Walking had always been one of life's centerpieces, especially in the city, where it enabled me to pack in enough joy, sensation, and exercise to make up for the deficits of urban living. Seventy, eighty blocks hadn't seemed a lot, and when younger I had been a whirlwind walker, attentive to developments a hundred yards ahead, which, with my native New Yorker street smarts, had kept me safe for decades.

Edward Hoagland, Compass Points