The All-American Schlep

Why did I schlep around in the rain the other day? For America.

Not really.

But kind of.

I went car-less for environmental reasons. In my hometown of Los Angeles, I would spend two hours a day in traffic, and in 2006, I decided to move to the East Coast in order to live in a walkable city and get around the old-fashioned way: on foot.

Standing drenched in the rain the other day, though, clinging to a pathetic bounty of three CVS bags, I suddenly thought of my Irish forefathers in Bedstuy, Brooklyn and wondered, “(Why) am I… living like them? They left the East Coast for California so they wouldn’t have to do errands on foot… is this history repeating or just my dumb ass being stubborn?”


I imagined them looking at me, shaking their heads. Thinking, poor girl…100 years and a Masters degree later, and she's still living like this.

For the record, I would have taxied my errands, but npf (non profit salary). And I would have skipped church and the two mile walk there, but it’s Lent, and I do my Jessica's Affirmation's Catholic-style.

In the words of David Brooks, groups are smarter than individuals. Last year, a bunch of young people here in DC did a Tweed Ride, in support of “19th century transportation solutions.” They dressed up vintage and spent their Sunday afternoon on bicycles.

They did the All-American Schlep the smart way = in style, and in the sunshine. 

Their event was an enormous success; because the end of the day, the All-American Schlep is a pretty good thing.

Just not when it’s raining.

[vimeo http://www.vimeo.com/7662983 w=400&h=225]
DC Tweed Ride from ReadysetDC on Vimeo.