Monday, October 27, 2008

Pacific Garden Mission





Within minutes of my posting around 3:00 this morning about that beating and the PCM, Rich Chwedyk--yes, THAT Rich Chwedyk--emailed me about how he thought the place was being demolished, and Scott pretty much said the deed was done already, maybe a year back. I guess I always expected that place to be there, though photos of the new place do seem to show a less crowded setting. So this might be the reason those two homeless folk I mentioned gave the Mission as their address, right now its certainly closer than where they were sitting the night of the beating. I hate talking crap about people on the streets, and being the son of a city copper leaves me with the option of being biased in both the bad way and the good way. (As I type this, people on the news are berating the cops because it took them three days to find a white SUV with a dead boy in it, even though the kid's father, who also killed his mother- and brother-in-law, was in custody and the fucker certainly could have pointed at a map to the corner of Jackson & Kolin.) That's why I post a photo of Maurice the Flag Man, who has been giving his flags away for whatever you want to give him for as long as I've been to the Loop, I first saw him around 1985. I posted about him a year or so back, in detail, and last month I wrote about Rockabilly Dave. The (sometimes not-so) simple truth is that you can't give most of the people on the street food because they won't take it, and even those who seem in good shape to work (as Dave often does, through day labor) are out there day after day, certainly not trying to get work. Kids successful enough to live in high rises or have enough dough to stay at the dorms for Columbia College or the Art Institute walk the same intersections as those who stay in the shadows of the old George Diamond's Steakhouse building. (Watch, that building's gone too, I'll bet. What I get for taking train that goes underground for four miles). I, myself, have been cursed because I honestly had no money I could part with this past June before my unemployment kicked in. Same person might have acted differently if it was 3AM and not 3PM, I cannot say. Are there cities on any other civilized planets in the universe that are so thoroughly screwed up as Chicago?

6 comments:

Capcom said...

Well, Poughkeepsie, NY is pretty messed up, albiet on a much smaller scale than Chicago. The third night after I moved there off of Main St. there was a shootout and I counted 11 shots. Then I had to do Grand Jury duty and learned ALL about what went on at night around me while I was sleeping. :-o Especially right across the street from my house at the McDonald's.

HemlockMan said...

I know that if I was ever going to be homeless, I'd try to make it to San Diego. To this day, it has the most homeless people I've ever seen. It's warm and it's dry. You just probably aren't going to die of hypothermia there.

Everything changes. Chicago will merge with the night.

Charles Gramlich said...

Always curious to me how some folks live.

Steve Malley said...

Remember the 70's? You had your stew-bums, bindlestiffs and hobos, but they were relatively few on the ground.

Then Reagan decided to save money by emptying out the mental hospitals. Tens of thousands of patients were given a bottle of pills and a prescription card and told to come back in a month for their refill.

Next thing you know, a raving army of displaced persons. Bag lady became a common term.

That sound you hear? Just my teeth, gnashing...

HemlockMan said...

Fuck Reagan. I have proposed that we construct a public urinal over his grave. Another take on the trickle down effect.

kuroshii said...

google tells me they moved, they're now on s. canal. i used to walk past the state street building every morning on the way to my office in the south loop. there was always a gentleman standing outside greeting folks, a new one every week or three. occasionally they'd try to pitch at me, but mostly they'd recognize me as a Commuter and simply smile and "how are you" and wish me a good morning. they appeared to mean it, so i would smile and wish them one back.

i must say...it's nice having someone smile like they're happy to see you, at that hour of the morning when you're not happy to be awake yourself.