Aug 23, 2007

I just had a meeting at work for the needs assessment report I'm putting together for the proposed Community Justice Center in San Francisco, which the mayor and DA wrote an op ed about in May. The court will be located in the Tenderloin and focus on quality-of-life crimes and getting help and services for offenders, etc., using the Midtown Community Court in Manhattan as a model, etc etc. (Midtown is one of the demonstration projects for the think tank where I work. All these courts are really about intervening with low-level criminals and getting them into treatment and job programs rather than tossing them into jail for a night or doing nothing until they move onto harder crimes and/or help create conditions in which harder crimes flourish.)

Anywayyyyyyy, it was sort of weird and funny for me since I'm 36 and it was when I was 18 that I took a bus cross country and hung out with all these street kids in San Francisco and slept in Civic Center park and in some squat with a guy who was obsessed with Christian Death, and I had this little apartment in the Tenderloin with all these skinheads and I panhandled and hung out at the Larkin Street Youth Center and got meal tickets there to get these big burritos down the street. Of course I was just having adventures unlike a bunch of the kids I knew, one of whom had set his stepfather on fire. But it is weird to sort of circle back to it now, 18 years later, and be (peripherally) part of this effort to move in and take care of things in this new way.

In other news, this wonderful painter I met at Eric's wedding linked me to a good friend of his in Florence, who has just offered Joi and me, for a very good, very slashed price, a very very amazing spacious apartment in some medieval tower right in the center of town for the two weeks we'll be in Florence in November. He has been helping his friend, who doesn't speak English, to rent it out. IT IS PERFECT!