Tuesday, August 23, 2011

round back

Alleys are suddenly THE cool place to have someone take pictures of your.  They're so gritty and urban, and people I imagine come from the palatial and seriously suburban west side of town have been showing up in my alley lately.  I kind of don't like all of them.

The particular alley I claim as my own is behind where I work.  There is another alley we walk to daily to retrieve the rolling trash cans into which we put our trash.  We then return them to their alley, and the trucks come by whenever and dump all the cans.  Sometimes you show up between trucks and find all the cans full.  Sometimes you can empty one or two less full cans into others and get what you need.

Our alley is very narrow.  Toward one end is a bar that has bands most nights, so at some point most days there is some sort of vehicle disgorging the various equipment a band needs.  Toward the other end of the alley are more restaurants.  Counting my own place of employment there are two ice cream places and four restaurants with servers and sitting down with a menu.

Because of all the restaurants you'll often find people smoking in the alley.  I don't know if the percentage of smokers among restaurant staff members is higher than the average for other businesses, but I can see it being entirely possible.  A cigarette provides an occasional small break in a job not know for too horribly many breaks of any length.

Any number of homeless people sometimes use the alley as their bathroom, and during large enough events on the square I've seen not homeless people pee in the alley.  I've also seen what I'm mostly sure was dog shit one day in the alley, and one day it smelled remarkably zoo like.  It wasn't even that horrid a smell because it had more an animal sort of odor than just gross shit stink.  Fairly recently someone changed a bandage in the alley and were nice enough to leave their potentially hazardous bio waste for us.

And one day a family or two was down there taking pictures.  The large and lumpy dad was dutifully hauling strollers and bags of props and trying to keep the kids not in the current photo busy.  And they had bags of props, clothes, hats, big letters.  I'm sure there were favorite stuffed animals as well.

And of course you have the happy smiling couples.  They all look so stupid being lined up against the graffiti just so.  And of course they don't think to confirm outfits and color schemes till they get there.

Then there are the random single people.  You can't ever really know what they're doing or why.  They're digging the gritty, urban landscape and standing in front of a door of course, but what's their motivation.

I missed the day that a bunch of girls were having pictures made.  They had bags of clothes and were blocking doors and being in the way, and they were changing right there in the alley.  OMG, ya'll.  Again, I didn't witness this, so . . .

And when you do drive west through the land of stripmalls to the homes of these people, you can see those pictures on the mantelpiece.  It's so gritty and urban tucked away here in a several acre subdivision named after an English sounding word that doesn't in any way describe the actual place.

I wonder if the ironic hipster kids are going to start taking couples photos in front of big box retail stores?

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