One of my favorite parts of my job as the work study here at Old Town Cape is getting to personally deliver flyers, handouts, and postcards to the businesses in the district. I usually walk one of two paths: (1) Marquette Tower going west down Broadway to West End Boulevard or (2) Marquette Tower going east towards the river to Main and Spanish streets. At least once a month I take one of these routes going door to door. I usually spend a few minutes at each place chatting with owners, checking out new stores or merchandise, and just building a relationship with downtown as a whole. I tend to take my time visiting on these routes, and, even then, they only take me about an hour to complete. Not to mention, on these days my step count definitely goes up, and I feel great physically and mentally.
These walks are reminiscent of the two weeks I spent last winter in Germany. Locals walked everywhere; they would linger in the streets of the commercial areas and spend quality time with friends outside in the cold, snowy weather. Going for a walk around town was an everyday occurrence for the inhabitants of the city – even in Munich, the third largest city in Germany. People were always gathered in the downtown areas or plazas (der Platz is the singular word in German) to get exercise by wandering the streets. I rarely saw cars – driving or parked. Even some of the larger and significant Plätze (plural) were solely Fußgängerzonen (pedestrian zones).
In general, downtowns or Plätze are gathering places. And walking these areas is the best way to truly explore the space and discover all of the quaint shops, unique dining spots, and beautiful architecture of our downtown. I challenge all of you who choose to venture into our downtown, to slow things down, park your car, and walk without a single destination. Linger in the green spaces and stroll down the sidewalks – actually take in all of the small and simple things of your surroundings. Let’s all treat our beautiful downtown like it’s the Marienplatz in Munich!
Feel free share photos or comments of the amazing things you discover while walking in Downtown Cape!