Status update

I’m back to walking again.  I got a slow start in May, doing only seven walks, totalling 32.7 miles and covering only eight streets (Colby Road through Concord Turnpike).  During that month, although I found the time to get out and walk, it was the end of Harvard’s semester, so my time on the computer was busily spent grading homework, and I didn’t feel as if I had the time or mental energy to record my walks here, and by the time I got really back into walking, I had fallen out of the habit of logging my walks.  I now have a backlog of 47 walks to record here, totalling 250.9 miles, in 70 hours and 48 minutes, from Colby Road on Monday 2014-05-05, through Gorham Street, today, Sunday 2014-08-03.  I’m coming up on the first anniversary of this pLroject on 13 August, at which time I’ll be in London.  As of today, I’ve done 60 walks this year, totalling 299.1 miles in 5024.5 minutes (83 hours 44.5 minutes), and since the beginning of the project last August, 104 walks, totalling 489.8 miles in 8311.5 minutes (138 hours, 31.5 minutes).  I round distances to the closest .1 mile; for walks of less than an hour, I round the time to .5 minutes, and for walks of an hour or longer, I round the time to the closest minute.

I’m going to try to enter the bare-bones details of the last 47 walks during the rest of this week, and get back into blogging in detail when I get back from London and Dublin, in September.


Another hiatus

The day after my last walk, I was feeling slightly fatigued, and the backs of my legs were sore because of all of the hill walking on the previous day, so I decided to take a day off from walking, but not having walked, I was feeling restless in the evening, so on my way to Harvard Square to teach, I got off the bus in Porter Square, and walked to Harvard. By the time I got to Harvard, walking at a very moderate pace, I was tired and short of breath, and this, combined with other symptoms, made me realize that I was having a recurrence of my bleeding problem that occurred in November and December. The next morning, I went to the hospital emergency room, and two weeks later, after stays in four rooms at two different hospitals, I’m home, recovering from abdominal surgery. Although I’m officially allowed to walk “as tolerated” without restriction, I’ve been advised not to do any strenuous uphill walking, and my next planned walk, although short, is unavoidably hilly.

Expect further updates here in May, at the earliest.

Walk #57: Cliff Street and Clyde Terrace

Sunday, 2014-03-23

An interesting walk, steeply uphill on both sides of Mass. Ave.

Cliff Street and Clyde Terrace are both in Arlington Heights, on separate hills with the Mass. Ave. valley between them.

Cliff Street is roughly parallel to Mass. Ave., about 200 feet higher, and to the south. It runs from the west end of Gray St. to the intersection of Ashland St. and Florence Ave. Clyde Terrace is about 50 feet lower, and further away from Mass. Ave. It joins the upper end of Washington St. to Forest St.

The route:

  • South (uphill) on Daniels
  • Left on Appleton St.
  • Right on Oakland Ave.
  • Right on Cliff Street
  • Right on Florence Ave.
  • Left on Paul Revere Rd.
  • Right on Park Ave.
  • Cross Lowell St. and continue straight on Park Ave. Extension
  • Slight left onto Forest St., then bear right to stay on Forest St.
  • Right on Clyde Terrace
  • Two houses past Lawrence Ln, continue straight onto Washington St.
  • Right on Overlook Rd.
  • Cross Summer St. onto Ryder St.
  • Left on Forest St.
  • Right on Mass. Ave.
  • Left on Daniels St., ending at Surry Rd.

Distance: 3.1 miles
Time: 53 minutes
Audio accompaniment: The February 27 episode of In Our Time: a discussion of the history of philosophical and scientific understanding of the eye

Next: Colby Road and Coleman Road (but not for several weeks: see following post about Health)

Walk #56: Clark Street and Cleveland Street

Friday, 2014-03-21

A longer, and much flatter, walk than any others this week. I’ve been going up and down, away from Mass. Ave. Today was a walk into East Arlington, returning along Mass. Ave.

Clark Street is near my house, and is a frequent part of my walks, because taking Clark Street and Peirce St. lets me avoid the part of Mass. Ave. just east of Appleton St., giving me a way to make loops without retracing any of my path. This was the first time that I went all the way to the end of Clark Street, which dead-ends at the edge of Mill Brook.

Cleveland Street is at the other end of town. It connects Mass. Ave. and Broadway, with a market/delicatessen on the corner of Broadway, and a branch library on the corner of Mass. Ave.

