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A Day of Odd Occurrences

By Eric Richardson
Published: Wednesday, August 03, 2005, at 06:04PM

It's been a weird day. One of those days that reminds me that we've still got a lot of work to do in making Downtown a more livable environment. Not that it isn't livable right now -- I've been here a little over a year and love it -- but there's much still to be done.

This afternoon, after an interesting trip to the DMV, I stopped into the little sandwich shop on the NW corner of 6th and Spring. It's a really nice Asian couple that runs the place; she's usually the one in there and was today. I always get a friendly greeting and (creature of habit that I am) she remembers what I'm going to order (pastrami).

Today when I walked in there was a guy in there who was either crazy or on drugs. Definitely couldn't stand still; rearranged the placement of the sugar and creamer on the counter, etc. I guess he had ordered a coffee right before I got there. It was ready a minute or two later and he poured sugar in it for a good five or six seconds before putting a lid on it. Then he walks out and there's some sort of an incident where some of the glass bottles another guy on the street was carting around spill and break. The first guy hurriedly walks back into the shop, leans over the counter, and says something about "Don't let s--t like that bother you." Then he walks off.

The whole time the lady behind the counter is just standing there with a nervous polite smile. After the guy leaves she makes some comment about the neighborhood and asks when it's going to clean up.

Then just now I get off the elevator in my building to find a lady trying to get water from a marble drinking fountain on my floor that I guarantee hasn't been functional in thirty years. It doesn't really even have fixtures. She asked me if it worked and I sort of laughed and said no, and then she asked if I had a bathroom she could use. I didn't know how to say no, so I said yes and let her into the apartment and showed her where it was. Before leaving she asked if I needed any housework done that I could give her a few dollars for.

You get used to stuff like this Downtown, but it does serve as a reminder that life isn't just condos and lofts. The old Downtown is very much still here around us.

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