Saturday, June 09, 2007

Knock, Knock, Knocking On Heaven's Door

My Hood: The Brooklyn Neighborhood I Live In 20 min - Sep 22, 2006
Dinesh Tripathi 45 min - Nov 9, 2006

Long Walk To Freedom
Long Walk To Freedom: Just A Third World Guy Dazzled By The City

And so I showed up fashionably late. I did not intend to. I had set up my alarm clock for eight in the morning, and I was to show at 11 at Union Square. But I had stayed longer than usual at Justin Krebs' Drinking Liberally at Rudy's Thursday night - by the time I got back home, the sky was blue - and so my body clock got messed. A little extra sleep Friday during the day, and so you go to bed late Friday, and can't wake up early Saturday. The alarm goes off at eight, I turn it off, and then I am in half asleep mode, you know, that mode when you think, if only you will not fall into deep sleep, time will move slower.

This guy Justin Krebs, he sold me a ticket to the crown Laughing Liberally event of the year last December, and it was all good, that guy who acts like Bush was there, and so on. But I did not realize the ticket meant you automatically were subscribed to the New York TimeOut. And my two Estonian roomies are like, what's up with this guy, is he some kind of an intellectual or what, subscribing to magazines and s___? The magazine goes straight to the kitchen table.

At a few minutes past 11 I am right out the train. So I start to run after figuring which direction to run to. Union Square was only two blocks away. It is 11:10. I run from one end to the other. The Farmers' Market is in full swing. I am tempted to duck the walk and instead join the Farmers' Market. But I resist. Perhaps I am no revolutionary after all.

From one end to next, and back to the part by the Whole Foods' Store. I find three people. One a white male, another a white female, and the third a black woman. I overhear one of them say Obama. So I join in. We are all feeling left out. Looks like they already left without us.

They start talking labor unions. Some union is preparing to endorse Hillary. And the guy says, the unions also endorsed Dean, Kerry won.

Just then, two young, white guys show. They have Obama banners and placards and literature. They say Jeff is there on the other side, "by the Gandhi statue." I did not know there was a Gandhi statue.

Nobel Peace Prize 2007

Jeff Kurzon. I had emailed him the day before, him and the entire mailing list now made possible by He was the man in charge here.

He said many others had already left. He had us sign in, then he gave us material. The white guy from our original group said he instead wanted to go back to his neighborhood with the material.

So off I head on to Washington Square with two ladies. I cross the street and see a gyro, falafel, pizza place, and I beg off. "I will join you shortly. I am starving."

I can't find them anwhere in Washington Square, about 10 blocks south. I have all this Obama material in hand. And I am thinking, where do I begin? Do I say hello?

I sit on a bench and watch a music band play. There was this really, really young girl. She was with her father, but she was walking around on her own. She walked over to donate a dollar bill. And then when it was time for her to leave, she said to everyone and noone in particular, "See you later." I was impressed. It was as if she was aware everyone watched her donate the money.

Then this guy - black - approached me. "When is the election?" I said, well, the primary is on February 5. "When is the general? In November?" He knew. I think he liked it that I did not tell him the election was in November. He felt respected. He signed up.

Between the young girl, and this dude, I was feeling a little more confident now.

But at noon, the Hare Rama Hare Krishna people basically took over the park. They have me a wonderful opportunity to procrastinate, I thought. So I wallowed around. I went from booth to booth. One Hare Krishna guy - white - at the book stall noticed. "What is that? Oh, Obama. Forget Obama, follow Krishna." Obama got competition, I am thinking.

International Society for Krishna Consciousness - Wikipedia, the ...
A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada - Wikipedia, the free ...

I learned the guy who founded Iskcon started out in New York City. I did not know that. He is quite a success story.

I did not buy the book. I went over to the free food part and got myself some lunch. The stall preaching vegetarianism was quite convincing. I walked around some more.

And then I am thinking, my part of Walk For Change is over. Let's go home. So I walk over to the train station.

On the train I am thinking I will treat myself to some ice and Pepsi. I still have all the material in hand. And then the idea struck. What if I worked the neighborhood. I would stuff mailboxes. And if I met people, I'd talk to them. And that was the best part of the day.

It was a Eureka moment. I felt like I had a nugget to offer. Work your own neighborhood. Just focus on the block or two. Build neighborhoods. Let Obama be an excuse to talk to your neighbors. America lacks that sense of neighborhood. That is one of the things you notice about America coming in from outside.

I thought the material was great. It asked you to go to Obama's website. Or you could just fill in your snail mail address and mail it - paid for - to the campaign. Not everybody is online. Offline is where the action is even for those who are web savvy.

So the best part for me for my Walk For Change was right in my immediate neighborhood. There was this woman sitting outside. And there was this other woman standing a few feet away from her. I figured one flyer would be good for both. But the second woman followed me, me on the sidewalk, she behind the fence. So I gave her her own flyer.

Moral of the story: Let Obama be an excuse to talk to your neighbors.

Obama Hits Streets In Grass-Roots Effort CBS News, NY
Obama hits streets in grass-roots effort Boston Globe, United States
Obama hits streets, MI
Obama Hits Streets In Grass-roots Effort Guardian Unlimited, UK
Obama Hits Streets San Francisco Chronicle, USA
Obama Hits Streets in Grass-Roots Effort Forbes, NY
Obama Hits Streets in Grass-Roots Effort Wyoming News, WY
Obama hits streets in grass-roots effort Fort Wayne News Sentinel, IN
Obama hits streets in grass-roots effort Centre Daily Times, PA
Obama hits streets in intense focus on grass roots KGAN, IA
Obama hits streets in intense focus on grass roots WQAD, IL
Obama hits streets in grass-roots effort Meadow Free Press, ID
Obama hits streets in grass-roots effort Fort Worth Star Telegram, TX
Obama volunteers fan out around South Carolina neighborhoods WQAD, IL
Obama Campaign: Thousands of Obama supporters to take to the ... (press Release), IA
Obama mobilizes supporters for nationwide campaign World Peace Herald, DC
Supporters of Obama hold "Walk of Change" in LA Xinhua, China The L.A. volunteers were signed up to walk the precincts in and near the downtown area, joining door-to-door canvassers in 33 cities across the nation to register voters, chat with people about the Illinois senator, and solicit grassroots campaign contributions ...... A nationwide review of last week's political polls by the political web site Real Clear Politics shows New York Sen. Hillary Clinton 9.5 points ahead of Obama. The most-recent nationwide poll, released yesterday by Fox News, has Obama trailing Clinton by 13 points. Only the USA Today/Gallup poll, taken a week ago, has Obama in front, with a one percentage point lead.
Door-to-door Obama Chicago Tribune, United States
Obama rallies (foot) soldiers MSNBC
Obama Volunteers Door-Knock In South Carolina WYFF, SC
Obama and his backers to canvas for voters on Saturday Radio Iowa, IA
Obama rallies supporters for door-to-door campaign Washington Times, DC
Obama gives pep talk to Walk for Change leaders WQAD, IL

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