The route:

  • From Daniels & Surry, north (downhill) on Daniels
  • Right on Mass. Ave.
  • Left on Clark Street
  • At the end of Clark Street, look over the edge into Mill Brook, then U-turn
  • Left on Peirce St.
  • Cross Forest St. onto Ryder St.
  • Right onto the Minuteman Commuter Bikeway
  • Left on Mystic St. (Google maps still incorrectly thinks that this stretch of the bikeway continues onto the sidewalk, ending at Mass. Ave. This is obviously incorrect, if only because of the “No bicycle riding on sidewalk” signs.)
  • Right on Chestnut St.
  • Left to merge into Medford St.
  • Right on Warren St.
  • Merge into Broadway
  • Right on Cleveland Street
  • Right on Mass. Ave.
  • At Peg Spengler Way, pause this walk for a brief stop at the Robbins Library, to pick up some requested books that were ready for me. The weight of these books made the last part of the walk feel significantly slower, especially with Encyclopedia of Jewish food, by Gil Marks.
  • Leaving the library, resume the walk and continue west on Mass. Ave.
  • Left on Appleton St., heading up the only significantly hilly part of the walk
  • Right on Daniels St., ending at Daniels and Surry

Distance: 5.7 miles
Time: 1 hour 32 minutes, not including a brief stop at the library
Audio accompaniment:

  1. A download of yesterday’s episode of Inside Science, with lots of talk about the exciting newly-published BICEP 2 results from the South Pole
  2. The February 25 episode of McLevy, a drama series about a Victorian Scottish police detective
  3. More of the BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards

Next: Cliff Street and Clyde Terrace

Walk #55: Claremont Court


I went out shortly after the moment of the vernal equinox, under a clear sunny sky, with a temperature just above 55°F., although by the time I got home, it had clouded over a bit, and the temperature was down to 50°F.

Claremont Court is a short dead-end private way off of Claremont Ave., with just two houses on it, plus the sides of two houses facing Claremont Ave. I walked past Claremont Court yesterday, but it’s around the center of Claremont Ave., and I didn’t want to return halfway up the avenue just to visit the court.

Claremont Court is less than half a mile from my house, which would have made for a very short walk, and Clark St. is on the way to Cleveland St., for tomorrow’s planned walk. I could have done a somewhat arbitrary loop including Claremont Court, but instead I decided to make it part of a walk to Trader Joe’s to do some grocery shopping.

The route:

  • South (uphill) on Daniels St. from the corner of Surry Rd.
  • Right on Appleton St.
  • Left on Ashland St., immediately going steeply uphill
  • Merge into Florence Ave.
  • Cross Park Ave. and continue on Florence Ave.
  • Right on Claremont St.
  • Right on Claremont Court
  • U-turn at the end of Claremont Court and return to Claremont Ave.
  • Right on Claremont Ave.
  • Left on Appleton St.
  • Right on Udine St.
  • At the end of Udine St., continue, turning right onto Rublee St.
  • Left on Hibbert St.
  • Continue onto Hibbert St., Lexington
  • Right on Mass. Ave.
  • Re-enter Arlington
  • Left into the Trader Joe’s parking lot, ending at the front door of Trader Joe’s

Distance: 2.0 miles
Time: 31½ minutes
Audio accompaniment: part of the 2014 BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards ceremony

Next: Clark Street and Cleveland Street

Walk #54: Church Street (Church Way?), Churchill Avenue, and Claremont Avenue


Another warm-ish early spring day, at 44°F. The temperature was about the same as yesterday’s, but it was grey and overcast, and with the wind, it felt significantly colder. Wearing a polypro turtleneck and a lightweight fleece jacket, with no sweater and no gloves, I was uncomfortably cold when I started out; about 20 minutes into the walk, I had warmed up and was feeling overdressed.

Church Street does not appear on any online maps I can find, but it appears on at least two of my paper maps, called “Church Way” on one of them. The town’s official property map shows it as an unnamed street going between Mass. Ave. and Bacon St., next to the Highrock Church building (former home of the St. Athanasius the Great Greek Orthodox Church), and behind some houses on Central St. There are no street signs at either end, and visually this public alley appears to be a private driveway and parking lot. In my attempt at completism, I walked along it just in case it is an officially-named street.

Churchill Avenue (misspelled “Churchhill” on some maps) is one of many streets in the western half of town that go uphill away from Mass. Ave. and towards Route 2. The bottom end of Churchill is directly across Mass. Ave. from the main entrance of Arlington High School. It’s initially flat, becoming gradually steeper further away from Mass. Ave. Its peak is at Gray St., beyond which it goes downhill, ending at the edge of Menotomy Rocks Park.

