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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
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.
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.