NEEDCOM:
 
Are there certain types of people you know will ignore you?
 
 
PRIM:
 
There's certain people that I can look at them and see the way they smile at me when they come in, or the way they act towards seeing me here, that I know that this person's going to give me something. I can say, like, this person's going to give me a dollar.
 
'Cause you can see it in them, like this person don't like the idea of me being here, and she or he keeps looking at me funny, and they're not going to give me nothing. And I'd better be careful 'cause they might call the police. I'll be wrong sometimes. Some people that I say I don't think will give me anything, they give me. And they don't only give me, but they'll give me a five dollar bill.
 
..........

 
GARY:
 
Sometimes I do drink, maybe one time a week I'll go into a bar—it's called the North River—and when I do drink, I like to be around the police, and the police go to this bar as well, so I have law people friends.
 
And they explained to me that if you're walking around with a cup, and you're shaking the cup and asking people, it's like if you're not standing in one spot, they can't do anything to you.
 
But to me, I figure that's very aggressive—you're getting right up in somebody's face and shaking the cup in their face. I'd rather just sit off to the side, and if they care then they care, and if they don't, then I let them be.
 
..........

 
ROBERT S:
 
I appreciate Saks Fifth Avenue letting me be out in front. See, I go in there and I tell everything I see wrong happening in front of Saks. Girls, children, men, whatever, I go in there and I tell.
 
Once the police had a guy sitting right in front of the store, urinating in the street, sitting right down there. I came up to him and I said, move along and don't bother, and the officers thanked me, and the man moved.
 
'Cause people will listen to me and go. I do more good here than harm! And other people—they complain. No one complains about me, 'cause they have no reason.
 
..........

 
EASY:
 
Then the lady told me I couldn't hold the door. She would call the cops!
 
 
NEEDCOM:
 
At McDonalds?
 
 
EASY:
 
I eat, but late at night you always want to have ... some chicken that you can carry round, even if it's cold, just to have to eat.
 
 
NEEDCOM:
 
So this happened today at McDonald's?
 
 
EASY:
 
Yeah.
 
 
NEEDCOM:
 
The manager?
 
 
EASY:
 
Yeah, the manager. It's kind of striking that she should say that, in New York. I said to her—the cops was in there last night, and they didn't say anything when they came out—they gave me a dollar!
 
 
NEEDCOM:
 
You know, that's the first time I've had someone tell me they've gotten money from a cop.
 
 
EASY:
 
Yeah, he gave me a dollar. I talk to all kinds of people. He got a job to do, and I work, I work, he respects me. My friends knew I had, like, a double life when I worked, 'cause I had this type of friends, and I had this type of friends, and they never met each other, because this is the street life friends, and this is the business friends. We all separate our lives, play and work.
 


 
Smoking, drinking, or drugs with your money?

 
Ignoring

Jobs

Law



Between the two, who would get your spare change?
"Joan", who tells you she is ill"Mary", who tells you she is handicapped

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All content copyright 1999, Cathy Davies.
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