Claremont Avenue parallels Park Ave. I’ve crossed it, and walked along its lower portion, many times when walking to and from the Dallin Elementary School when my son was a student there, but I haven’t been on its upper end more than once or twice, if at all. At its bottom end, the entire block between Appleton St. and Wollaston Ave. forms one side of the Youth Villages-Germaine Lawrence Campus, formerly the Germaine Lawrence School.

The route (not quite accurate on the map, because Google doesn’t acknowledge the existence of Church St.):

  • From the corner of Daniels St. and Surry Rd., north (downhill) on Daniels St.
  • Right on Mass. Ave.
  • Left on Grove St. (Google maps suggested turning from Grove St. onto a series of paths through the town Dept. of Public Works, behind the high school, and along Mill Brook; from Grove St., the initial turning didn’t look like a public right of way, so I continued along the sidewalk.)
  • Right on Summer St.
  • Slightly right, onto the Minuteman Commuter Bikeway
  • Right on Mill St.
  • Left on Bacon St.
  • Right on Church Street, which may be Church Way or an unnamed alley
  • Right on Mass. Ave.
  • Left on Churchill Avenue
  • At Menotomy Rocks Park, reverse direction
  • Bear left onto Valley Rd.
  • Left on Gray St.
  • Left on Oakland Ave.
  • Cross Park Ave. and stay on Oakland Ave.
  • Right on Claremont Avenue
  • Right on Wollaston Ave.
  • Cross Park Ave. onto Paul Revere Rd.
  • Merge into Appleton St.
  • Left on Daniels St., ending at Surry Rd.

Distance: 4.6 miles
Time: 1 hour 13 minutes
Audio accompaniment:

  1. An episode of the police drama series Petrella from 22 February
  2. Episode 129 of the AyePodcast Scottish music podcast, from Footstompin’ Records

Next: Claremont Court (omitted from today’s walk in order to avoid retracing parts of Claremont Avenue)

Walk #53: Cheviot Road and Christine Road

Tuesday, 2014-03-18

I was busy working most of last week, and on the one day later in the
week during which I had time to walk, I had a medical appointment in Kenmore
Square, and walked there from Mount Auburn Hospital after picking up an
image disc from the radiology department.

Today was another warm early spring day, and the walk was over the hill
to the shore of the Mystic Lakes and back, cutting through a corner of

Cheviot Road is in a small neighborhood between Upper Mystic Lake and Lower
Mystic Lake, accessible only via Robin Hood Rd. Christine Road is a small
cul-de-sac on the way back over the hill, near the Stratton Elementary School.

The route:

  • From the corner of Daniels St. and Surry Rd., west on Surry Rd.
  • Right on Davis St.
  • Left on Mass. Ave.
  • Right on Park Ave.
  • Continue onto Park Ave. Extension
  • Left onto Forest St.
  • Continue onto Ridge St., Winchester
  • Right on Hutchinson Rd.
  • Continue onto Hutchinson Rd., Arlington
  • Left on Winchester Rd.
  • Left on Old Mystic St.
  • Sharp right onto Mystic St.
  • Left on Robin Hood Rd.
  • Right on Intervale Rd.
  • Left on Cheviot Road
  • Left on Robin Hood Rd.
  • Right on Mystic St.
  • Right on Falmouth Rd.
  • Right to stay on Falmouth Rd.
  • Right on Crosby St.
  • Left on Frost St.
  • Left on Winchester Rd.
  • Right on Ridge St.
  • Merge into Morningside Dr.
  • Left on Woodland St.
  • Left on Dickson Ave.
  • Right on Christine Road
  • U-turn at the end of Christine Road and return to Dickson Ave.
  • Left on Dickson Ave.
  • Right on Pheasant St., passing behind the Stratton Elementary School
  • Right on Ronald Rd.
  • Left on Overlook Rd.
  • Cross Summer St. onto Ryder St.
  • Cross the Minuteman Commuter Bikeway and stay on Ryder St.
  • Cross Forest St. onto Peirce St.
  • Left on Clark St.
  • Right on Mass. Ave.
  • Left on Daniels St., ending at Surry Rd.

Distance: 5.3 miles
Time: 1 hour 25 minutes
Audio accompaniment: A BBC Drama of the Week download from December: Ghosts, by Henrik Ibsen, adapted & directed by Richard Eyre

Next: Church Street (or Church Way) and Churchill Avenue

Walk #52: Cheswick Road

Tuesday, 2014-03-11

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You take a few days off, and suddenly it’s a month later. Between weather, work, and inertia, I’ve found it difficult to get back into the routine of walking.

