Friday, June 11, 2010

We haven't seen any bad ass cars in a while.

I love, love, love the city. Which is what makes it so nice, to come back to my quiet little suburb. The good news is - tourist traffic seems to be good right now. The bad news is - the panhandlers are on savage. And, it is more than just the begging. Clearly so many of the beggars are mentally ill. I can't imagine what tourists must think when the visit the city.

I mean.. it's really, really, bad. And, I think I have a high tolerance. I must have been asked for money 50 times within 2 hours. I'm not even exaggerating. That might even have been low.

I pretty much never give them money. Still, they are not invisible to me. Mental illness has touched my family. So, there is always this static in my brain about them. I can't ignore them, but I can't encourage them either.

Anyway. I was up trying to get shots of exotic cars. It wasn't really an event. The cars were suppose to trickle in. Which caused me to have to hang out and wait. Which I'm not good at. You've probably already figured that out about me.

Three primary panhandlers had staked out the block. Still every couple of minutes someone new would walk up to me and ask me to "help them out". 75 cents here. A cigarette there.

I'm standing there staring at these two Ferrari's. Waiting. One of them walks up to me. At first I wasn't completely sure if he was going to hit me up for money because he was pretty clean.

Him - Hey.. is this your car.

Me - No. It's pretty nice though right.

Him - Yeah, yeah, yeah. Then he started saying some stuff that wasn't very legible.

It was at this point I understood he wasn't just going to walk off.

Me - This is your car. Right man?

Him - Yeah yeah yeah. My father moved to the suburbs and married a white woman.

(hey, don't look at me. I'm just recounting the story)

Me - A little overtime and that car is yours. Right?

Him - Yeah. Hey. I'm the joke man. No. I'm going to tell you a poem.

Me - Am I going to have to pay for it?

Him - Well, you can if you want

Me - No man, I'm sorry. Times are tough. This isn't my car. I wish you luck though.

Oddly, the panhandlers seem to respond well to that line. Then they tend to leave me alone. Which is awkward when I pull out my camera and try to take shots of the two Ferrari's.

I stood there long enough that I could see there was this little panhandler network. If you just passed one of them - you wouldn't notice it. But, it was like one of them would try. When they failed they would send in their buddy.

It was a little sharkish. I could always seem them in the periphery circling me. Then there were always the really crazy ones who didn't even ask for money, but seemed to do nothing but walk around the block. Over and over.

At any rate. I got tired of this routine before anything good showed up. Got to the train and these two women were having a loud obnoxious fight. One storms off. You can hear the other one call someone else on the phone. "I need you to help me! If you aren't going to help me. No! You're disrespecting me"!

Awwwwww. I love my quiet suburb. I do love the city. But really.. the city is constantly like that. So many crazies.

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