On Looking by Alexandra Horowitz- Book Review

Another slow travel title. Ms. Horowitz explores city blocks with twenty different experts, seeing her neighborhood from new angles with geologists, artists, dogs, botanists, bird watchers and toddlers. Before I married, I was obsessed with long distance travel- the Appalachian trail, the Camino de Santiago, round the world bicycle adventures. I had a yearning to flee and to suffer while doing it. The stories of physical transformation and toenail loss seemed very important and I read perhaps a dozen, reading and rereading guidebooks and making packing lists for my future pilgrimage.
Now I am far more interested in how to bring all those fantasies home. Last week I visited Arthur Avenue in the Bronx for the first time and indulged my Italian pastry lust without a plane trip. Yesterday I worked on making our home more like my favorite Caribbean cottage. And today I did my Agriturismo by carrying 15 gallons of water out to my precious pin oak.
I do love to read about travel and the stories writers tell themselves about their personal transformations on the road. But it feels like I can have that Pacific Coast Trail feeling for an hour in Jamaica Bay and I am not sure that the long, arduous months long journey can offer so much more than that. At least for now.


Author: Emily

Writer/ Librarian

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