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 in-dividuals 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 base-ment, 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 any-one 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 wo-man 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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