Monday, April 14, 2008

Charlotte comes to Skid Row

It is Monday and the day was eventful for me. My friend Charlotte and I had lunch and it was the seccond time that anyone from my life before Skid Row has come to visit me and the first woman. She is born and raised in Los Angeles but lives in New York now. She was visiting for a wedding.

What is interesting about this visit is that I had not seen Charlotte for over 25 years. She found out that I was living on Skid Row and that I had a blog. She read it and reached out to me. It was during the holiday season. She kept me going.

She was another person in a group of very good people who have helped me since I have been down here.

Charlotte has read every single one of my blogs. She does lots of charity work in New York.

She wanted to see certain places that I talked about in my blog. That was the "first" that I was telling every one about. She knows about Chrsysalis. She wanted to see where the Transition House is located. She wanted to see San Julian Park. She wanted to see Gladys Park where the 3on 3 Basketball league played there games.

It was interesting to speak to someone that has read everyone one of my blogs from across the country and she knew all of the characters. When she drove up in her rented car at the STRIVE PROGRAM, the computer teacher went downstairs to meet her as he knew about her because I talked about her all of the time. She knew who he was as well.

It was an example of how small the world can become because of the internet. Here is a woman who was interested in reaching out to me and helping me through a rough period of my life and from doing so she has been able to learn alot about Skid Row.

It goes to show you how powerful the medium is. I have received lots of emails from people around the country. Each time the experience reminds me how unique and powerful the internet is. It is a place to access information. It is a place where I have been able to develop relationships from my experience on Skid Row. My experience and insights, are interesting to people. Not that I am an expert. It is just that I provide another bit of information along with other sources of information about an area that is of interest to people around the world.

It was interesting to speak to an old friend. I have not seen Charlotte in over 25 years and the internet not only taught her about Skid Row, it brought her back into my life and enabled her to keep my spirits up. Pretty powerful mechanism.

She told me that her daughter read my blog and the social studies teacher in her high school assigned my blog for them to read. It amazes me how powerful the internet can be. People can learn about a community just from reading about it from an ordinary citizen, one who is living in the community. It is unedited and unfiltered. I am not a journalist passing through. I am a person who is living in a neighborhood and I am sharing my emotions that everyone can feel in whatever way they feel it.

For Charlotte to come here and talk to me about the neighborhood like she talked to me everyday at lunch about it and the people after flying cross country was a pretty new experience. Perhaps it is hard for anyone to grasp how special it is for me and how it reinforces so many different positive capabilities about the internet and how it can bring people closer together.

Her observation on Skid Row was that basically the difference between the homeless in Skid Row and what she sees in New York is that she had never seen such a large amount of homeless people in a concentrated area.

That is how my day was on Skid Row. Another day and another new experience. It continues to fascinate me that I am havinhg many positive new experiences and learning many things and they are happening while I am living in an area that supposedly would not bestow positive experiences for someone.

No comments: