Avoiding Real Change

Jul 16, 2010

The challenge yesterday — and every day seems to bring one in this city — was dodging the Real Change Vendors. A classic example of a good idea gone awry. Letting homeless, or down-on-their-luck people peddle a bi-monthly newspaper and keep any profits is a noble way of providing them with a bit of work and modest spending money. However, the individuals in charge have gone overboard in granting vendor licenses, flooding Lower Queen Anne with individuals attempting to sell papers. Because I’ve long since grown weary of the never-ending encounters, I now sneak around these people in any manner that I can. The scorecard from yesterday goes as follows:

Early Morning: Keeping low to the ground, I scurry though the garage and down the car ramp in order to enter the Safeway store from the basement, avoiding the woman selling outside the main door.

Mid Morning: I jaywalk 1st Avenue so I would not meet a rather loud fellow crossing in the opposite direction who was attempting to get anyone within earshot to purchase a paper. (Best guess here is that he’s not an officially licensed seller.)

Late Morning: I again break the law by jaywalking to get around a woman vendor who often stands on the corner next to the movie theatre. By cutting across the street, however, I end up getting panhandled. Nuts!

All these maneuvers took place within a block of my hotel. Again, I don’t have a problem with the program in general and in fact there’s a vendor who sells outside of Safeway in the evenings that I bring a sandwich to when I buy a paper. But enough is enough. Give me a f*cking break.

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