If you're like me (and there is almost no chance of this, I realize that, it's just an expression), on your daily perambulations through the City, you encounter a variety of panhandlers, homeless and otherwise. As with most things in my life, I'm often perplexed about how to handle this fraught situation and so I'm croudsourcing this issue to find out what it is you do.
As I work in the Civic Center area, which is part of/maybe just immediately adjacent the Tenderloin, I see some of the same panhandlers every day.
There is the oddly well-put-together woman who I've written about before who posts up at the corner of Grove and Larkin during commute hours (she's there roughly 7:30-9 am and then 4 to about 6 pm) silently holding a sheaf of Street Sheets and who doesn't look homeless or even really troubled in any way; in fact, she would not be out of place waiting on you in a diner or something. NOT HOLDING THAT AGAINST HER; I'm just saying, it's kinda weird.
(I wrote that prior post about her in 2009. She's still out there, basically every day. I continue to be really curious about what her deal is but I really don't want to stop and talk to her because I pass her every day, usually twice a day, and I don't want to set up a thing where I have to stop and talk to her every day. It has nothing to do with her being homeless; I don't want to stop and talk to anyone twice a day. I'm not one of those people who hangs around their corner store trading neighborhood gossip or that kind of thing.)
(OH SNAP I just looked at the Google Street View for Grove & Larkin and thought I saw her but it's just some chick with a coffee. Goes to show how normal she looks.)
There's the Bearded Disheveled Guy Who's Always Reading a Paperback Book. He can be found in Civic Center Station pretty much all the time. I've actually given him money before.
There's a whole crowd that hangs out around the Main Library. One of them is a guy who wears Rollerblades all the time and skates around passing a football back and forth with one of his comrades. In all fairness, I've never seen him ask anyone for money, so maybe he just likes to wear Rollerblades and throw the rock around and hang out by the library.
UNRELATED: Check out the cool Street View Dog on the corner of Larkin and Golden Gate! AWWWWW, PUPPY!!!!
And so on. My point is, when you see your Regular Panhandlers, what do you do? Do you give them money?
Or I guess, what are your usual Giving Money to Panhandler Rules? I mean, in SF, you probably get hit up for money 5 to 12 times a day unless you're Richie Rich and live in Pacific Heights and drive your Volvo to work and your secretary brings lunch to you. So what are your giving money rules? When do you toss a buck at a panhandler?
(RELATED STORY - I remember reading somewhere years ago about an invitation to some fancy-ass party in a part of town where there were obviously panhandlers and the invitation asked guests to not give money to the "outdoorsmen." Outdoorsmen! FAVORITE HOMELESS EUPHEMISM.)
Have a nice holiday weekend at Burning Man or whatever it is you do. I guess if you're at Burning Man you're not reading this anyway.
Also, I'm still on jury duty but hopefully only for another week and then everything will be back to normal.
Also, we're trying out Boxing Room tonight and I'll totally tell you if it's good or what. Smoked Chicken & Andouille Gumbo! FUCK YEAH. Speaking of restaurant websites, THANK YOU FOR NOT AUTOPLAYING DIXIELAND JAZZ ON YOUR WEBSITE BOXING ROOM. I KNOW THAT MUST HAVE BEEN NEARLY IMPOSSIBLE TO RESIST.
OK, I'm done now.