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Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Longing for the girl from Shanghai



The Chinese girl from Shanghai is here when I arrive anxious to hit the Beckstein. Soon her music is filling the walls with beautiful sound. Classic piano repertoire. 
RL arrives ready for the crew of David, Max and Gabe to start the clear out work. Short day. RL has business to take care of and a Harvey to see. 
Stan and Matt and the Representatives are here to start rehearsing Bazarov, their adaption of Turgenev’s Fathers and Sons. Most likely moving from an old factory in Brooklyn  to Williamsburg’s Manhattan extension, namely West-Park. It’s great to have them here. 
Do the full walk through for Matt and Stan. Talk to one of their production, people. Megan about resurrecting the Speakeasy, Woodshed’s summer installation/performance piece two summers ago. 
Session gathers. An upsetting phone call with Presbytery. Still confronting the old narrative about who we are and what we are doing. That problem child image. The use of polity in a punitive way. It is deeply disturbing.So we have  to figure out, how to respond? Can we develop a strategy? I feel sick to my stomach. But need to move forward.  Think like strategy. And we talk about real estate. Coming closer to being on the same page with a plan. Let’s try again.
When Jamie and I come back from the B, there’s a crowd on the steps. She is very upset. She doesn’t know the whole story. It’s hard. Many churches have given up and closed their steps. We’ve continued to keep them open because of the relationship with Reachout and the success in getting people housed. But this crew, without the discipline of Sergeant Keith, concerns me. How does it look to the neighbors? will never be a convincing argument for me. Of course I don’t want neighbors scared either. Or thinking that we're irresponsible and disrespectful of ourselves, let alone the neighborhood. Of course I don’t want to be, and I hate the word, enabling. But there’s also a part of me that gets very angry. That wants to say, no you don’t get to make homeless people invisible. You don’t like seeing them? Great, do something about it. Create more low rent housing. Demand a more coherent mental health system. The response to being upset is not making people disappear. This is not a good business plan for me frankly, but I’m angry. And tired. A long time neighborhood homeless guy Tony offers t help me out. Then demands money. Angry. And tired. 
I'm longing for the girl from Shangai again.

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