Posts tagged “homeless”

Out and About: Steve in Toronto

I was in my old hometown of Toronto last week for Interaction13. Of course, I did spend some time wandering and (shivering and) taking pictures. The Flickr set is taking shape here but meanwhile some faves for you are below.
REAL PEOPLE ARE LIKE THIS!

Homeless memorial

What is dangerous?

Bash Back

Sushi Dry Cleaner

Evan Penny

Tree

Donuts

Steam Whistle

Gretzky

Cold

Guys

Power

ChittahChattah Quickies

  • [from steve_portigal] Homeless World Cup – [An interesting reframe of sporting championships and an interesting reframe of 'charity'] The Homeless World Cup is an annual, international football tournament, uniting teams of people who are homeless and excluded to take a once in a lifetime opportunity to represent their country and change their lives forever. It has triggered and supports grass roots football projects in over 70 nations working with over 30,000 homeless and excluded people throughout the year. The impact is consistently significant year on year with 73% of players changing their lives for the better by coming off drugs and alcohol, moving into jobs, education, homes, training, reuniting with families and even going on to become players and coaches for pro or semi-pro football teams.
  • [from steve_portigal] In Scholastic Study, Children Like Digital Reading [NYTimes.com] – “I didn’t realize how quickly kids had embraced this technology,” Ms. Alexander said, referring to computers and e-readers or other portable devices that can download books. “Clearly they see them as tools for reading — not just gaming, not just texting. They see them as an opportunity to read.”… “The very same device that is used for socializing and texting and staying in touch with their friends can also be turned for another purpose,” Mr. Chen said. “That’s the hope.” But many parents surveyed also expressed deep concerns about the distractions of video games, cellphones and television in their children’s lives. They also wondered if the modern multi-tasking adolescent had the patience to become engrossed in a long novel. “My daughter can’t stop texting long enough to concentrate on a book,” said one parent surveyed, the mother of a 15-year-old in Texas.
  • [from steve_portigal] Get a Geek in Five Easy Lessons [AMD at Home] – [AMD tries for humor on their corporate blog but ends up with an awkward, dated, false, sexist and generally alienating tone. Was this wise?] It’s hard to find a good man, but not impossible if you’re willing to make a little effort. Working in high tech, I’m mostly around guys all day. And I can tell you that – in general – technical guys are pretty cool. If nothing else, they will always be able to fix the TV, your PC, and the sprinkler system in a pinch. Yes, they have way too many gadgets, but come on, how many shoes do you have? How about just the black ones? So, if you’re single and find yourself at a TweetUp chatting with the cute geek in a backpack, here’s how to speak his language, appreciate his hobbies, and potentially snag a date at Fry’s. (Leslie Sobon is corporate vice president, product marketing at AMD. Her postings are her own opinions and may not represent AMD’s positions, strategies or opinions.)

Griddle to Griddle Design

girddleext
The Griddle Cafe, Los Angeles, February 2009

Recently, we ate Sunday breakfast at LA’s The Griddle Cafe. They offer an extensive menu featuring some interesting pancakes. I ordered Scotch On The Rocks (coconut, pecan, oat, and butterscotch-chip filled flapjacks covered in powdered sugar) and brown sugar-baked bananas. Not only did I end up with a side of bananas and bananas in my flapjacks, what I didn’t realize was that the portion size was insane: three thick flapjacks large enough to hang over the edge of a plate:

griddlegoodies

Needless to say, I couldn’t come close to eating it. The more I ate, the more the plate resembled what it looked like when they first served me. Eventually I began to feel badly: I’m a glutton for eating something like this, I’m wasteful for ordering something like this that I can’t eat, and I’m an out-of-town rube for not knowing how to order here.

While I walked away with my gluttony issues intact, we struck up a nice conversation with our neighbors who pegged us as visitors and explained that it is possible to order a single flapjack. Next time! And when we declined the to-go box (as we were headed to the airport shortly) I was very relieved when the host offered to give the leftovers to one of the homeless folk who hang out near the restaurant (presumably because this is a common occurrence).

We left the restaurant and stopped into a nearby store. A few minutes later we emerged and headed to our car. We saw some street dudes walking towards us carrying a styrofoam box. Without exchanging words with each other, we knew that it was my leftovers. But maybe we were staring or looking expectant, because as we came closer, the man carrying the box (with that extroversion borne of the streets) asked us if we wanted some, flipping open the clamshell to reveal – of course – my flapjacks, still quite intact.

Seeing that indeed my food did not go to waste while looking upon the very flapjacks that had just been on my plate was a mini-lightbulb moment. And so I moved to reply with matching enthusiasm to the man who was praising these same flapjacks. But as my jaw opened, I realized that I had no smooth way to honestly articulate my satisfaction without identifying myself as yet another of his benefactors (even as he was offering with a mix of exuberance and cynicism to share with us). Instead, I simply affirmed that the food did indeed look good, and we each went on with our days.

See more of my LA pictures here.

Sock It To Me

sockit_tabloid_color.jpg
I got a kick out of this great idea for a benefit concert – Sock It To Me: a sock and underwear collection for San Francisco’s homeless program. The only clothing that can’t be given as ‘hand-me-downs’ are socks and underwear. This is where you come in. Check your sock drawer and look for anything with a tag on it, or pick something up at the store on they way.

Food Rescue Me






Here’s what I’ve seen outside an Au Bon Pain store in Manhattan on two separate nights – a huge amount of food being discarded. Easily noticeable is dozens of bagels; no doubt other stuff as well.

Does Manhattan no longer have a hunger or homeless problem? Where is the food rescue organizations to pick this up and deliver it to someone who can use it? I’m not picking on Au Bon Pain specifically, it’s just what I’ve seen casually walking about. No doubt the problem/opportunity is more widespread than simply one store that I observed personally.

I ate dinner in Chinatown last night (despite picking a Chowhound etc. fave, I wasn’t that impressed, I’ve had better in SF and environs easily), and had quite a bit left over. I took it to go, even though being in a hotel there was no way to eat it. But the homeless dude I saw on the way in had packed up, and I couldn’t find anyone in Midtown either. But there are these buildings with atrium (atria? I dunno – they each only have one) that are designated public space (is this a tax thing or what?) and open til 10pm. I walked by one and there were many people playing chess. It wasn’t clear to me if these people had homes or money or were just chess enthusiasts, or if it was a mixture. I saw a lot of backpacks that seemed fairly full. I walked in nonchalantly past the security guard, and just left my food on an empty table. It’ll probably get thrown out, but if those people are in need, maybe someone will take it.

And just for some extra context – I don’t give money to people on the street. Ever. I rarely look or acknowledge, etc. I’m not boasting about what I did yesterday, or defending what I do normally, it’s just who I am and how I’ve chosen for now to handle these things.

What does motivate me more than any sense of “charity” or “giving” as an abhorrence of waste. My leftovers and the Au Bon Pain bounty are waste that could be leveraged. That appeals to something in me. One thing I’ve done is start a local freecycle group that allows people to exchange unwanted goods instead of tossing ’em out.

Encampment


Read full story

Artist Dianne Platner adjusts one of the structures in her miniature homeless encampment made from signs she has collected.

Series

About Steve