Ask any New Yorker how long it takes to walk to certain places they’ll be able to give you a good estimate. You can use city blocks as a rough guide because it takes about a minute to walk one of them (street blocks, not avenue blocks which are more like four minutes or more). Then you take 20 city blocks and you have a mile.

When we first got to San Diego it occurred to us that we had no idea how far was a delivery zone for a takeout food place because delivery guys have cars here. Also, we don’t have a good idea for estimating driving time. But on the other side of the coin, friends we have here don’t have a good estimation for walking distances because they seldom walk further than a nearby restaurant or the distance from their car to their destination.

For our big shopping we’re using Car2go for stuff like buying 20 lb bags of rice, kitty litter etc. Also going to the farmer’s market on weekends which is very close by. But we won’t bat an eye at the thought of walking to the supermarket just to pick up a few things even if it takes 20 minutes to get there one way.

And yes, the word “intense” has been used more than once by others to describe the walks we’ve taken.

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