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?