At the back of the hill

Warning: If you stay here long enough you will gain weight! Grazing here strongly suggests that you are either omnivorous, or a glutton. And you might like cheese-doodles.
BTW: I'm presently searching for another person who likes cheese-doodles.
Please form a caseophilic line to the right. Thank you.

Monday, June 23, 2014


There are benches there overlooking the tennis and volleyball courts, but you dare not sit there. They are the property of strange people camping out. I suspect that the city authorities deliberately ignore the squalor, as despite the colourful nature of the Chinatown neighborhood, and its magnetic ability to draw in morbidly obese tourists from the other states -- all of whom pay exorbitant prices for food, drink, and lodging in this city -- our benevolent real-estate mogul leadership is actually rather embarrassed about the Chinese, and would far rather that they go elsewhere. They are occupying valuable housing that could be more profitably rented to programmers and e-yuppies. And if Chinatown disappears, there will be no further justification for maintaining a height-limit on construction, in what is an area of prime real-estate right next to the financial district.

If a crazy recently released person gropes a little girl, that can only be good for business. Might persuade the non-fully Americanized to leave.
The more the merrier.

Or is that "the fewer, the better"?

Really, why are there so many non-Chinese loony tunes in the middle of Chinatown? Portsmouth Square this afternoon was awash with stark-raving mad white people. A rich slice of life if ever there was one. The combination of general grottiness -- because city services like sweeping and litter control are severely underfunded -- and insane asylum escapees, along with people sleeping off drug or alcohol induced stupors, in between having fits and shivers, was quite enough to frighten away even the visitors, whose only function is to marvel at the wondrousness of it all, while dropping piles of cash in the upscale hotels and boutiques near Union Square.
Look Mom, a filthy naked person drinking bubble tea!
Stand next to him, Hyacinth, we need a photo!
Hyacinth dutifully strikes a pose.
Smiling coyly.


The folks back in Iowa City will be so impressed!

Shortly afterwards, the loony vomits.

Definitely the best shot.


Anyway, back to the benches in Hang Ah Alley. Cardboard box hutments, with filthy extremities sticking out. A gibbering black man, angrily taking his luggage to pieces. A disheveled bag-woman animatedly arguing with a brick wall. Someone with long unkempt hair pawing at the air, bewildered by the invisible presences just beyond reach.

Downhill, on the other side of the Tennis and Volleybal courts, kids were happily playing. Yes, out of sight of the extreme examples of real world pathos in the alleyway, but still too close for comfort. Which is probably why their grandparents were keeping an eagle eye on everything, just in case.

The gates of the social clubs that line the alley were all shut, locked to keep the flotsam out.

Inspector Callahan: "Well, when an adult male is chasing a female with intent to commit rape, I shoot the bastard; that's my policy.
Mayor: "Intent? How do you establish that?" 
Inspector Callahan: "When a naked man is chasing a woman through an alley with a butcher knife and a hard-on, I figure he isn't out collecting for the Red Cross."

[From the movie 'Dirty Harry', made in 1971, starring Clint Eastwood.]

Normally I like Hang Ah Alley. Especially on a sunny day. But instead of lingering there, I strode through purposely, having recognized in seconds that it had been allowed to lapse. Again. Like all the back passages in Chinatown, it suffers from the malign neglect of a city administration that only listens to what they want to hear; that being the dulcet diction of nice middle-class people who speak excellent English and take pompous political hacks seriously.

You know, the folks who can be invited to cocktail parties.

And relied on to pay generously for the privilege.

With praise and campaign funding.

Brie eaters.

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  • At 7:23 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Mangeurs de lard...


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