1:50 from Columbia to Canal St., a bit faster than usual. Via Broadway until Union Square, then Fourth Avenue to Bowery/Canal. Chinese coffee on the subway home. Though this type of exercise is less intense and more time-consuming than the elliptical machine, it's much more soothing to my mind. The elliptical machine is so boring that I have to have something to watch or listen to — my usual choices have been past TV episodes (without the ads) on Netflix, math lectures, and sometimes píngshū 評書. But walking I normally do alone — walking with another person inevitably brings on conversation, and the meditative benefits of the long walk are lost. It's less important that I not speak, myself, than that my mind be completely open to the music of the street. I always return from these walks feeling rested mentally, my mood expansive, and my body a little tired but very relaxed.
Things seen today: At 20th St. and Bway, SE corner, a garbage man was fiddling with the lock of a hard-shelled brown suitcase that had been left near a city garbage can. When I got near, he wheeled it around and looked at me. "What is this. I don't trust this." Nervous chuckle. And then he threw it into the garbage truck.