Walk Around the Block : Stoplight Secrets, Mischievous Squirrels, Manhole Mysteries & Other Stuff You See Every Day (And Know Nothing About)
by Carlsen, Spike







Introduction1(6)
PART I INCOMING
Chapter 1 The Front Porch: Rocking Back And Forth With The American Dream
7(5)
Chapter 2 Electricity: Birds On Wires And Sparking Pliers
12(14)
Chapter 3 Water: Towers, Faucets, And Meters
26(12)
Chapter 4 Mail: First-Class Diamonds, Babies, And Rattlesnakes
38(16)
Chapter 5 Telephone Wires And Waves: From Tin Can To Iphone (To The Bieber)
54(11)
PART II OUTGOING
Chapter 6 Recycling: From A+ To D In One Hour Flat
65(14)
Chapter 7 Sewers: The Lifesaving World Of Wastewater Below
79(14)
Chapter 8 Trash: How To Fit Three Tons Of Trash Into A One-Pint Jar
93(14)
Chapter 9 Roadkill (And Litter): Squished, Plucked, And Plogged
107(10)
PART III SURFACES
Chapter 10 Bike Lanes: Pedaling Uphill And Into The Wind
117(12)
Chapter 11 Asphalt Streets: Pavement, Potholes, And Mummy Paint
129(7)
Chapter 12 Alleys: One Man's Love Affair
136(4)
Chapter 13 Concrete: Sidewalks, Dams, And That Damn Joan Crawford
140(10)
Chapter 14 Parking: The Secret Cost Of Free Parking
150(6)
Chapter 15 Walking: Soles For The Body, Mind, And Soul
156(14)
Chapter 16 The Block: The Feast Of A Great Community
170(9)
PART IV NATURE
Chapter 17 Pigeons: Vindicating Rats With Wings
179(15)
Chapter 18 Parks: Where Cities Pause To Catch Their Breaths
194(11)
Chapter 19 Lawns: Caring For Your Seven Million Little Plants
205(9)
Chapter 20 Trees: Stiletto Heels And Stumping To Survive
214(14)
Chapter 21 Squirrels: The Gnawing Truth
228(13)
Chapter 22 Snow: The Fate Of My 3,358 Inches
241(14)
PART V SIGNS, LINES, AND LIGHTS
Chapter 23 Stop! Green Lights, Red Signs, And Roundabouts
255(11)
Chapter 24 Road Lines And Signs: The Language Of Signs And Dashes
266(14)
Chapter 25 Street Names And Numbers: Stravenues And Psycho Paths
280(7)
Chapter 26 Graffiti: Making A Mark On The World
287(12)
Epilogue299(4)
Acknowledgments303(4)
Notes307


The best-selling author of A Splintered History of Wood reveals the science behind an everyday walk in his hometown, explaining how each biological and created component of an urban landscape impacts and shapes its life. 40,000 first printing. Illustrations.





*Starred Review* The day no water flowed from his faucets, Minnesota-based carpenter and writer Carlsen realized that he knew nothing about all "the things that sustain us." This inspired a home-centered yet wide-roaming investigation and this lively, funny, surprising, anecdotal, and enlightening chronicle. Carlsen crisply illuminates the history and mechanics of our water and power supply systems, streets and sidewalks, and garbage and recycling processing. Nature is honored in his tributes to all the wonders trees bestow upon us and the remarkable yet maligned lives of pigeons and squirrels. Each curious detail about fire hydrants, sewage, front porches, and parking alters the way we see our habitats. Carlsen's immersion in the postal system, an urgent subject as the pandemic and looming presidential election converge, leads to a fresh look at the evolution of communication technologies and the cellphone-oriented equipment we can spy on our neighborhood strolls. Environmental concerns shape his observations and are pinpointed in practical "Walk the Walk" sections, while he has fun with statistics in "Hacks & Facts" lists. He also advocates for walking, noting both physical and mental benefits. Writing in the mode of Edward Humes, David Owen, and Mary Roach, Carlsen offers an eye-opening and exuberantly informative walk-around-the-block tour that is made-to-order for this time of necessary at-homeness. Copyright 2020 Booklist Reviews.






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