A little more information

The two main activities in my life: Helping the hungry in the late hours of the night and helping guitar players sound better one amp at a time.

I always try to remember that in order to do good one has to take action and actually do something.

I was born and raised in Los Angeles. I have watched the city and Southern California change for well over half a century.

I can be found on facebook at www.facebook.com/mylesr or on twitter at www.twitter.com/myles111us or on my own Guitar Amplifier Blueprinting website at www.mylesrose.com

Los Angeles Architectural History

Los Angeles Architectural History
1935 Art Deco at some of its finest: No. 168 - Griffith Observatory- (click on the photo for information)

Thursday, January 7, 2010

On the streets of Los Angeles

This is a brief bit of writing on some of my activities yesterday and last evening.

In the late morning I picked up one of my boys who was on vacation from school. I thought that showing him a little more of how some others live each day might be an interesting learning experience. School of a different kind.

We took the metro downtown and stopped for a quick lunch before walking along San Pedro Street toward skid row.

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Above - the view walking along San Pedro Street two blocks from the heart of skid row. It was a warm day.

Most of the country is in the middle of feeling bitter cold. The cold here is in the faces and expressions of so many of the people that live here. Cold will wait for a few hours until the sun falls. Freezing temperatures and snow are difficult for people in other parts of the country. If you have a car you turn on the heater as one will do in their house. If you head outside one generally has proper clothing. Many others have the option of staying inside as well.

For the homeless of Los Angeles in the winter it can get cold as well. 40 or 30 degree temperatures at night are common. Most have heard the phrase "wind chill factor". I think there may be less common factors. The "lying on concrete" factor. The no heat factor. No running water factor. No roof or walls factor.

I took my son on something of a tour of skid row. We walked down San Pedro Street. I took him inside the Union Rescue Mission.

urm

Since I mention the URM often I thought I'd put their logo here and their web URL which is http://www.urm.org/ where you can learn more about them.  There are a number of missions doing great work.  URM happens to be the mission that I personally prefer as I like the way they tackle such a huge task that is so overwhelming in a way that is so efficient for such a large organization.  If AT&T has what some feel is the worst customer service and are at one side of the scale then at the other side of the scale is Union Rescue Mission.

I took my son inside and he was able to meet one of the staff members who knew me. She was happy to meet my son and had some nice words for him.

After our stop at URM I took my son to walk the backside of Union Rescue Mission, San Julian Street. The police over at Central Division one block away say that San Julian is the most dangerous street in the city or perhaps in any US city. Before some of you ask what kind of crazy man would take his son for a walk on this street? I have friends on the street, it was a nice day without cold or rain to put people on edge from a bad mood. It was just after lunch where the meal service for the people close by had been able to eat. The mood and vibe was not tense. I still have a decent sense of my environment and judged that it was safe.

We walked by the row of SRO Hotels, saw the police station on Wall Street and then walked up 5th Street to Pershing Square to board the redline back to North Hollywood. My son said the day was interesting and had been an education. He seemed to be happy with our day together.

In the early evening I took my son home and then returned to my place to get ready for my night rounds back downtown. I grabbed my bag from Moore N Moore, a place where I participate in a sport known as sporting clays. The bag has a shoulder strap and carries half a dozen boxes of shotgun shells ... or ... in this case it holds a lot of breakfast bars or snack bars, raisins or whatever I wish to take to pass out as snacks for the evening.

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Above - getting ready for the evening.

Back to the metro and back to Pershing Square to walk down Fifth Street to pass out snacks, participate in a bit of conversation and learn a little more about a side of life that I thought I knew something about already.  What I am learning covers so many subjects I could not begin to articulate.  I am beginning to understand why people such as Andy Bales and the staff of Union Rescue Mission are such fighters in their task, or in their mission with more than one meaning to the word "mission".  URM is a mission, is the physical place that is Union Rescue Mission and a place of comfort and hope for so many people.

Since I had spent the last two nights staying downtown after long days and nights I thought I would give myself a break and come back to Hoho on one of the last rides on the metro for the evening (actually early morning).  The thought continually crosses my mind that I have options of where I spend my night while so many others do not.

I wish all a good day and good evening.

1 comment:

  1. Myles, everyone should make a concious effort to experience what you did. It's easy to be smug about the fortunes of the downtrodden, telling ourselves that we could never be one of them, but the reality is that we can. Any one of us can be in their place given the right set of circumstances.

    A few years back, when our kids were young, my wife and I decided that for the Angel Tree gift project at our church, we would deliver Christmas gifts. It worked well, because we couldn't afford to buy presents, but we could give our time, and our kids needed the experience of seeing kids their age who truly were doing without.

    Those kids had McDonald's toys for their toys and when we came in bearing gifts from the church, their eyes lit up, it was truly Christmas. That was a humbling exprience for our whole family, not the least of which because we were struggling ourselves.

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