Whew, it may take me a few moments to catch my breath - I came running for the train this morning. (breathing hard) Jeesh, out of shape. (Heavy Sigh)
Okay, almost ready.
While my heartbeat returns to a resting rate, let me fill my readers in on last night's adventure. It all started when Alex was reading the Downtown News. He spotted an article about a neighborhood walk taking place only a few blocks away from the house, in an area that we only drive through, drive by, but since there's no services that we would use, there's no sense in stopping.
Three big "shelters" are located within a two to three block area: Union Rescue, Weingart, and Midnight Mission. They provide a number of services, such as showers for those who don't have a home, hot food, and somewhere safe to sleep at night. There are additional services - outreach, work programs - but because I've never taken the time to learn about it, I'm still quite in the dark.
Anyway, the article invited us to attend the walk, which started at the Midnight Mission, we walked up from 6th and San Pedro, to 7th, down a few blocks, and then back to the Mission. We were joined by a small group police officers, the hosts CCEA, and Councilwoman Jan Perry.
I didn't see much that was new to me. The one exception was the fish processing plant with the N-A-S-T-I-E-S-T smell ever. Saw a couple who looked to be arguing, but then on an instant turned into a loving couple. So obvious to the crowd that boyfriend-turned-pimp was just covering up until we cornered the block. There were people who were happy to see us, and not. It was a moment in time to see the neighborhood, to visit a part of town that I don't usually feel welcomed into.
I live only three or four blocks from there. The times I have to visit (and I say have to), it's usually to vote. But, I have to suffer catcalls - something I didn't grow up with (growing up in the middle of now where - there's not opportunity). Or the stares. I think it's the stares that I'm most uneasy about because it does give me a feeling that I don't belong, and I'm not wanted.
In college, I was able to take a trip to Europe. One part of the trip was to Southern France - Nice...which is anything but nice. I needed to buy a dress for dinner, and I stepped into a boutique and was met by two store clerks. After getting the once over, I was told there was nothing for me at this store. All I thought was, snotty French - hmph. But, I remember the chill of that once over - the look of "I know you and I know what you stand for". Apparently, the store clerks knew that I wanted to buy a pretty dress for the last night I was in town, and I wanted to get something that I could keep for a while. No, they thought I was looking for a broomstick skirt that I could just roll up and keep in my suitcase.
I get that "Nice look" when I walk down the street, east of Los Angeles street. People don't know me, there's just this look of confusion. Like, what is she doing down here - she must have gotten off at the wrong Red Line stop.
Well, I didn't. I like the Flower district, I like the Fashion District, and I know have a warm spot in my heart for the "Mission District" :-) I know that I won't always feel welcomed there, because in so many ways, the streets are the living rooms of other people.
OMG, I can't think straight. There's a guy on the train who's sleeping - but he's also drooling in his sleep. Every couple of minutes I hear him slurping. And, I just looked up to see him taking his tongue to clear the drool from his lip.
What was I saying? Yeah, right...living rooms of other people.
I'll do the walk again, if only to see the people I met the last time around.
@ Del Mar. Time to put away the computer and get ready for the day.
...Memorial Park Station....