This morning I walked to Curves, did that, then took a couple laps around the park before I went home, putting in three miles. Then, Todd and I went and got something to eat. When I got home and Todd went to bed, I walked another four miles around Woonsocket.
I wore my ratty sweatjacket to start, but soon had that tied around my waist. I walked through the streets behind my house. I like walking that way, because first of all, we have some of the most beautiful old houses... no, houses isn't the right word, beautiful old mansions. Quite a few have been turned into apartments, but there is still quite a large number that are one family dwellings. And some of them are just breathaking. Stone buildings, brick buildings, white buildings. Porches, pitched roofs, round turrets... you name it, you can find all sorts of styles.
I "found" another park today. This one goes down to the Blackstone Valley River. It's very hilly. At the bottom of the hill are basket ball courts, a soccer field and a baseball field. There's another path that leads to a place where you can launch canoes into the river.
I have to bring the camera down there someday and take some pictures. There are huge stone pillars built in certain areas. And some woods. Hilly fields with lots of trees. And, there is one area with a grassy flatland, surrounded by row after row of bleachers, going up a huge hill. It's too small to be seating for athletic events, so it must be for plays, or concerts. I wonder if it's ever used for such things. I have to check that out. I'm not quite sure if this park is in Woonsocket or Blackstone, because it's right near the boarder.
But yet, in most places in the park, if you look to one side, you can see the factories. Woonsocket was built on the textile industry, and there is hardly a place in the city where you can't look around and not see one huge, old, mill.
Mills fascinate me. When I worked for the window company it was located in a tiny section of an old mill. This mill was huge, they used to make cannons for World War 1. And when I say huge, I mean it could very well be possible that you could have people working in there for all of their adult lives who never would meet each other.
So, all those mansions I walked past are clearly the places where the mill owners used to live.
Then, I walked home and found a couple different roads. These reminded me of places on Cape Cod. The houses were fairly large, but right on the street, meaning the front yard was maybe a five foot by one foot rectangle Sidewalks so narrow that one person can barely walk on them. If you've ever walked around some of the back streets of Provincetown, you'll know what I'm talking about. These houses were like that. Most of them had white fences in the front, which I can understand, because the front doors are so close to the street, you could almost lean over the fence and knock on the door.
Walking has given me a great appreciation for my city. a lot of the main roads have the big old apartment houses with the stores underneath them. Half the stores are closed and the buildings themselves look as if the landlord could give a crap as well as the tenents. See that all the time and you start to think that's all Woonsocket is, is poor people living in lousy apartments. But, we have our other areas too.
I just have not noticed a lot of "upper middle class" housing. I'm sure it's around, but mostly what I see are either multi million dollar homes, and then "Tenent apartment buildings." Somewhere in this city has to be the two or three bedroom houses. I can't imagine a city with no middle class at all.
But, it felt good to get out today and walk. It felt good to look around, to not be freezing. I really hope that this is a sign of things to come, though I won't hold my breath. I've seen Marches that brought with them snow, ice, rain, and other miserable weather conditions. I know that this could just be a false spring.
But I'll enjoy it while I have the chance. Because I'd be stupid not to.