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Running on Empty: Sunday edition

Nothing in my spendidly leisurely day yesterday prompted me to run any practical errands. Today, I looked around the kitchen and consulted my stomach, and realized that I needed some food.

So my experiment today was running errands without a car on Sunday afternoon.



By the numbers:
  • Time I decided to run errands: 1:20
  • Time spent looking at the Tri-Met trip planner: 3 minutes
  • Time spent considering getting in my hot black car instead: 10 seconds
  • Time I left the house: 1:28
  • Distance from my house to the New Seasons Market: 2 miles
  • Outdoor temperature: 90F/32C
  • Total distance walked: 5 blocks
  • Number of buses ridden: 4
  • Total time spent waiting for buses: 6 minutes (two of the four buses were positively Stan Shunpike-ish in their prompt appearance)
  • Number of lemonade stands run by little girls shouting, "You can buy ice cold lemonade right here--but you don't have to!" encountered: 1
  • Time I came back through my front door laden with foodstuffs: 2:15
A whopping 55 minutes from conception to completion. All of the bus drivers were nice. The transit-tracker phone system and online trip planner were accurate. All the buses were air conditioned. Loads of people were riding.

So, Tri-Met. \o/

Notes to self:
  • Ninety degree days need more planning. Bringing ice cream home is not an option, and milk and meat could be iffy
  • Ten pounds of flour and the jumbo jar of peanut butter are probably best obtained on a separate trip. Nearly tore the furoshiki--not to mention some arm muscles.
  • Remember your water bottle. Hoo boy.
  • Make a list. Make a list. Make a list. You forgot at least three things.

Comments

emeraldsedai
Jul. 14th, 2008 01:29 am (UTC)
Hey, thanks for comparing notes! Some of my flist are car-free, but I'm pretty sure you're the only one in North America. Good to have company on the quest.

I envy you your easy access to Asian groceries. I can get a few Japanese items nearby, but for a real pan-Asian selection, it's the toolies--the bad-busline toolies.

So, I ration my use of Chinese sesame paste in exchange for not paying five bucks a gallon for gas. Seems like a good trade to me.
vchrusch
Jul. 14th, 2008 01:57 am (UTC)
It's always great to compare notes.

I blame all the hippies that my young cousin introduced me to when she was keeping an eye on me during the late 60's. I never was one for getting wrapped up in the car culture, but I still do like the motorcycles though. At least they are more fuel efficient.

I also have the luck that 17th Avenue hosts a large diversty of food shops fron all over the world in a 20-25 block area. It picked up the moniker "International Avenue" a few years back and is a BRZ (Business Revitalization Zone). Actually this area used to be a small town called Forest Lawn before it was annexed by the city back in '61. It has a great amount of character.
emeraldsedai
Jul. 14th, 2008 03:02 am (UTC)
Curiously enough, I've just been having a conversation on La Vida Locavore about the problem of food availability in inner cities. It led to a lengthy discussion of urban planning, and how small towns do or don't get annexed into big cities.

Sounds like Calgary got it right in the instance of Forest Lawn and 17th Avenue.
vchrusch
Jul. 14th, 2008 03:55 am (UTC)
Bowness was another town in the late 50's and so was Midnapore in the 90's, but there have been so many screwups along the way though including the closure of the few markets in the downtown core. They're finally getting around to fixing that.

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