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STEVE:
 
You got to get to know the bank manager. You can't just come in here, into the bank, and do this ... Like when I'm here, I keep people safe, and people look out for me 'cause I'm trying to survive. When you ain't got a job you got to survive some kind of way. And this is the best way ... It's just like you're an entrepreneur, you come here and make a spot for yourself, and make some money that's decent money. Every day.
 
 
NEEDCOM:
 
So you think that this is a job and panhandling out on the street is less than a job, or is different in some way?
 
 
STEVE:
 
It's not a job, 'cause they aren't doing anything for the customer.
 
 
NEEDCOM:
 
You're actually exchanging a service.
 
 
STEVE:
 
Yeah.
 
..........

 
NEEDCOM:
 
Is the Village, the West Village, the usual place that you work? Specifically, in front of McDonalds?
 
 
EASY:
 
No, no. I did the bank, I did the subway, Oh my God. You name it, I did it! On Bleecker Street, I was a funny-face clown!
 
 
NEEDCOM:
 
Is any spot better than another?
 
 
EASY:
 
Yeah.
 
 
NEEDCOM:
 
You dressed up like a clown? To ask for money?
 
 
EASY:
 
See because, when you panhandling, you usually give them some type of story, instead of just going ... I don't panhandle like that. Can I have some change, walking up and down the street: "AHAHAHAH!" [She does imitation of bad panhandler.] That's somebody else's style.
 
But see, my panhandling I think I should give you a service. I did the squeegee, but you get arrested for that. I don't know if you're familiar with it, you wash the car, real quick, you get dirty.
 
 
NEEDCOM:
 
And some people pay, some people don't pay.
 
 
EASY:
 
Yeah, but that's still a service. And that's what makes your character strong. 'Cause I'm not just asking you to help me, and I'm not going to help myself, I'm going to give you something in EXCHANGE. To me, that's how I look at it.
 


 
Door opening: like it or not?

 
ATMs

Capitalism

Law



Between the two, who would get your spare change?
"Samuel", a Black man"Andrew", a White man

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All content copyright 1999, Cathy Davies.
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