“I need a new job.
Maybe I’ll go to Haiti (but I don’t just want to show up)
or Berlin (they loved me there).”
So this happened today.
He’s checking himself out in the car window.
John Hale from Compassionate Seattle.
“We need to get people more involved.”
He made some great points about getting ‘right’
with uncomfortable feelings of downtown by getting out and exploring.
“If you’re uncomfortable walking through Occidental Park,
you need to confront those feelings…and get over it.”
I love your dogs. I have friends with dogs and they always go
right for my tennis balls! I have to lift my cane up.
(If you see this woman, tell her something funny. She has a laugh like silver bells.)
“I work down here driving cabs.
I think the local government needs to take better care of their homeless.”
(And I liked his choice of words.)
“I came out from Arlington to show support, we’re not all like that.
They’re working hard.”
“I missed the compassion circle?
That’s one of the city’s nicest parks, but it’s become a urine pit.
Such a shame.”
Everyone gets a bad hair day now and then.
“I want to give Steve Banfield a hug for writing that letter to the Mayor.
You tell him for me. My name is Jane.
And I love following your blog.”
So, we had a little event today.
Folks from RealChange spoke, the Mayor spoke,
a homeless person spoke, a fireperson spoke.
Then everyone gathered hands and walked in a circle. (true story)
It was all very…Seattle-confusing.
The main message: depolicing of the area was not addressed.
I did speak with the Mayor following the event and he mentioned that Seattle does not currently collect data on where crimes are being committed which would help them more efficiently allocate resources around the city. He’s attending a half day offsite with some folks at Microsoft to remedy that. Will be interesting to hear an update of that on April 5.
How can we not have data on crime in Seattle, with sites like this?
“I’ve been shining shoes for over 25 years.
Nordstrom wanted me, but you know what?
I make more on the street!”
(You can meet Eddie here. Really wonderful blog post on him here.)
“The trolley is a cute idea, but we have tracks and no trolley.
Instead we have mayors who use the meter maids as their fundraiser
and punish people for coming downtown.
They don’t think about how businesses get by in the interim.
They need to connect the dream to reality.”
“I like working down here, the regulars are really great.
It’s a nice local bar. And, I wish we had less homeless.”
(He said that right after a woman aggressively panhandled customers going into the bar .)
“I like the diversity you get here.
This stand is good work. I like these guys.”
“Every twenty years or so this area goes through a major change and we’re in one now.
A lot of good places coming in and the prospectors (landlords) will hopefully support that.
And one of my waitresses got beaten half to death just last week and
her boyfriend has 3 cracked ribs. But it takes bullets and blood to get the cops down here.”
“I worked down here for a while and over time you develop relationships with (the homeless).
The worst is when you engage with them and they look at you like they don’t know you.
I’m like…’after 6 months bumming cigarettes off me, how can you not remember me?'”
“I like to dance. All kinds of dancing, all clubs.
Even in the street, wherever there is music.
I like when they do dancing in the square over there.”
Gus runs a hot dog stand during the baseball season.
When I see him he quotes the whole season’s dates to me.
He told me he loves going to all the other hot dog stands for sides,
and he loads his dog until the bread is all soggy–his favorite!
“I love it down here, been here for 10 years.
That’s it, I just love the people.”
“We’re here for her birthday.
We don’t spend a lot of time here, we’re from Tacoma.”
(Unfortunately I only got one shot, so I’ll say the birthday girl is
making a wish and thank all three ladies for chatting with me.)
“I like this area but it can be a little creepy.
We’re just trying to find an affordable club.”