"the" Mrs. Astor

Wednesday, December 31, 2008

When I wrote that a poor person had a greater chance of being hit by a Rolls Royce while crossing a South Beach street than any place else in America, many sniffed that I am given to hyperbole. I am given to it, but on this particular point the Miami Herald backed me up today in this article.

It is hard to live here and really care about people like the Sweeper, a homeless, cantankerous, old woman who has chosen to sweep the sidewalks all day. Sometime back I chronicled her work down Washington Avenue on an early Sunday morning as she swept up the thousands of club invitations. I also photographed the highly paid City workers following her a block behind, enjoying the work she was doing for them. Life--and the justice attached to it--sucks.
Many of us, like the never-sleeping Thomas Barker, spend much of our spare time raising money for small organizations which fall under the radar of government help and barely cling on. Bringing them a gift certificate from Office Depot makes eyes water. And--speaking of gift certificates--both Mr. Astor and I realized that for the first time in either of our lives we actually know people--people we call friends--who are hungry sometimes. To all of them we gave generous Publix gift card. But, still, how did we as a nation come to this?
Everyone is saying how nice it will be when this most tragic of years is over. But will it be?
Oh, well. Enough of that. NYE is hurtling toward us and everyone will soon be attending to their outfits for Susanne Bartsch's party at The Raleigh Hotel (and later to Twist). We will once again be escorting Henrietta to the festivities, but in the back of my mind I will be wondering what bench the Sweeper will be celebrating on and how she got like that.


Post a Comment

<< Home