I don't know why I continue to be taken aback by the strife, crime, and misery that confront me every time I visit the Tenderloin. Still, as John Cougar said, it hurts so good. I keep going back again and again. I have some sick interest in watching the goings-on there; I also seem to take pride in the fact that I can walk through the 'Loin and not get bugged by anyone. There is something about me that is not a target, which makes me feel "street," man (maybe it's my teardrop tattoo). Desperation also breeds loyalty, support, and friendship, and this neighborhood has those in spades. Last week, I wandered through the heart of the beast, passing blatant drug deals, a young man shooting up in his foot, and Crackheads Gone Wild. I have yet to see a cop in this neighborhood. Even when you pass the Tenderloin Police Station, you won't see one. What you will see are empty police cars parked in lanes of traffic, backing shit up. To be fair, I have seen some undercover guys, and I assure you that if I can tell they are narcs, miscreants damn sure can, too. Most of the 'hood's residents are just elderly poor people who probably worked paycheck to paycheck their entire lives, and now find themselves living in subsidized... More >>>