In Northern California, There's a town called Rio Del, that is right next to another town called Scotia...
Scotia is a TickyTacky housing Development Arena of Opulence & Museum Quality Exhibits, including the local grocery store that is, or would be, anywhere else; a gifts shoppe along a row of postcard racks.
Rio Del; Literally about a block away from Scotia, across a bridge and 200 years of technological & social development... is a shanty town...!
But that's not the sad part--
The sad part is that by some unimaginable quirk of showmanship or Satanic wheeling & dealing...Someone; Friend or Foe of Rio Del had managed to have 'awarded' to the town, a sidewalk of the highest artistic meritorious quality... (???)
While ordinary sidewalks are straight and get the job done, this sidewalk is wiggly, and comes complete with a few feet, along it's edges of finely cared for, golf course lawn.
All around this spectacle though, which only lasts for about a block & a half, is squalor.
The Sidewalk is place in front of the police station, which is an overturned freight car, & the city hall, a collection of refrigerator boxes, covered with plastic shopping bags, and inside, shredded newspapers. Just off to one side of the sidewalk, is the community library, which is open for nearly an hour every week.
Be sure to visit both if you're ever in that area.
One of the first things that struck me about Hilo ( Hawai'i ) is the backwardsness of it.
It's like an old western town, missing only the gun-slingers & a stagecoach riddled with arrows.
i formed this opinion after first spending a day and a half in Honolulu, which; during the last 15 years or so, has come from this same primitive source material to a super 21st Century concordium of highrise office buildings and hotels covered with sparkley plastic tinsel & glitter that turns itself on & off. Where all the money came from to do this, might have leaked out of the military bugets that have secretly been preparing for a century of war-- (?)
The sad part is that poor little Hilo hasn't seen a penny of this avalanche...???
Crazy People in Hawai'i
When i was first a street person, nearly 20 years ago, there were plenty of crazy people living on the streets... But it seems to me that the quality of street people has been declining...???
( Curiously; my old Hometown; Bremerton- had a shortage of homeless people... or at least, they all hung out in places that i never visited... ? )
Here in Honolulu though, there are several examples of a kind of street person that i find especially annoying... and that is; The Cart Pusher.
As a street person myself; i like to keep the number of things that i carry around to a bare minimum. i have a backpack that is about the size of a bookbag, and although i hate to do laundry ( Laundromats scare the begeezers out of me...! ) i might; in dim light, pass for a disheveled college student...
But the Cart pushers are another breed, they have collected bags, and purses, luggage and bookbags with gawd only knows what, and piled them onto shopping carts or train station luggage carts.
What is particularly annoying / And frightening about these people is that that they are so invisible...!
i would think that the local community governments would set aside a few dollars to move these people onto SSI or whatever, and find some form of minimal housing for them, just to get them out of sight... But NO! They have not...???
What this country really needs is a new plan to intelligently & productively exploit the homeless to everyone's mutual benefit...
Where is the 21st Century...???
DeHumidifiers @ The UofHawai'i : Hilo
While i was visiting the library at The University of Hawai'i; Hilo, i discovered that in order to control humidity, they'd simply installed a large collection of 'desktop' dehumidifiers all along the parameter of the building, between the stacks of books... that needed to be manually emptied every few hours...!
This strikes me as suggestive that when the building was originally being built, no one had been aware the the library they were designing would be built in Hawai'i...???...thus requiring a permanent, built-in Dehumidification System.
Long Term Street People
Another of the most distressing things that i've come across in Hawai'i ( Honolulu ) is that i keep finding Street People that were here 17 years ago, as Street People... And they're STILL Street People...!!!
In Particular there was a newly homeless family of Chinese Girls, ( Mother and two daughters )
The girls being about 15 & 17 ( 17 years ago ).
Another is an elderly woman that i would have guessed was 70 ( Then ! ), so she must be 90 by now...! and when i saw her on the bus the other day ( i am so 'shy' i didn't even speak to her, even though she was my friend 17 years ago...! ) she was lugging around a gym bag, without a handle or carrying strap...!
If these people can't find the resources to help them; They i am definitely on my own...