Thursday, March 22, 2012

Hey, this is Orin.
Today the group spilt up again - half to St. Martin De Porres and half to Project Open Hand. I personally went to POH. There's a description of POH below and a synopsis of St. Martins is scheduled for tomorrow for all you daily readers, so I won't go into too much detail. Instead, you're welcome to follow me while I recap some of my thoughts from the day and week.
I've been thinking about spaces, how we relate to them, and what kinds of actions are acceptable in those spaces. Food is essential, and as such, can help to create a space. The idea of a table has come up a few times as the physical representation of this. All of the service sites we've been to have worked to create very specific environments for people to eat in. At POH the people who came to get food were referred to as clients. The clients who come to POH walk through a grocery store environment at their own convenience. Options are in units and slightly limited, but in the end, there are plenty of choices and everything is great quality (due to government subsidies and bulk purchasing). Initially I was a little uncomfortable with the term clients and the almost clinical sterility of the facility. However, it makes more sense in reflection. Most of the clients are HIV/AIDS positive. This means that they need a cleanly environment because of their weakened immune systems. Also, as terminal individuals, it makes sense that they would respond well to the extra autonomy and respect that POH provides.
Each of the locations was very different in the space that they provided, but equally, they all serve slightly different and specific demographics. I have a favorite (bets are out), but only with the consideration that it was the location that fits my personality more than the others, and that each is necessary for the unique space it provides.

Anyways, afterwards we went to China Town a few blocks to the north and east of the tenderloin. I bought a tea-bag that unfolds with a flower (for glass tea-pots only) and some bulk seaweed for soups. I also got some snappers for all of those moments that need a tad more surprise, and sang an impromptu song of sorts outside the fortune cookie factory. We saw a real life Banksy for all of the street art fans out there, and took the trolly the 5 blocks back west. A full day.

If this was your favorite post, please text "Side of steamed rice" to 32665

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