Not the Ending I was Expecting
Short one today:
I'm walking south on Second between Blanchard and Lenora, west sidewalk, just leaving a friend's house. Here are two figures on the sidewalk: the first, a woman of indeterminate middle age, in a scraggly ponytail, sweatshirt and tights, walking briskly.
Approaching her is a male of comparable age, slouched over, intoxicated, dressed in sagging dark layers, getting closer to her, noticing her….
As they near each other the woman, without breaking stride, sharply barks out: "HEY! PULL YOUR PANTS UP!"
The man thinks on it for a second before sheepishly replying, "okay."
He hoists them up as ordered.
12/21/2015 03:48:10 pm
Ah, I love the street characters, and your description of them! In City--Rediscovering the Center, Whyte has a whole section, or maybe chapter even, describing street characters. It's wonderful reading.
12/25/2015 12:15:00 pm
Looking forward to eventually getting around to that book! I'd be interested in his perspectives- how does he conceive of them as a group, if at all, unifying characteristics, etc.
12/25/2015 11:48:42 pm
I pulled the book off my shelf, and yes, there is a whole chapter devoted to street people! He classifies and describes them in rough order from harmless to harmful--from street vendors and entertainers to muggers/dope dealers/prostitutes. At the end of the chapter he is careful to denote the difference between the benign and the dangerous. (I recall you doing the same in one of your blog articles.) According to him, merchants hate all street people except customers, and they are (wrongly sometimes, according to Whyte) convinced that these folks are bad for business, After reading the book, I found people watching to be a lot more interesting, and due to you and him, I'm not scared unless someone gives me good reason to be. Being disheveled or dirty is not scary. Being loud is not scary. Annoying maybe, but not scary.
12/27/2015 11:32:04 am
These are excellent observations and delineations on a subject and a dynamic which we generally only hear unsubstantiated opinions about. Can't wait to read that book!
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