Monday, January 28, 2013

Walking the walk

Once more I walked the mile into town to get a sandwich today.  As I was walking out of my office onto Main St. a couple of young ladies were walking along, carefree, listening to music. One of them looked at me and said: "Do you have a dollar?"  No prefacing it with "I need to get something to eat" or anything.  I said no. 

It is a pretty windswept walk. I go past several generations of public housing, a couple of them quite nice, a couple of them not at all so. I pass JC's Kitchen (where Brian and I ate a couple of weeks ago, awesome) and a walkup takeout called Not Just Wings where I know I'm headed one of these days, I just haven't yet pulled the trigger. There is the Centro Hispano, and multiple Durham City Government offices.  The Housing Authority, etc.  There is a massive and gleaming new project which will soon be Durham's Office of Human Services, which looks nice but which reiterates all the modernist mistakes made by the new Court House and Police Station and some other faceless piece of pseudo-Corbusier crap down the way a piece:  big building with lots of glass closed off to the street, no storefronts, no life.

And I pass St Phillips, the church where I was baptized and where I sang solos lo those many decades ago when I had not even heard the word puberty and had a nice high voice (so my mom tells me), where my sister was married, where I absolutely slaughtered people in look-up-shit-by-chapter-and-verse competitions, and where I sat every Sunday looking up at the stained glass centerpiece of Jesus and some little lambs, fully expecting a brick to come flying through it, cuz the nabe was rough even back then, being as how it was next to the Greyhound station, long since gone.

In general, Durham East of Roxboro St awaits the dawning of the age of foodiness and ironic facial hair. The Golden Belt is an island of private sector whiteness. There's a new building going up along Fayetteville St, and I thought that boded well. And then I saw the sign: DaVita Dialysis. It's good to have a modern facility for people to go get there treatments, to be sure, but at the end of the day it's just another place for Medicare and Medicaid to be spent, not really a productive asset.

Today I came in to work and there was a tarp over the front door of our building, which had been hit and run by some drunk dude in a Mercedes, who careened through the parking lot and into our front lobby, before reversing and high-tailing it out of there.

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