Three weeks ago Stephen Dare started a live blog of Hemming Plaza. He's uncovered the social dynamics of the park, busted unfounded myths and discovered where, well, sex happens.
THE FULL HEMMING PLAZA NARRATIVE HERE
Just a Few of the Highlights:
Well today I will begin my adventure in Hemming Park, which will be a liveblog that explores what its like to hang out with the chess players, panhandlers, public urinators, public officiators, do gooding church people and their decent pinch faced, bitter evil cousins who eat pasta, who hang out in the park. - July 16, 2014, 02:45:47 PM
Hemming Park, Lay of the Land and Social Breakdown
It's important to know that homeless people, especially the younger ones, form Street Families...they will introduce you to their brothers/sisters, uncles, cousins, nephews, nieces etc.. This does not in any way reflect a blood or marriage relationship (although sometimes it does)...A family is a group of people who share information, cigarettes and food, and more often than not sleeping quarters. - July 17, 2014, 02:59:53
Louis, a young sunny puerto rican guy (boricua) brought a battery powered boom box to the park and was playing some pop music. The women started dancing, including one of the Mamas----a very large woman in her late fifties, early sixties with long hair dyed black on the ends but growing in silver and white for about six inches at the roots.- July 18, 2014, 09:37:15 AM
This is Git (pronounced Jit, like the first syllable of jitterbug). He was attacked by two girls the day before, and has been on his own for a while. He lived with one of the guys in the Alpha family, but that came to an end, and so he's trying to sort things out.
Well mannered, young, energetic. Added a lot of fun to the park on a Friday Afternoon.
Today, there was a man going into seizures as a result of heat stroke, but it was a slow build up. What I found interesting was the amount of collective concern for this guy, who I haven't met or seen before. - July 22, 2014, 06:13:00 PM
I always wondered what happened to the really countrified redneck kids who were gay and poor and out. I suppose I always assumed that they ended up dancing on poles at the Metro or something, or simply got a dose of gay culturation and transformed into a riverside resident, but I have learned this is no longer the case. There is a real confederate style, low brow, redneck gay presence on the streets. - July 23, 2014, 06:29:45 PM
Return of the Street Preachers. For the past couple of days, one of the most uniquely southern forms of entertainment has returned to the Park. The Street Preacher (or sidewalk preacher, or street corner preacher). Literally some of the finest vernacular oratory since the dawn of the Republic is associated with these passionate performers, and the tradition is hundreds of years old. They've been mostly absent from the park for the past couple of years, but in the hey day of the Street Preacher in Hemming Plaza, they were thick on the ground. -July 24, 2014, 03:16:26 PM
The Men Playing Chess are not, Repeat: NOT Homeless. Now most of the chess players are older black gentlemen, much like public chessgames in San Francisco down in Union Square. There has to be some associated sub culture of speed-chess-playing-old-guys running throughout the civil rights generation of african americans. Thanks to some of the surrounding cranks, there is this idea that if you are in the park, clearly you are homeless and on the verge of panhandling. -July 25, 2014, 09:25:08 AM
Into the spot the two crept and then to the surprise and spellbound attention of a fairly large crowd of urban hipsters, these two very homeless people began to have some of the most agile and energetic sex that anyone had ever witnessed. Positions simply not contemplated in the Kama Sutra, and nearly superhuman displays of balance and strength.- August11, 2014 at 07:46:07 PM
THE FULL HEMMING PLAZA NARRATIVE HERE