How many times has this scenario happened to you over the past few weeks? You’re out of the house on a walk, enjoying some fresh air and a much-needed change of scenery. But in the distance, at the end of the block, you are acutely aware of a couple walking their dog heading your way and seemingly committed to hogging the sidewalk. So you’ve got to make a decision — do you pop out onto the street and circle around them, or do you jaywalk to the sidewalk on the other side of the street where you hope you won’t run into other pedestrians?
In German Village, there’s often a third option: many blocks have a little alley positioned at about mid-block, providing you with a new route to avoid the dog-walkers. Sure, the alleys are quaint and picturesque and interesting, but more importantly right now they have turned out to be very handy walking alternatives that permit you to maintain that six feet of clearance from the other potential virus vectors that might be out for a stroll. And our neighborhood is honeycombed with them, all ready to accept turn-ins by pedestrians who are trying to follow governmental guidelines and avoid unnecessary exposure. It’s almost as if German Village was designed with pandemic social distancing in mind — or the need to occasionally dodge a process server or veer around that incredibly talkative neighbor.
As a result of these weird times, Kish and I have been spending as much time walking in alleys as we have walking on main streets. We’re not going anywhere as the crow flies anymore, and if you mapped out our walks they would look as indirect and rambling as the roaming of a loose dog who is easily distracted by squirrels. And we’re getting to know every inch of the neighborhood a lot better.
Who knows? In the future, savvy realtors who are always eager to find something positive to say might just build pandemic preparation into their set speeches, and tell potential buyers that German Village is an ideal place to keep that social distance.