The Shay Rebellion | Christopher Shay

Walk On

In college, my friends and I walked. We walked the entire length of Manhattan. We walked a portion of the 6 train, eating and smelling the neighborhoods along the way. We walked from the East Village to Morningside, finishing with the sunrise.

At times, these walks were a way to have a Star Trek adventure, beaming ourselves down to worlds different from the familiar one at Morningside Heights. In other cases, these walks were a way of creating a particular sense of being-in-the-world, a sense that connected us to the larger, networked geography of the city. For us, walking was skimming over pages in a book. We’d catch certain details while blowing past others, expanding and recreating our narratives of New York City.

Here in Hong Kong, there have already been a number of ‘walkabouts,’ the name a friend has given our aleatoric wanderings. Our walks have become adventures through the varied ambiences of the city. Though our walks are not completely random—we’ll chase smells, search for an overlook, or navigate our way to the waterfront—we always entrust chance as our primary guide. Hong Kong is a delightfully messy city that lends itself well to meandering twenty-somethings. Great cities allow for what the American suburbs permit only reluctantly to the dregs of society: drifting, loitering, strolling. With our characteristic blend of tarrying and pressing forward, we want to the impossible: to grasp the whole of Hong Kong, to sample all the flavors of this Baskin Robbins of a city.

At least for a moment, we’ll be able to satisfy our curiosity of what’s around the next corner.

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