On just about any given day, whether rainy, snowy, cloudy or sunny, Broad Street, Narragansett Boulevard and Narragansett Parkway are filled with walkers from Cranston and Warwick. My frequent walks start from Park and Broad Streets in Cranston and continue south into beautiful Pawtuxet Village or north to northern Edgewood.
I have to be careful at the corner of Park and Broad because eight out of 10 drivers cruise through the stop sign, many not even slowing down. (Of course, none of them are from Cranston or Warwick).
I pause to smell the flowers, observe the architecture of the old houses, say “good morning” to neighbors I know or don’t know, and watch the traffic flow.
Often, the walk serves as a destination to my bank, pharmacy, dry cleaner, library, farmer’s market, church or, on special occasions, a sticky bun from Little Falls or breakfast at Spoonem’s.
I love to see the flowerbeds, freshly mowed lawns and well-kept residences along the way but must remind myself to watch where I am walking on the uneven sidewalks that are badly in need of repair.
While looking down, I am disturbed by what I see: plastic bottles, soda cans, candy wrappers, Styrofoam cups, cigarette butts, potato chip bags, fast food bags, used tissues, dog droppings, and a variety of junk that people indiscriminately throw from their car windows. I even found a hubcap in the middle of a flowerbed.
Now we know that none of these objects could have come from neighborhood folks out walking and must be from those “outsiders” driving through our neighborhoods.
I pass Poco Loco, where patrons enjoy healthy food at tables on the sidewalk, then leave their cigarette butts on the ground for others to clean up. (Of course, they are always “outsiders”)
The good news is that neighborhood walkers are thrifty. To this day I have not seen even a penny on the ground.
Occasionally, I look up to watch the airplanes approaching T.F. Green Airport. I watch the birds, including an occasional hawk. The smart squirrels cross the busy streets on telephone wires, while the less than savvy ones end up as road kill.
I enjoy listening to the sounds of the birds, the children playing and the bell of the ice-cream truck. Unfortunately, those sounds are often drowned out by the loud noises of trucks hitting the torn up and poorly patched roadways, motorcycles and rap music emanating from cars with equally loud mufflers.
I sadly watch a tree service down yet another tree and eagerly await homeowners taking advantage of city-offered younger trees to replace them.
There are so many wonderful sights and sounds in our neighborhood. If only joggers, walkers and even drivers would leave their electronic devices at home and enjoy the pleasures of Edgewood/Pawtuxet.