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Going Out, Walking Home

Posted by Karyn Polewaczyk  May 30, 2013 10:30 AM

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420605_10151922010944478_1909518021_n.jpg(Photo credit: Karyn Polewaczyk)

A few weeks ago, I met a group of friends for a movie and cocktails. (We saw the Great Gasby—don't hate.) After closing our tab, we bid our goodbyes and prepared to go our separate ways—but instead of raising my hand for the nearest cab, I opted to walk home to South Boston from Downtown Crossing.

“Are you sure about that?” my friend’s husband asked. “It’s kind of late to be walking by yourself.”

True: it was well past midnight, and a Friday night to boot. But I’d walked home just the night before after a music show in the Theater District, and arrived home sans scratches or scariness—in fact, I’d enjoyed the stroll amidst the vacant city streets. When I proudly offered this information to my friend’s husband, he gave me a skeptical look and insisted I text him when I arrived home so he and my friend knew I made it back okay. (My friends’ husbands are good like that.) I agreed, and went on my way; 45 minutes later, I turned on the light in my small studio apartment, kicked off my boots, and sent a goodnight text to my comrades in the North End.

I wound up walking home the next night (post-party at Revere Hotel’s Space 57), the following Saturday (post-dinner at Silvertone), and last night (after spending some quality time in a hidden cove of the library). I’m not sure if it’s the meditative quality of walking alone, that I’m getting a free workout, or that I’m simply smug about saving on cab fare, but I’m hooked—and with more gorgeous weather (finally) on the way, you can bet I’ll be doing a lot more walking after midnight. If you live within the city limits, I recommend you give it a try, too.

Of course, there are a few things to take into consideration. Like, for example, being relatively sober and aware of your surroundings—that means ditching the earbuds and keeping your gadgets at bay to avoid distraction—and keeping cash on hand for a cab should your safety feel compromised, or if you get lost (be familiar with your route, too—test it out during the day if needed). Wearing comfortable shoes isn’t really an option, it’s a must—I’ve had good luck with my Frye boots and a pair of Gaimo espadrilles (trust me when I say that well-made shoes are worth their weight in gold if you’re a pedestrian by default). And at the risk of sounding cliché, if you’re a woman, it’s in your best interest to take extra precaution. Checking in with friends is a no-brainer; I also recommend taking a basic self-defense class (this one in Charlestown is free and runs almost every Saturday morning) and registering for a pepper spray permit with the police department.

Boston is touted as a walking city, and it’s just as true in the witching hours as it is in broad daylight. All it takes is a little savvy, a swagger in your step, and basic street smarts—plus good friends to keep tabs on your whereabouts.

This blog is not written or edited by Boston.com or the Boston Globe.
The author is solely responsible for the content.

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About this blog

Karyn Polewaczyk lives and writes in Boston, and believes that heading out into that good night, like any adventure, begins with the first step. Let's Go Out is a conversation about dating and nightlife in our notoriously chilly city, with first-hand tips from the trenches. Karyn's writing, which focuses largely on women's lifestyle topics, has appeared in the Weekly Dig, Jezebel, xoJane, Northshore Magazine and More.com, among others. Follow her on Twitter at @KarynPolewaczyk.

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