Walking by the waterfront is one of our regular strolls. A city of tents, old RVs and abandoned cars grew there until the land’s owners, Home Depot, decided it was time to clear. Under different circumstances, many of the residents might become great customers. The following come from two different walks.

Jan 6 02

The smell of campfires brought no memories of fireside gatherings. Family and friends are here as are also those without either. Tent city grows each time I walk by with Sam. On a Sunday morning in snowless winter, the place combines survival, ingenuity, and loneliness. Smoke rises from home made chimneys. I picture someone who rose early, gathered wood protected from moisture, and started with kindling readied the night before.

Independence and careful planning keeping the harsh possibilities away.

Building, making, mostly following the directions of others, gave him enough skills to realize his place. Scraps of cloth, plastic and metal covering recycled framing from packaging and construction. Tools borrowed and improvised, powered by determination and necessity. Discards shape shelter and identity.

A little relief with no lease.

Aug 13 02

Birth, mom, maybe dad. A child was born to a resident. Fires demanding firefighter attention. Tent City continues growing. Old camper trailers define new paths in this genuine cul-de-sac. Yesterday morning a cab dropped off two young women. Going home after a party? Working?

Human patterns of survival, escape, comfort.


About mielniczuk

Community, systems, design, collaboration, change, evidence, Intelligent Accountability(c)
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