Posted by bevmire on Jul 20, 2012.

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Why We Live Here: The Joy of Walking

You’ve got to love July. The month summer kicks in. We can walk all around town and re-energize our love affair with Cambridge. Especially in this weather, when we actually have to slow down our pace, so many things about the city come into sharp focus.

As I say in my bio, I’m lucky enough to live and work here. So, like many of you, in the summer I walk to work and notice things we might not otherwise pay attention to.

Last week, for instance, I was walking down Main Street below Mass Ave and I saw these men dressed all in white, some with head covering, sitting out in front of an unadorned white building. As I got closer, the air smelled sticky-sweet, like I was eating candy without chewing, and bong, bong!, I remembered that Tootsie Rolls and Junior Mints are produced right under our, well, noses!

A little farther down there’s the plaque that is often a blur, noting the building—undergoing some renovation now—where on October 9, 1876 Thomas G. Watson took the first-ever long-distance phone call from Alexander Graham Bell. Mr. Bell was calling from that foreign place called Boston, specifically from 69 Kilby Street (downtown, near Milk Street). It seemed appropriate to take a photo with my cell phone, so I did (above).

So many other things started popping up, little things like the pointy-headed spire of City Hall across Inman Street from the smaller pointy-headed spire of the Guaranty Trust Building. That revelation lead to noticing that we have so much interesting architecture…what is that building with turrets and a small dome that we see when we look up Dana Street from Mass Ave…could we have a castle in our midst? What is that apartment building on Harvard Street that looks like it was once a church?

And what’s not to love about the retro neon sign at the corner of Hancock St. and Mass Ave?

All this is to say we live in an endlessly interesting and entertaining city. I hope I’ve inspired you to dust off your walking shoes (unless you already have), and take it all in. And let us know what you find by sending NeighborMedia a message via Facebook or twitter (@neighbormedia).