Thursday, March 11, 2010

Today is Thursday

And it will be Thursday all day, no matter what those Friday lovers and Wednesday hopefuls want.

Yesterday was a GREAT campaigning day. I'm much better at waiting patiently for assignments now that I'm bringing my knitting along. I was knitting while standing on Tuesday, and yesterday I was early enough to find a seat, so I knit for half hour while everything was getting underway.

I was assigned to a team with someone I've seen at headquarters a few times, but never spoken to. His name is Fritz, and he's been in Union City, NJ since 9/11. He may very well be the first person I've met that was directly and immediately effected by the tragedy. Fritz is a Haitian guy, as I learned later that evening, and he speaks French, Spanish and English. Three languages close to my heart.

We were assigned 22nd St, between New York and Bergernline. I love when I'm working in a familiar neighborhood. We had success on our very first door, and our streak held around the whole block. We made a very good team, and met some really great people. I think I've admitted this before - I'm nosy. I love having a chance to peek into people's lives, and I love getting a glimpse into their world from a half open door. I'm so interested in everything from the curtains on the windows to the size of their TV, the smells coming from their kitchen, the babies running around and screaming, etc. Almost every single person we came across last night was nice, and there was again, great support for Mayor Brian Stack and the board of commissioners.

We went into one building that looked pretty small, but had 6 mailboxes in the front hallway. The building didn't look any bigger than my house, so I wondered if it was much bigger inside than it appeared from outside. Nope. And there wasn't six units in the building, there was eight! Each apartment was tiny. Tiny like NYC "studio" tiny where the bathtub is in the kitchen. Only in this case, there was no bathtub in the kitchen because there was no bathtub. Each unit (we saw three) was no bigger than 400 sq feet. One poor couple, both quite elderly, had their bed pushed up against one wall, two kitchen chairs in the hallway, a small couch opposite the chairs, and a micro kitchen table and tiny stools in the kitchen. I couldn't figure out what was so odd about the kitchen until I realized that there was no real fridge, just a tiny countertop one, and no stove, only a hotplate and a microwave. The couple seemed happy enough, and were so gracious with their hospitality, that maybe it was just the right size for them. Another gentleman asked us in, and he most definitely was not happy with the space. This gentleman was dapper with a capital D. He had on sharply creased pants, a perfectly matched shirt, was well groomed and wearing very polished shoes. I could see that he took a great deal of pride in his appearance and in his home - very well organized and put together, but TINY! He had himself put in a full size fridge, which meant that he had to squeeze into the kitchen sideways. I wonder how he even opened the fridge door.

He asked if we knew of any place to find better senior living conditions, so I told him to call the Mayor for help. Going back to the nosy part? I asked him how much he paid in rent. He is paying $750 per month for this third floor tiny walkup. I haven't done a ton of research into rental units in Union City, but I'm pretty sure he can get a lot more space for that money....

Anyhoo, that was Fedex at the door delivering my new closet organizing unit, so it's time to get hustlin'.

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