We're in our second month, and People's Belltown Republic is still going strong. We have two new regulars who have been working with us every Sunday. They're two other women who are really committed, smart, and just crazy enough to get along with our group.
In trash news, we found a Gideon's Bible, two more credit cards, a wallet, and a cell phone. Oh, and a crack pipe fashioned out of a beer can. We still continue to find empty cans Icehouse Beer. We seriously should be sponsored by them.
The folks on the street seem to be getting used to seeing us cleaning up. This week, two men who hang with the crack crew on the corner saw us coming and said: "oh it's the 3:00 cleanup." Another woman from the same group told us we sure were doing a nice job cleaning up. That's cool with me--maybe they're getting the point and throwing their trash away? Or maybe they take pride in the trash? I am going to talk with them next time and try to find out what they think. Dialogues are good.
The block seems to be staying cleaner throughout the week, too. We used to haul four bags of trash each weekend, but now we're down to about two. The bed in front of the Crocodile Cafe, from which we've hauled about eight full bags of trash, is looking great. Trimming the bushes so that you can see under them seems to have helped immensely. It makes them a bad place to stash stuff (like the pair of smelly pants we found under the Rosemary bush one day).
The group is getting antsy to plant some plants and do more gardening--especially since our trash haul is decreasing. We've put in some daffodils (about a hundred), which should come in the next few weeks. We still need to put in some pretty perennials, but so far it's been too cold to plant. We're considering some art projects to tide us over...