Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

#4 - southbound

I was 1/2 block away from the bus stop when I realized I had forgotten my phone at home. And I was expecting a call later that day. I walked home the 2 blocks, took the elevator up, walked down the hall, grabbed the phone, walked down the hall, took the elevator down, and walked back towards the bus stop.

A young woman in a head scarf got out of the back seat of a car parked on the side of the road and asked me for help. I took my headphones off as she held up a cell phone and asked if I knew where this place was -- the phone had the Kentucky Convention Center and its address on the screen. We were on Jefferson just past 6th Street. The Convention Center is on 4th Street. Unfortunately, Jefferson is one-way going west. I told her they needed to go around the block and drive up (or down) 4th Street (depending on which way they turned) and it would be at the corner, but I couldn't remember what the cross street was. Turns out, I think it's at 4th & Jefferson. She thanked me and I started to walk on. Then she called me back and gave me a piece of candy. Thanks!

# 4 - northbound

It was chilly, windy, and rainy. The bus was stopped at the light at 4th & Magnolia when a man on a bicycle approached from the west. I thought at first he was just crossing in front of us, but he was trying to board the bus. At the light, which is not a bus stop. For some reason it was moved up half a block, which always confuses people. The driver honked a few times, but, really, what do you do when a man stops in front of your bus? We sat through the light at least twice while he carried on a Queen Anne's Cordial Cherry box that was collapsing from the weight of the black trash bag inside or because of the water (the larger packing box that would hold the individual boxes for sale). He put the box on the shelf behind the driver's seat, and then he got off to hook the bike to the rack in front. The bicycle had curved handlebars.

I got off at 4th & Broadway and walked to the Y wondering why I hadn't just stayed on the bus where it was dry and slightly warm. At 3rd & Chestnut, the 60-cent woman asked me for money. She had a plastic scarf on her head and was pushing her bicycle.

After the Y, I met R. outside his office and we walked home. My jeans were wet from earlier so I kept my gym-capris on. It was about 40 degrees, windy, and a little rainy. 4th Street Live was blocked off and checking IDs, which I try to avoid on principle (seriously, it's 6:30 at night and I'm just trying to walk home), so we went around. A man stopped us on the sidewalk on Muhammad Ali just past 4th Street. He was holding car keys. Excuse me... Can I ask you something... Now I'm not one of those bums...

I interrupted, seeing where this going.* I'm sorry, but it's cold, and I want to go home. We continued walking. You have to get to your Ask faster, especially when the weather is bad. I just finished an hour of Pi-Yo and my legs are bare. Speed it up. A few blocks later at 6th Street just south of Jefferson, I saw the same man in front of us as we cut through Jefferson Park. He walked over to the courthouse. This morning I felt a little guilty for not listening to him because maybe he really did have car trouble, but I seriously doubt it.


* The other week, we sat outside our building for a little bit after cleaning out the trunk of the car. R. had a blue tarp and I held a red dirt devil hand vacuum. A man approached us with a similar opening as the man from last night. He had a story about his car breaking down and Glassworks wanting him to get it out of their lot and he had used the last of his money to repair the leaking fuel tank and now needed gas money to get back to Lexington. R. directed him to the travelers assistance center a few blocks away, which will give you cash for just this type of situation. The man said he'd head back to the convention center and see if he could call someone. A few minutes later, we saw him stop a man on the other side of the light, the opposite direction of the convention center.

As an aside, there is not an official Glassworks parking lot -- there are a few lots around the building but they are run by companies contracted with the city. All they will do if your car is there is give you a ticket for not pre-paying for your space. Maybe, eventually, they'd tow you, but you probably have to get a few tickets first, and his car had only been there overnight. Also, there are no gates at the lots, so you could just drive off and not pay the tickets if you happened to be here from out-of-town and weren't concerned about getting caught later.

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