The Ramblings of Amazingness by Jenny J Bean

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Toothless, Homeless, and Still Dancing January 5, 2010

Filed under: Randomness — The Ramblings of Amazingness By Jenny J Bean @ 11:36 pm

So, I am sitting in my apartment in utter awkwardness once again. All of our furniture is now in our respective rooms, but it is piled into the middle of the rooms with a two foot perimeter around each room- just enough room for the painter to paint. There is no question in my mind that he will get paint on something, but I’m pretty much over it. I just want it done. We may try to tarp up the room in trash bags tomorrow morning, but I’m thinking we won’t get very far mostly due to pure exhaustion. I am sitting in my chair in the doorway of the bathroom now with the computer plugged in to the bathroom socket. My roommates are clearing space to do a workout video in one of the two foot spaces… hahaha good luck girls! I admire their determination. I’m going to go to the gym (out of the apartment) later… if I even get there. I’m so tired. Last night’s blog remains half written (I fell asleep writing it)–

Today was actually a pretty cool day overall. I got paid $75 to play a cell phone video game (which I can’t reveal the name of, but was pretty darn awesome!), eat pizza, drink diet coke, and talk about my thoughts in playing the game for an hour. It was officially the best focus group that I’ve ever been a part of! I wish I could play video games and talk about them all the time!

Later, I went to work (Census) and thankfully was able to be there for a friend that was really having a rough time (that she totally doesn’t deserve because she is an incredible person AND incredible at what she does.) Her amazing work ethic and uncanny ability to keep her ‘head on her shoulders’ in a bad situation is very appreciated by everyone around her but is grossly underrated by her supervisor. It just really sucks to see her unhappy, and she, more than most, doesn’t deserve it. There’s really nothing I can do but offer an ear or a hand… but I hope it helps her to know that she has many people (including me) that support her and think she is wonderful.

Later on even, I went out with a co-worker on the prowl for homeless people on the east side of Manhattan. Other than a short 10 minute pit stop at Mimi’s Cafe to watch a drag queen pianist sing Gershwin tunes, we spent the entire evening looking up and down the streets. We started by talking to the police precinct which insisted that ‘our precinct is pretty clear of homeless people, try the next one.’ We started by looking in basement stairs on side streets to no avail. We finally came across a corner where there seemed to be an odd collection of pants next to a trash can. We couldn’t figure out if someone actually lived there, so we decided to ask inside the restaurant nearby if they knew anything. The cashier knew exactly who lived there and when he generally went to sleep at night. The stores and restaurants were our insider information. Every restaurant/grocery that we went into led us straight to the location of another person/people.

4 hours later, we were totally cold and spent, but we had located upwards of 30 people in and around 1st and 2nd Avenues in Midtown Manhattan. We don’t (and frankly shouldn’t) talk to any of them; we just locate where they live/could live so that another operation of the census can attempt to count them in April.





I learned so much interesting information about the homeless situation in the city from the people we talked to:

— Most people that live out on the streets in the winter live near a series of large heat vents under and around 1st Avenue and the FDR Highway or in and around subway entrances.
— The police will ‘arrest’ homeless people just to bring them in on cold nights to the precinct and feed them
— Almost every 24 hour McDonalds in Manhattan lets a handful of people ‘nap’ in the winter. (Way to go Mickey D’s!)
— Almost every single other 24-hour store/grocery regularly houses 2 or 3 people in the winter.
— The ‘on the street’ homeless population almost completely disappears during the dead of winter thanks to generous people. Most live 9 months on the street and 3 months somewhere inside.
— There is a beautiful toothless lady that dances nightly to the music coming out of a restaurant on the East Side. She won’t accept free basement space in the restaurant that has been offered to her multiple times by the management, but she still comes back to dance happily every night outside the window.

I am so inspired by people…

Jenny J Bean

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