I found a nifty website today, walkscore.com! It calculates how "walkable" your neighborhood is when you give it an address, based on how many stores, etc. on Google are within 1 mile. Now, it's a little skewed: I, for one, can easily walk 2 miles no problem, so I think things that are, say, 1.27 miles away should still be counted. Also the Google businesses can be off (a spa/massage center is a grocery store??). But overall I think it's a neat idea. Try it!
* My parents' house in Boston has a score of 75! Yup, lots of walking growing up. 7 minutes to the subway station. :)
* My old Pgh apartment had an 82!! I miss Bagel Factory almost daily. 0.31 miles to hot pastrami on multigrain bread, provolone, lettuce tomato mayo mustard sprouts. sniff sniff! :(
* Arvonn's old crusty apt. off Baum Blvd. had a whopping 89! (there is more to quality of life than walkability, however!)
* My current apartment has a score of 11 . . . yes people, the burbs are crap.
* The house we just bought (oh did I mention that?!) has a 34. But to be fair, there's a million things just above 1 but under 2 miles away, so for me personally it's not so bad.
Actually, even at the score of 11, Arvonn and I regularly do this crazy thing called "walking" from our apt. to the grocery store, di Tazza coffee shop, Fred Meyer, and sometimes Wild Oats/Border's/movie theatre, which are all about 1.3-1.6 miles away. So even the burbs can be walkable if you make them walkable! ;)