My last run-in?

I walked down to the end of 39th Street (just below Gaffey) with the intent of taking a picture of this secret staircase that leads down to Bluff Place. I first discovered it on my walk with Coco. We were going to walk up the stairs but as we turned the corner, we were faced with a gang of six boys perched on the steps looking up to no good. Anyway, so I took a picture of the stairs, then this really cool bullet shaped window.

I was just about to take a picture of these numbers…

…(don’t ask me why, the heart wants what it wants) when I heard someone call to me from across the culdesac.
“Hello, do you need some help?”
Me: No, just taking pictures, thanks.
Lady: For what?
Me: I have a website called San Pedro Block by Block where I walk every street in town and I take pictures of things that are interesting.
Lady: What if people don’t want pictures of their house on a website?
Me: If I post the picture, they can ask me to take it down and I will remove it.
Lady: I hope you didn’t take a picture of my house.
Me: Oh, I didn’t.

So that must’ve made her feel better that I hadn’t taken a picture of her house…but when I was on the bus back home I thought about it and kind of chuckled at the unintentional back handed compliment type exchange that happened. I hadn’t taken a picture of her house because it wasn’t interesting.

The climb up to Weymouth

So I have an update on my run-in to share with you all today, before we get started with our regularly scheduled day. I started walking up the rest of 9th street, making my way up to Weymouth. I saw this cute house. When I made it up to Walker I saw a woman pushing a baby in a stroller. She stopped me and told me that she saw my run in with the european lady yesterday. She wanted to warn me that the woman had told her to call 9-1-1 to report me, but she told her no. I told her what the lady had told me and that I tried to explain to her what it was that I was doing, but that she didn’t understand me. I guess the european lady did take my picture (from behind, no less) with her cell phone while she was following behind me for a block. She told the lady with a baby that she was to call the police if she ever saw me again. I thanked the lady for her warning and I told her that I hoped I saw the european lady on my walk this morning so we could call the cops together if it would maker her feel better. Honestly, I laughed it off, but I have to admit that I appreciate the european lady’s actions. She’s a good neighbor, everyone should have a neighbor as concerned and vigilant as she is. Like I said yesterday, I know she’s not the last person I’ll have a run in with. Maybe I should get some info cards printed up in italian and croatian. But I don’t know if she was either of those…anyway, just thought I’d share the update with you.

Smooth Criminal

We’re not at the high school, but we are within the safe school zone. If I were commiting a crime, I would be subject to increased penalties for doing it within the safe school zone. Good thing I’m not, right?! The reason I bring it up is because I had a little run in with a concerned woman walking her dogs on Leland. I had passed the lady back down the street, but I guess she had followed me. I was taking a picture of these really cute houses when she caught up to me and asked me why I was taking pictures. She had some kind of accent, maybe european. I told her they were for my website, I was afraid she wouldn’t know what a blog was. I walked towards her so I could answer any other questions she had and she just said “that no legal”. I assured her it was. But she wasn’t going to understand me, whatever explanation I gave.

I figured its time to reassure people that what I’m doing is completely legal. As long as I stay on the sidewalk, I can pretty much snap pictures to my hearts content. But I’m definitely not going to be a jerk about it. If I’m taking a picture of your house and you ask me not to, I won’t. I am first and foremost your neighbor. I might be a little grumpy about it if you scream at me (no one likes being yelled at), but I will oblige you. Even if you see a picture I already posted, if you have a good reason to want me to take it down, I will. I don’t like taking pictures of kids near their homes. They’re usually in school when I walk, but still. My first rule is to always be respectful and safe. I mean, one of my nightmares would be if someone caught someone cheating via one of my pictures and they blamed me for it. Its far fetched, but totally possible (I’ve come up with a ton of scenarios). I never take pictures to be malicious and I am definitely not casing your neighborhood to rob it. So sleep safely tonight knowing that. I know I have more run ins to look forward to, but I also hope more people discover who I am and what I’m doing, so if you could spread the word – that would be great.

I joked with my friend Michale that I was the Pedro Paparazzi, except I’m not waiting outside Crimsin hoping to get a crotch shot. haha. Anyway, I’m glad we had this talk.

Tying Up More Loose Ends

Channel Strip Mall
There was one last chunk of street I needed to walk to cover everything north of Summerland. I started at Channel again and headed up the hill to the Gaffey Street Bridge. I saw the street team from the Cooper area repaving Channel between the two gas stations. Wouldn’t it be funny if we just kept running into eachother all the way into town?

I kind of feel like the businesses on Channel get passed up a lot because people are always rushing on or off the freeway. That’s why I went out of my way to introduce myself to the guys at Floyds Ornamental Iron. They’re REALLY hidden. I think the only way you can really see them is if you’re getting off the 110 at Miraflores. Anyway, I walk in and a man, who I’m guessing is the owner, comes out of the office to meet me. I tell him what I’m doing and to say that he was uninterested would be sugarcoating it into a diabetic coma. He was so paranoid. He asked me who I represented and when I told him that I represented myself he didn’t believe me. He said he gets enough work and doesn’t need any advertising. While I do think my readership is growing, I’m BARELY heading into friend of a friend territory, so advertising wasn’t really what I was offering. My whole point of SPBXB is to discover San Pedro and introduce it to itself all while building our sense of community. When you know who the people in your neighborhood are, you care that much more (have we learned nothing from Sesame Street?!). So after my wonderful time with Ana and Panfilo yesterday, “Floyd’s” unneighborly attitude was a tough pill to swallow. But its totally his right. The only reason I went in there was because I had seen their shop from the freeway a couple of weeks ago and noticed a fence that looked just like the dented Enclave gate that I took a picture of back on Capitol. So I wanted to ask them if they were the ones who fixed it. I tried to ask “Floyd” about it after he dismissed me and he gruffly summoned a younger, nicer man to answer my question. And the answer was yes. Ugh.

Horse of a Different Color

Horse of a different color
After I snapped this picture, a voice hollered from across the street inquiring about my activities. I turned around to see a scruffy type man lying on the grass curb across the street. I let him know that I was taking a picture of the horse, to which he replied “Someone lives there.” I was pretty aware of that but he continued telling me “I live there, take a picture of someone else’s horse.” I couldn’t understand why someone would lay on the street across from their house, but I took his word for it and didn’t take the other picture I had wanted. It wasn’t the first time someone asked me what I was doing, but it was the first time I was yelled at before I could explain myself. I continued on my walk and had to come back past his house to get to the next street. When I saw the man again, he was on the porch of “his house” making large angry gestures to whoever was on the other side of the metal screen door. I hoped he wasn’t recounting my exchange with his wife or something as I passed so he could point at me and yell some more. As I got closer I could hear the woman inside the house. She was yelling at this man to go away because it wasn’t his home. It may have been at one point, but it wasn’t now and she was really laying into him. I tried my hardest not to be smug about it. But I did say “Well, that’s a horse of a different color” to myself and turned the corner. So since he had no claim to the house, I am posting this picture.