An evening stroll in Lafayette Square

I walked over to Walgreen’s just off the Lafayette Square neighborhood center, and it was very pleasant, and no incidents.

I say “no incidents” because the crime rate in St. Louis is much higher than that of Tokyo, so I was a bit paranoid about going out alone at night. I asked the advice of neighbors, and their opinions were split 50-50, so I decided to go for it.

First, I gave it some thought and decided to do leave the following at home: my wallet, credit cards, iPhone and all photo IDs. All I took with me was my cheap GoPhone and about $50 in cash. I figured, those would be the least inconvenient to lose, just in case.

From my house on MacKay to Walgreen’s is a 14 minute walk, at my normal walking speed. That is almost exactly the same as the distance from my house in Tokyo to the nearest train station, Shinkoiwa.

It is a very pleasant evening to walk in Lafayette Square. A bit on the humid side (but Tokyo will soon catch up), and I was walking past the beautiful lawns and houses and imagining what it must be like to stroll along at the turn of the 20th century. Women with parasols (at night?) and men tipping their hats.

There was almost nobody out. The whole way there and back the only people I saw were a middle-aged couple and a pair of women taking a stroll along Mississippi and Park, and somebody at the new Mexican restaurant taking in tables. That was sort of disappointing. I was feeling that people ought to be out on a night like this, in a neighborhood like this.

On the other hand, the people who passed me all said, “Good evening,” which is something that people in my neighborhood in Tokyo rarely do with strangers. So that felt comfortable and pleasant.

It would be nice if there was more going on at night, for example down near the Park and Mississippi area.

Out of an abundance of caution, I decided to walk along the houses side, rather than the park side. One thing that struck me was that the streets don’t seem to be very well lit. The roads are well lit. But the actual streets themselves seemed quite dark to me. Only a few people had their fronts lit up, and there aren’t any real street lights which illuminate the sidewalks themselves. I wonder if that would help make people more comfortable about walking at night.

The houses were beautiful. Everything is so green, and the houses are magnificent. I’m looking forward to the Spring House and Garden Tour. It’s such a nice neighborhood!

Walgreen’s itself was sort of blah. I didn’t really find what I was looking for, and didn’t feel like going on and walking over to Fields (a new supermarket in the neighborhood right by Walgreen’s) tonight. It seems to me that Walgreen’s doesn’t have much in the way of healthy things to eat. But I got some water and a few minor things. Also I noticed how I noticed the prices of things more since I was carrying just $50 cash (i.e. a limit) rather than credit cards! That really cuts down on impulse purchases. 🙂

Anyway, I walked back, again without seeing hardly a soul and came home, maneuvered past the cats and came downstairs to my “basement suite.”

I’m thinking maybe I should get a bicycle. It’s nice cycling distance for shopping. It seems like a waste to haul out a big car for every little errand. Plus I can always use the exercise.


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