In the fall of 1984, fed up with my precarious freelance existence, I enrolled in an intensive computer programming course at NYU’s midtown campus. On the first day I learned that one of my classmates, Janice, now one of my dearest friends, lived near me in the East Village. Since we were both inveterate walkers, we quickly fell into a routine of walking to and from class together. I often aroused her ire, however, as I was wont to stop and peruse the menu at any and every restaurant that looked promising. She just wanted to walk.
A couple of years later she and her husband Derek adopted a dog from a shelter, a feisty Airedale they named Babka, in honor of the Eastern European coffee cake. One day Janice told me of her constant frustration when walking Babka. “Every two minutes she has to stop to sniff at something. It’s just like walking with you.”