The salesman offered to buy my drinks and dinner, since he had an expense account. Oh god, did I really need someone to pay for my stuff. I had $25 to my name. But I demurred. I preferred to live under the fantasy that I had money, something that is easy to do in a place like Paragon.

Maybe spaces really can change things. When I am in an upscale place, I feel sort of not poor anymore. Sure, I may just order a cup of soup and a beer, but I am surrounded with niceties and good service. I can pretend. Environment does matter. Not to be overly boojie, but perhaps that is why public housing is a failure. You can't surround people with crime, drugs, and ugliness, and expect miracles. The real answer, according to the insurance salesman, is to spread poor people throughout an entire city. Give them housing in a nice neighborhood, where they can assimilate. A nice room somewhere.

I thanked him for the great conversation, paid my tab — overdrawing myself, natch — and left that new space to return to my familiar old one. Next week, if the fates allow, I will invade another space. Only I'll pick somewhere cheaper.

« Previous Page
 |
 
1
 
2
 
All
 
My Voice Nation Help
0 comments
 

Concert Calendar

  • April
  • Wed
    16
  • Thu
    17
  • Fri
    18
  • Sat
    19
  • Sun
    20
  • Mon
    21
  • Tue
    22
San Francisco Event Tickets
©2014 SF Weekly, LP, All rights reserved.
Loading...