Street Life…Life On Our Streets

Every six months or so I archive my photos to make room on my computer.  The inventory is now well past 190,000 images residing on archive disks that will most likely disappear in the dustbin of history.

Before archiving I selected a few photos documenting scenes from my daily walks around what I call the Petaluma Photo Grid…scenes that reflect an aspect of street life here and elsewhere in the country that we should not…dare not…ignore.

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Some may call them Travelers, Transients, People Living Rough, or Homeless. However, they are people and part of our communities.

As a friend recently commented: “It’s important for all of us to not ignore what we find disturbing but instead really include it in our consciousness, accept it as a part of our reality. Then we may decide we want to change it and actually be able to do that.”

GALLERIES

(Individual photos may be enlarged by clicking on them)

Street Life Gallery I

P1030748 Love Where You Live

Weary Traveler (Petaluma Blvd)  P1010211RAWa

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2 DSCF5106RAWWEB DSCF6158 Golden Concourse Walkway DSCF5328RAW P1030746 Water Street  DSCF4926RAW Weller St P1030327 Western Avenue  DSCF5757

Street Life Gallery II

Water Street Loading Dock

Ralph Lauren Loading Dock on Water St P1030495RAW

5 P1030282WEB 4 Ralph Lauren Loading Dock on Water St P1030284

Street Life Gallery III

Water Street P1030235RAW2WEB

Foggy Morning Pedestrian P1020662RAW1

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1 Book Reader  P1010992RAW B&WWebcropped

Street Life Gallery IV

American Alley Stroll

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In closing, I offer this passage from Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol…

They were a boy and a girl. Yellow, meagre, ragged, scowling, wolfish; but prostrate, too, in their humility. Where graceful youth should have filled their features out, and touched them with its freshest tints, a stale and shrivelled hand, like that of age, had pinched, and twisted them, and pulled them into shreds. Where angels might have sat enthroned, devils lurked, and glared out menacing. No change, no degradation, no perversion of humanity, in any grade, through all the mysteries of wonderful creation, has monsters half so horrible and dread.

Scrooge started back, appalled. Having them shown to him in this way, he tried to say they were fine children, but the words choked themselves, rather than be parties to a lie of such enormous magnitude.

‘Spirit. are they yours.’ Scrooge could say no more.

‘They are Man’s,’ said the Spirit, looking down upon them. ‘And they cling to me, appealing from their fathers.  This boy is Ignorance. This girl is Want. Beware them both, and all of their degree, but most of all beware this boy, for on his brow I see that written which is Doom, unless the writing be erased. Deny it.’ cried the Spirit, stretching out its hand towards the city. ‘Slander those who tell it ye.  Admit it for your factious purposes, and make it worse.

And abide the end.’

‘Have they no refuge or resource.’ cried Scrooge.

‘Are there no prisons.’ said the Spirit, turning on him for the last time with his own words. ‘Are there no workhouses.’ The bell struck twelve.

READER NOTE–Some of my past posts on this topic are listed below

So, where will you die?

Of course, one never knows where or when they will die, but if you are homeless, the chances are you will die alone…on the street…or in a cold dark place.

And so it was last night in Downtown Petaluma…

“B” Street at Petaluma Blvd. South

“B” Street at Petaluma Blvd. South

Petaluma Police Report No 14-6086

“At approximately 7:30 pm, a citizen reported seeing a man lying face down on the sidewalk near the intersection of “B” Street and Petaluma Boulevard South in downtown Petaluma.  The citizen called 911, and Petaluma Police and Fire units responded.  The man was transported to Petaluma Valley Hospital, where he was declared deceased.  The deceased man was known to be a local transient.”

“The deceased subject had a visible head injury; investigation is continuing to determine how the injury was sustained and its relevance to the case.  An autopsy is expected to take place this week.”

Petaluma 360

“This is the eighth time this year that a person believed to be homeless was found dead outside in Petaluma and the 21st since 2010….During the same four-year period, Petaluma police conducted 238 death investigations overall. Tuesday night’s body is the first of the homeless deaths found on a downtown street….”

“B” Street at Petaluma Blvd. South

“B” Street at Petaluma Blvd. South

Update 12/19/14–The man has been identified as MICHAEL LEE PATTON, 60 YRS

RELATED ARTICLE: So, where do you sleep?

So, where do you sleep?

I realize that the homeless population is a topic that we read about or see in San Francisco or on some of the trails or waterways in Petaluma.  But their plight often becomes more visible and serves to remind us of their reality…

As to what to do to help them, I leave that to others.

But consider this person who takes refuge and sleeps on the sidewalks in downtown Petaluma…

Storefront, Petaluma Blvd

Storefront, Petaluma Blvd

Storefront, Western Avenue

Storefront, Western Avenue

Signs & Scenes…2012

Well here it is, December 1. 2012, and another year has almost  come and gone. To wrap up 2012, I offer over seventy new photos from the year in Signs & Scenes Gallery 2012 

Thanks to the editing assistance of a few readers in putting it all together. I did add a few photos since our last review.

Do not sleep in front of the book drop!

Dateline–Petaluma CA March 12, 2012

The Petaluma Regional Library respectfully requests visitors or patrons NOT to engage in certain activities…

Petaluma Library © Frank Simpson

On the other hand…

"OK to sleep on library grounds...just not under the drop box" © Frank Simpson

Hire Me, Fire Me, Anything Helps!

Poor and out of work in Petaluma…

McDowell & Washington Square February 24, 2012     © Frank Simpson

What is increasingly visible on the streets of Petaluma is, of course, part of the larger “picture” of the economy in the United States.

The BBC World Service documentary, America’s Poor, …explores America’s underworld of poverty where people live in storm drains and tented camps and where children go hungry.” BBC World Service

Related Link: Photos…Homeless in Petaluma (Updated!)