The streets were busy, but his 2041 sensibilities found it quiet, almost sedate. The vehicles—cars mostly, with a mix of small trucks, busses and streetcars—seemed few and far between to him, though around him people complained about the absurd traffic.
It was even possible, though rare, to see people riding horses or genuine horse-drawn carriages. Before he’d come back to the past, he’d never seen a horse outside of a video.
The lack of traffic left the city feeling quiet, which was both invigorating and oddly disquieting, as though he’d found a kind of peace but that he’d gained it at a cost he couldn’t put his finger on. People talked more, all around him, even to him so that he had to make an effort to respond. He found himself smiling involuntarily, and chastised himself for it. He limited his conversations to a pleasant “Good morning!” in passing.
He had to walk to his destination. He didn’t know how to drive the contraptions that passed for cars in this time, and had been too busy to learn. There was public transportation, but he hadn’t learned to use that either. He’d memorized the location of the building he sought though, and the streets were laid out in an easy to navigate grid, so he thought he shouldn’t have much trouble.
He made his way south for a time, approaching the lake, which made itself known by the unmistakable smell of the open waters. Everything smelled stronger in the past, the good and the bad alike; he’d noticed that within days of arriving. Or maybe it was simply that his nose had recovered from a lifetime of living in pollution-laden air. He found himself breathing in deeply as he walked.
He turned to parallel the lake shore and started to finally recognize things as busy, at least as far as pedestrian traffic went. The piers were a popular spot for boaters and those just out for a walk and fresh air. He pushed on, trying to keep to himself as he passed the great downtown train station and a series of ornate hotels, some of which still stood in his time.