328 pages : illustrations ; 22 cm
Includes bibliographical references (pages -328).
Introduction -- Part 1: Incoming. The front porch: rocking back and forth with the American dream -- Electricity: birds on wires and sparking pliers -- Water: towers, faucets, and meters -- Mail: first-class diamonds, babies, and rattlesnakes -- Telephone wires and waves: from tin can to iPhone (to the Bieber) -- Part 2: Outgoing. Recycling: from A+ to D in one hour flat -- Sewers: the lifesaving world of wastewater below -- Trash: how to fit three tons of trash into a one-pint jar -- Roadkill (and litter): squished, plucked, and plogged -- Part 3: Surfaces. Bike lanes: pedaling uphill and into the wind -- Asphalt streets: pavement, potholes, and mummy paint -- Alleys: one man's love affair -- Concrete: sidewalks, dams, and that damn Joan Crawford -- Parking: the secret cost of free parking -- Walking: soles for the body, mind, and soul -- The block: the feast of a great community -- Part 4: Nature. Pigeons: vindicating rats with wings -- Parks: where cities pause to catch their breaths -- Lawns: caring for your seven million little plants -- Trees: stiletto heels and stumping to survive --Squirrels: the gnawing truth -- Snow: the fate of my 3,358 inches -- Part 5: Sign, lines & lights. STOP! Green lights, red signs, and roundabouts -- Road lines and signs: the language of signs and dashes -- Street names and numbers: stravenues and psycho paths -- Graffiti: making a mark on the world.
"On his regular walk one morning, Spike Carlsen realized there was an entire world outside his front door that he knew nothing about. How does that fire hydrant work, he wondered? Why are street lights shining more brightly than ever before? And, on a more personal level, why does an easy stroll around the neighborhood always leave him feeling more creative and spry, better able to take on the day? A simple walk around the block set Carlsen off on an investigative journey to discover everything he could about every thing we take for granted in our everyday life, from manhole covers and recycling bins to pedestrian crossings and bike lanes. Leading readers on a spirited adventure through his hometown, and other environs, Carlsen explains with wit and erudition the engineering marvels, unheralded utilities, and secret economic and health benefits hiding in plain sight. Like how the addition of a front porch reduces crime and increases property value. And how planting a $10 boulevard tree cuts air-conditioning costs by 20 percent, while generating approximately $30,000 worth of oxygen and $31,000 worth of erosion control. Or how a simple walk, in addition to reduce your chances of a stroke (20 percent), cardiovascular disease (30 percent), and broken bones (40 percent), can increase creativity by 60 percent. Engaging, entertaining, and informative, A Walk Around the Block is a narrative celebration of all the seemingly random stuff we encounter at any given moment"-- Provided by publisher.
Online version: Carlsen, Spike, A walk around the block First. San Francicso : HarperOne, 2020. 9780062954770 (DLC) 2020025830
9780062954763 (Trade Paperback)
0062954768 (Trade Paperback)