Wednesday, August 06, 2008

Hot streets


"There are no statistics on the street."

(Bernard Glassman and Rick Fields, Instructions to the Cook: A Zen Master's Lessons in Living a Life that Matters, page 149)
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The thermometer in the car read 113. It felt hotter.

At 3:30 p.m. we were just getting around to having lunch. The walk across the parking lot felt like a sauna complete with built-in aerobics.

113.

Not sure how accurate the instrument was, but clearly, well over the century mark.

My mind went to the street.

What's it like "out there" when it's this hot?

Even in the new homeless assistance center, The Bridge, Downtown there wouldn't be enough cool spots to accommodate the crowd.

Looking for shade. No place to shower or rest or use "the facilities."

113.

What would it be like?
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Our Resource Center building on Haskell Avenue that doubles as our headquarters is now surrounded by Baylor University Medical Center development. The last pieces of the build out include a surface parking lot directly behind our building that wraps around us to the northeast and a multi-story administrative office building and parking garage just across Crutcher Street to our southwest.

Watching the construction has become a daily enterprise as we come and go from our offices. I've been amazed by the pace of the construction.

It's been hot.

113.

I've watched the labor closely.
Mostly Hispanic gentlemen who demonstrate great skill and impressive work ethic, to say the least. I've also noticed that they remain focused and cheerful.

One day recently, I watched as two men took alternating turns with two sledge hammers driving what started as a 5-foot stake in the hard dirt of the parking garage site. As they finished, I cheered them on. We shared a laugh and a brief exchange.

Hard working guys.

113.

Friends in the heat, whether at work or just trying to survive difficult circumstances.

Hot streets.

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3 comments:

Stifford Runa said...

This is true that Our Resource Center building on Haskell Avenue that doubles as our headquarters is now surrounded by Baylor University Medical Center development. The last pieces of the build out include a surface parking lot directly behind our building that wraps around us to the northeast and a multi-story administrative office building and parking garage just across Crutcher Street to our southwest.

Janet said...

I watched some men, also mostly Hispanic, downtown about a month ago (before it was even 113!) pouring hot tar as they resurfaced a parking lot in the West End. Even then I kept thinking it has to be illegal to have people standing on black pavement, pouring hot tar in the middle of the day in 100 degree weather!

Anonymous said...

It is true that not much attention is given to law that protects workers. Most all of the "law and order" folks in the immigration debate want to focus on illegal entrance into the country. Few point up injury to labor.