Wednesday, October 29, 2014
The one nice thing about working downtown in a larger city is often the sheer choice of places to eat lunch; although, there seemed to have been less choice when I started working in Richmond 5 years ago. Yes you still have your Wendy’s, Hardy’s, Subways and Quiznos, but I think I have seen other places open, and then also, there has been an explosion of food carts. Your choice is amazing, from an Indian food cart, to authentic Mexican tacos, to a Thai cart, a cart with more gourmet-like tacos, to carts that serve all kinds of wraps and salads. It is really neat. Contrast this with recent fights they had in Newport News about the placement of food cart placement. I really wish there were more, as long as they are safe; but that is probably self regulating at least when they don’t kill their customers.
Regular readers of this blog know that I love to go for a walk during lunch time and I am always amazed by some of the big lines at these carts. It is the social place to be; every so now and then on my walks I run into people I know. They are patiently standing in a line at a cart and it is fun to talk to them for a bit. Other times, the people standing in line take up more than half the sidewalk and it is difficult to walk. But then on the sidewalk on the other side of the street are all the smokers and that’s a pain as well. Breathing in secondhand smoke has been moved from the work/office environment to the environment where people do their lunch-time exercise or wait in line at food carts. Somewhat ironic I would think, and it is the reason why I often escape to the park along the James River, or I walk around capitol square. I need my walk and very often my Starbucks fix.
Finally, another thing that is fairly common on the streets around lunch time are the beggars. It is a shame that we still have people that need to collect money on the streets. There is a lady who sells wilted roses, a guy without legs and your assortment of beggars that sit on the curb smoking cigarettes. Being an ex-smoker, I do not think I would give to smokers in support of their habit, over food. Others may say that giving them money support their begging habit and makes them lazy (see the article by Robert Reich that I reference below). But so be it. It is just sad to see that in a country as this there is still such a discrepancy in income or maybe a lack of income for some that people still need to beg. It is a harsh reality, and it still makes me feel uncomfortable seeing them. It amazes me too that there is such a lack of compassion and empathy (see also the article by Robert Reich).
Anyway, this is my entry to the weekly challenge by Cee Neuner. This week’s challenge was to photograph feet. Maybe not the best picture, but all these people are waiting at one of the favorite food carts in the area. I like to take a picture at the time the challenge comes out. This is not my best, but it shows what I meant when writing about the carts. Actually amazing that everyone has their own space in this photograph and that there is obviously very little interaction going on in line. To me everyone appears to be lonely in a crowd.