I’ve been reading a fascinating book, Upstate Travels: British Views of Nineteenth-Century New York, in which is found the following excerpt, written by James Stuart about his visit to Saratoga Springs in the fall of 1828:
There are few more striking points of difference between this country and Britain, than in the numbers of the people who ride and walk on the public roads. It absolutely seems disgraceful to be seen walking; and, though there are no fine equipages here, everyone rides in his gig, dearborn, or open carriage of some description or other. This circumstance no doubt proves the easy circumstances of the mass of the people, as well as the value of time to a mechanic, or labourer, whose wages may be from one to two dollars a day, and can better afford to pay for a conveyance, and spend less time, than to walk, and spend more. Still I am persuaded that our habits in this respect are for more favourable for health; and that dyspepsia, a very general complaint in New York State, and in this country, is in no inconsiderable degree owing to the people supposing, that enough of exercise can be had in carriages and waggons, especially by persons almost always partaking of animal food largely three times a day, who hardly every walk a mile, or mount on horseback.
Suffering from dyspepsia? When was the last time you walked a mile? Do you have a favorite route in Eastwood that gives you the exercise and/or the social contact you enjoy in this community?