoon

The longest walks I’ve taken so far this year have been the hop-skip-and-a-jump trips to Kroger (10-15 minutes long) and back, and I’ve been using the cold weather as my reason to hold off on putting any serious pavement under my feet.  Hopefully, I’m snapping out of that, even though March and the vernal equinox are still a ways away.

I walked home from work this afternoon.  The temperature has hovered around freezing all day (according to The Weather Channel, it’s now 33º outside), and I don’t think I ever saw the sun all day, but when 5 p.m. rolled around, I began the northbound walk up High St.  I kept at a pretty good clip, and managed to cover 1.8 miles in 32 minutes–not quite 4 mph.  I didn’t feel as refreshed as I have in walks past, didn’t feel like I could go another 1.8 miles with no effort, but I’m glad to have done it.

My after-work walk is a good warm-up for what is becoming my last-Saturday-of-the-month tradition, the trek to Grandview for the monthly return of Nite Owl Theater.  This Saturday, the movie is House on Haunted Hill, a 1959 picture starring Vincent Price.  The walk is just over three miles, and I’ll be leaving the house around 11 in order to make the midnight showing.  Once the picture ends, I’ll be making the reverse journey home, which means I probably won’t be in bed until about 3 a.m. at the earliest.

One of the things I managed to do to shorten the walk was to stay on the opposite side of the street from Abbott’s Antique Paper and Emporium.  Even though I had little more than pocket lint on me, had I gone there, I would have fallen in love with their inventory, as I always do.  I’ve long gotten over drooling over the ’70s-era pinball machine, but the racks and racks of framed magazine covers, extant issues of Life, Collier’s, and Look, and framed ads for Coca-Cola and other artistically rendered products, have tempted me.  One Comfest I bought a complete New York Post of December 9, 1980 with the giant headline JOHN LENNON SHOT DEAD, and have considered framing it and hanging it up ever since.  I need to find glass that will slow down the yellowing process, since direct exposure to sunlight wreaks havoc on the cheap paper on which newspapers are printed.

My friend and O.U. classmate Ivan received some happy news from me earlier this month.  His former apartment building (at the corner of N. 4th St. and E. 8th Ave.) was demolished.  I got my digital camera and took some brief footage of some of the demolition.  The building was marginal to start with.  Ivan’s basement apartment had bars on the window, and there was often gang graffiti decorating both the interior and exterior of the place.  If the front door was locked, no one thought twice about just kicking it in.  Ivan said that he went into the utility room to do his laundry one day and two or three guys were sitting in there, nonchalantly loading guns.

Campus Partners and the city are going to put 10 houses on the site where the two apartments were located.  They’re going to be built pretty close together, five on N. 4th and five on Hamlet St.  (Ivan and I had christened his building “Charminel North,” named after Charminel Towers, the decrepit apartment building near the main library which was evacuated and eventually demolished in the 1990s.)

Above is the footage that I took of the destruction of Ivan’s erstwhile residence.