Today was one of those beautiful early spring days * that you have to live in New England to appreciate. After finishing some grading and dealing with student email, I managed to get myself out in the afternoon, with unseasonably warm weather close to 60°F. This time of year is usually mud season, but recent weather has been such that the snow is melting without turning to slush (yet). As I was walking, I got passed by a few groups of running high-school-aged girls; I’m fairly sure that one group was the Arlington-Belmont Crew, because I had earlier seen them stretching near some of their shells.

This walk took me back through Kelwyn Manor, and around three sides of Spy Pond. I may have walked on Cheswick Road during one of my previous walks through the area. I don’t remember, and can’t be bothered to search through older blog entries.

The route:

  • From the corner of Daniels St. and Surry Rd., downhill (north) on Daniels
  • Right on Mass. Ave.
  • Right on Swan Pl.
  • Left onto the Minuteman Commuter Bikeway, where I got passed by the first set of runners
  • Right on Lake St.
  • Right on Cabot Rd., into Kelwyn Manor
  • Left on Eliot Rd.
  • Left on Cheswick Road
  • Left on Bay State Rd.
  • Left on Spy Pond Pkwy.
  • At the end of Spy Pond Pkwy, continue straight and then turn right onto an unnamed paved pedestrian path that runs west along the southern end of Spy Pond. This was where I went past the second set of runners, who were going in the opposite direction from me.
  • Right on Pleasant St.
  • Left on Brunswick Rd.
  • Right on Hillsdale Rd.
  • Merge into Jason St.
  • Left on Woodland St.
  • Right on Lincoln St.
  • Left on Gray St.
  • Right on Oakland Ave.
  • Left on Appleton St.
  • Right on Daniels St., ending at Daniels & Surry

Distance: 5.4 miles
Time: 1 hour 26 minutes
Audio accompaniment:

Next: Cheviot Road and Christine Road

*It’s not yet the vernal equinox, but climatologically speaking, it’s spring.

Walk #51: Chestnut Street and Chestnut Terrace

Wednesday, 2014-02-12

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After last Tuesday’s walk, I spent much of Wednesday shoveling snow, then Thursday and Friday recovering from shoveling, and on Saturday through Monday, went skiing instead of walking. I should have walked (or skied) yesterday, but a dentist appointment broke up the day enough to prevent taking the day skiing, and by the time I got home, it didn’t feel like there was enough time for a walk before my son got home from school.

Chestnut Street is a relatively short street in Arlington Center, connecting Medford St. and Mystic St. It goes past the side of St. Agnes Church, and the back of the town center parking lot. Chestnut Terrace, off of Chestnut Street, serves Chestnut Manor, a small apartment building owned and operated by the Arlington Housing Authority, and ends at the border of the town cemetery.

The route:

  • From the corner of Daniels St. and Surry Rd., uphill (south) on Daniels
  • Left on Appleton St.
  • Continue (slightly right) onto Mass. Ave.
  • Left on Medford St.
  • Left on Chestnut Street
  • At Mystic St., u-turn, crossing Chestnut Street
  • Left on Chestnut Terrace
  • Left on Garden St.
  • Right on Mystic St.
  • Left on Summer St.
  • Slight left and right, onto the Minuteman Commuter Bikeway.
  • Left on Ryder St.
  • Cross Forest St. onto Peirce St.
  • Left on Clark St.
  • Right on Mass. Ave.
  • Left on Daniels St., ending at Surry Rd.

Distance: 4.0 miles
Time: 1 hour 3 minutes
Audio accompaniment: Last week’s BBC Radio Drama of the Week: “Anna’s War”, based on the true story of Russian journalist Anna Politkovskaya, who was murdered in 2006.

Next: Cheswick Road, but not until after school vacation week.

Walk #50: Chester Street

Tuesday, 2014-02-04

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Yet another short hillwalk, uphill and then down, on a very warm day (almost 40°F). Lots of unshoveled sidewalks, which makes sense: we only got about an inch of snow yesterday, with much more predicted for tomorrow, so it wasn’t really worth bothering to shovel today.

The route:

  • From the corner of Daniels St. and Surry Rd., uphill (south) on Daniels
  • Left on Appleton St.
  • Right on Oakland Ave.
  • Left on Cedar Ave.
  • Left on Eastern Ave., at Park Circle
  • Right on Chester Street
  • Right on Park Ave.
  • Right on Appleton St.
  • Lefton Paul Revere Rd..
  • Right on Davis St.
  • Right on Surry Rd., ending at Daniels St.

Distance: 2.0 miles
Time: 33½ minutes
Audio accompaniment: Sunday’s episode of The Food Programme: “Britain and the Ready Meal”

Next: Chestnut Street and Chestnut Terrace