Day 308: Welcome Home

A homeless man trying to stay warm and get some sleep.

A homeless man trying to stay warm and get some sleep.

Welcome back to America, the world’s richest nation and home to way too many people trying to survive on the cold, hard streets. This man is around the corner from our apartment, tucked out of view alongside the Uptown theater. He’s surrounded by apartments renting for $1500 to $3500 per month, and rising. The economy is recovering, albeit, unsteadily and unequally; the stock market is roaring full-speed ahead, and corporate profits continue to break records, but the average wage is stagnant, or falling and more and more people fall through the cracks. Yesterday’s election will not improve things for those who need it the most. Welcome to America 2014.

Day 211: Naptime

Catching a nap during a brutally hot (Heat Index 109 F / 43C) afternoon

Catching a nap during a brutally hot (Heat Index 109 F / 43C) afternoon

After a visit to the chiropractor I like to walk around the People’s Park area of Shanghai even on days when the temperature and humidity combine to smother most signs of life. Climbing a staircase I stumbled upon what appeared to be an encampment of homeless, young men napping, washing in a bucket, drying clothes on a fence and burning a foul, toxic smelling fire in a tree ring (the odor of burning plastic, complete with black smoke). Homelessness is not visible in Shanghai, like it is in Seattle, or NYC, but in a city of 24 million it obviously exists. A recent article in the Shanghai Daily said that there are 5.5 million migrants living in the city without proper, legal paperwork (think undocumented migrant) thus denying them schooling, medical care and legal employment.