Sophie Crafts – Cambridge resident, educator, musician, walker
Sophie began walking around her neighborhood of Cambridge, Wellington-Harrington, when the city shut down in March 2020 due to the Coronavirus pandemic. What began as an opportunity for fresh air and exercise soon became an idea for a challenge: walk all 860 streets of Cambridge. She started tracking her progress on May 1, and covers more streets every day. She aims to finish by March 1, 2021.
So, why is this project called Sophie Strollin’ Streetblocks when it could be called something nice and not super weird?
City streets have played an important role in Sophie’s adult life. In 2010, she launched a career as a street performer, entertaining pedestrians with her accordion and marionette in various US cities, 12 countries, and, beginning in 2016, spots in Cambridge and Boston. She named her act Sophie’s Smokin’ Squeezebox, which captured the essence of her show and also gave her early-onset arthritis trying to type the name over the years. She decided to call her Cambridge walks project Sophie Strollin’ Streetblocks both to honor her first street-related passion and to make you do mental gymnastics to say yet another thing correctly.
How does she keep track of her progress?
A map, of course! And a spreadsheet. See this blog post (and this one) for details of the process.
Does she just walk all day? Is that her whole life?
When she is not walking, Sophie works as an educator in the Cambridge Public Schools. Part of her motivation for getting to know the city is to see her students’ neighborhoods. She loves this city’s diversity and history! Although Sophie doesn’t busk very often now, she is an active member of the Camberville based organization School of HONK and sings with Boston’s Chorus pro Musica. Check out her early-pandemic parody song, “Everything’s Closed,” here!
On March 20, Sophie finished her project by walking up Western Avenue to Cambridge City Hall in the company of Mayor Sumbul Siddiqui, other city councilors, and friends who had come along for walks. Boston.com commemorated her achievement with an article!