Giuliani: Why Didn’t I Think of That?
English exchange student: I like New York, but it has just been so cold!
Local student: This is nothing. Where I’m from in Minnesota it’s been 15 below.
English exchange student: Wow! You must not have much of a homeless problem there — they all just die!
–Downtown M4 bus
via Overheard in New York, Mar 5, 2007
Pawn remembers a winter visit to Minneapolis/Saint Paul back during the Reagan era, when the homeless problem first got so bad as institutions across the country were emptying their wards. Local leaders were very proud of themselves for coming up with a solution to the problem of the homeless living on the streets, who had taken to busting up park benches to use for firewood. They were replacing park benches with new metal models.
This was oddly similar to Ronald Reagan’s idea of solving the problem of urban blight by putting cardboard cutouts of of people into the windows of vacant buildings to make them look inhabited. Now if he had thought of putting homeless people into these buildings to make them really lived in, that would have been something!