Right now it is 60° with a high of 66° – the forecast for the next ten days is here.

Today’s block:  19th to 20th, Florida to Bryant Streets.

There are only a handful of blocks left, so take a look at the map and let us know if you want to claim one of them.  We’re at info@missionlocal.com.  

You can see a map of all of the blocks here

When I walked out of the house at 8 a.m. Thursday,  it was gray. Dreary.  Not the kind of day that would be ideal for taking pictures—all sunny skies when even the most dismal thing looks cheery.

But there I was with my long lens. So I proceeded.

I immediately saw several police cars at the corner and started snapping. One of the cops eyed me warily. It felt intrusive, like I was taking pictures of a private moment. But it wasn’t private. There it was, right on the street. I suppose with police abuse in the news daily, there’s tension. But I also think it’s good to bear witness. Usually I have a cellphone with me. But this was a big camera. Click.

An man sat on the curb, next to what I assume were all his belongings loaded onto a beige plastic shopping cart. I didn’t recognize him. I’ve gotten to know some of the people on the streets. I don’t know them super well. But some of them I know by name – and they know me. Most I don’t talk to and vice versa.

Photo by Janet Kornblum

Photo by Janet Kornblum

Photo by Janet Kornblum

Photo by Janet Kornblum

He wasn’t one of the familiar faces. The cops seemed to be asking him about his predicament. I didn’t sense any hostility. Maybe they were trying to help him.  I didn’t see any arrest, but one could have made been made. I wasn’t on the job as a daily reporter so there was no real reason to insert myself.

This is the sad and painfully honest truth about living here: things like this happen so frequently in my neighborhood that they’re almost normal. This embarrasses me every time I think about it: how can we live like this? Let people live on the streets. Let people go hungry—in one of the richest neighborhoods in the country. But I can’t get righteous. I’m part of the problem. I’m part of the gentrification.

Last night at 12:20 a.m. (I looked at my watch) I heard a loud boom. Thanks to living here, I can now distinguish the difference between backfire, firecrackers and gunshots. This was a gunshot. A car alarm blared on the next block, shaken by the vibrations. Three women wearing short dresses stood in a doorway, probably emerging from the salsa class held there, and discussed whether to go to their car. “Was that a gunshot?” one of them said.

I didn’t hear the answer. I thought about calling 911. I’ve done it before. But really, what good would it do? There was a single gunshot. That’s all I could report.

I went back to sleep.

This morning, I continued my walk up the block. Other than the cops, it was a usual weekday.

Photo by Janet Kornblum

Photo by Janet Kornblum

Photo by Janet Kornblum

Photo by Janet Kornblum

Photo by Janet Kornblum

Photo by Janet Kornblum

Photo by Janet Kornblum

Photo by Janet Kornblum

Photo by Janet Kornblum

Photo by Janet Kornblum

Photo by Janet Kornblum

Photo by Janet Kornblum

Photo by Janet Kornblum

Photo by Janet Kornblum

Photo by Janet Kornblum

Photo by Janet Kornblum

Photo by Janet Kornblum

Photo by Janet Kornblum

Photo by Janet Kornblum

Photo by Janet Kornblum

Photo by Janet Kornblum

Photo by Janet Kornblum

Photo by Janet Kornblum

Photo by Janet Kornblum

Photo by Janet Kornblum

Photo by Janet Kornblum

Photo by Janet Kornblum

Photo by Janet Kornblum

Photo by Janet Kornblum

Photo by Janet Kornblum

Photo by Janet Kornblum

Photo by Janet Kornblum

Photo by Janet Kornblum

Photo by Janet Kornblum

Photo by Janet Kornblum

Photo by Janet Kornblum

Photo by Janet Kornblum

Photo by Janet Kornblum

Photo by Janet Kornblum

Photo by Janet Kornblum

Photo by Janet Kornblum

Photo by Janet Kornblum

Photo by Janet Kornblum

Photo by Janet Kornblum

Photo by Janet Kornblum

Photo by Janet Kornblum