There are various reasons I did this last night. None of which I will share here. What I will talk about are my thoughts during the walk and the things I saw. Many people talk about the news. Reporters do there job supposedly and report the news every day. Yet very few ever take the time to put themselves in the place of the people they are reporting. Many people online and off never seem to get the story even close to right at times. Lets not even mention how many supposed “reporters” never get the right angle to the subject they are reporting on. The true backstory the meat and potatoes that should be there. Is either never found or left on the cutting room floor. This is one reason online writers are so important. They are not constrained by editors or in most cases censors. These writers can tell the story their way with their spin. Unfortunately to many of these people have taken the offline reporter approach. No one tries to give different angles to the story. No one goes out and tries to see what it is like for other people. Everyone seems to see everything through the same set of eyes. And those who try and show another view are often criticized or told sometimes politely ( other times not ) that they are stupid and just don’t get it.
A quick example – although minor in many peoples view – of reporters not wanting to look at the other angles. Is the whole Illinois Senator Barack Obama event. Before he decided to come back to Illinois for the Obama Mania Hype Tour. The local paper couldn’t stop talking about the President Abraham Lincoln Hotel financial situation. Yet when Senator Barack Obama stayed there this wasn’t news. Why? How is it not news that a person who is supposed to be representing Illinois taxpayers on the national level is staying at a hotel that has ripped those taxpayers off? If that was Governor Rod R. Blagojevich doing something like this the paper would be on that like a fly on manure. Yet it’s not news when Obama does it?
So let me now end that rant and get back to my walk. What did I learn if anything? Nothing I already didn’t know honestly. In many ways nothing I hadn’t already experienced at different times in my life.
My adventure started last night by the old Venture / Kmart property. The why isn’t important to any of you. It’s just where things started. A bit closer to the Shell gas station if we are being exact about things. I made my way down a side street heading towards Washington Park. My first observation is this. It should be against the law for people to not shovel their sidewalks. The city should hand out fines for people who refuse to do this or hirer someone to do it. It’s just unsafe not to have these cleared. What is sad is that it was safer for me to walk in the road than to try to navigate a sidewalk. If you wanted soaking wet feet and to slip on ice every other second than I guess the sidewalk would be for you.
There will come a point where if your wanting to get anywhere on foot you will have to use a main street. That main street for me would be MacArthur Blvd. So at the stop light by the now abandoned gas station I ventured towards the old White Hen Pantry. I of course couldn’t walk in the road on such a busy street. So I had to venture down the sidewalk. Unfortunately there really wasn’t one. Keep in mind I’m not in winter gear. I have on a thick jacket, a hat, jeans and Converse sneakers. My feet were fairly soaked before I got to the sidewalk that really wasn’t a sidewalk. By the time I made it to the old White Hen down the road from a place Cheryl and I use to live in. I was definitely starting to feel the effects of the cold on my feet.
A thanks to the guy who held the door open for me at the convenience store. He didn’t look like the type of guy who would hold a door open for someone. But this is just one of those stereotypical assumptions we make on a fairly regular basis. We are all guilty of this. So after buying a candy bar and getting some change I headed off to the State Capital down the street. It’s several blocks down from this location. What I encountered there was more of the same. Unshoveled sidewalks with big puddles of melted snow. A quick tip – if wanting to keep your feet from getting soaked and to help them stay a little harm. Just walk through the snow.
On my journey down this street I heard a group of people making a ruckus. When these people came into view they seemed like a crew that would be more than happy to mug you. They got real quiet when we crossed paths on the opposite side of the street. Although years ago this area had some trouble. It was in much better shape and honestly had better residents located there. Then again this could just be one of those assumptions people tend to make. I base my opinion on years of observations though. So once I’m past the small group of four. I’m just a little ways down from the old Boone’s Saloon ( it has new owners now and a little different name ). Here is where another observation comes in. It is one that will play out throughout the night. If people who feel they are of a superior class think your not on their level. They will in fact try their best to avoid you in the street. I’m not saying anyone should turn off their safety alarms. And it’s better to be safe than sorry. Yet maybe sometimes we are all prone to overreact a bit. It’s funny though how these people felt threatened by someone making their way through the snow wearing a jacket and hat with the logo of one of the largest software firewall vendors. I guess since I wasn’t in a full suit or other business attire I was considered a threat. And yes as I stated above this neighborhood isn’t what it once was. But it’s not like I was dressed like a gangbanger either. These were highend state workers though so what do you expect.