Today, cousin called me up out of the blue to take me to downtown L.A. So after a day of random shopping and a game of spitting pomegranate seeds at each other we took the opportunity to find skid row. To say the least, it was not what I imagined it would be. Despite the fact that I live 20 minutes away, I had no grasp of what the people living there actually go through. This may sound naive but I expected a war zone, an alley full of motionless bodies, a stench that makes you gag, a constant fear of being robbed or shot…but that was far from the truth.
If anything, it was a happy place. Granted the obvious poverty factor and the fact that everyone was in rags… it was a lot more of a community than anything I’ve seen thus far. Skid row has it’s stories on the nine o’ clock news, but actually driving through 6th street has taught me a little bit about humanity. Here are people at the bottom of the totem pole… though they lack the material wealth that “normal” people posses, it actually works to their advantage. When they are stripped of society’s greed for material things, they see everything underneath. The person behind the rags, the person behind the soot, the person behind the… shopping cart. I guess the bottom line is that when people are stripped of all the material goods that they posses, people can only evaluate others on their true selves.