Yesterday, my son and I had the pleasure of being tourists in our own city, as we walked the streets of downtown. It’s amazing what a person can see when they look around them for the “first” time.
There were so many interesting things and people, that after a few minutes of walking, I decided to start jotting down some of it. Here are a few that made the list:
Animal Balloon Maker – Dressed in pink and orange striped boxer shorts with green pants underneath, blue and green checkered shirt, and bright yellow socks.
Man on the corner giving away papers for a mere $2.00 donation to an unnamed charity.
Chess Club – Two groups of men at separate tables, with their very serious “don’t interrupt me or else” game faces on.
Teenage scooter gang – Watch out for those guys. They’ll run you down.
Fake musician – With his stereo half hidden under a sheet, he “played” the flute. Really his lips were just pressed up against it. I know this only because when a girl walked by, he got distracted and said “Hi baby” while the flute played on in the background.
Real musician – This guy should be performing in a symphony on Broadway. He was amazing! Even the homeless panhandlers put their money cups away, as they stood there listening to him.
Hip shaker – Watch out ladies. This man’s got you beat. I would have hurt myself after the first few steps, but not him. He had skills that would make most women jealous.
Man’s half-shaven eye brows – Thick brows with a very noticeable cutoff midway above each eye. On purpose? Accident? Is that the new style? I really am curious.
Pianos on the street – Upright pianos placed along the walkway, for the playing and listening enjoyment of everyone. A little girl on her dad’s lap played at one. A man practiced at another. Further down the walk, a woman with sheet music prepared for her performance. Another sat empty.
While taking the long walk back to our car, I decided to end the day by giving my son a tour of the most crime-ridden, drug infested, poverty-stricken area of the city. It’s a good lesson for children, to show them the real world and all the things that we have to be thankful for.
As we approached the car, I was looking this well-known area up on the map and realized we were already there. That would explain why parking was so cheap.
Even so, we still took time to drive around the neighborhood and observe the contrast of life. A man slumped down with hopelessness on one side of the street and on the other, a man happily sitting on his porch reading a book. Life – it’s all about how we see it.
All in all we had a wonderful afternoon filled with new sights, curiosities, smiles, a bit of sadness and a great lesson to end the day.