November 11th, 2007

Chris Keeley

First, he says, the complaints reflect no understanding of the grip of alcoholism: Do you really thi

First, he says, the complaints reflect no understanding of the grip of alcoholism: Do you really think these men and women would rather live on the streets?

The idea: provide them first with housing and meals, gain their trust, then encourage them to partake of the available services, including treatment for chemical dependency.

On the Bottle, Off the Streets, Halfway There


The Moocher introduced them years ago down by the ferry terminal, near that “No Loitering” sign scratched up to read “Know Loitering.” It was Ed, meet Daryl, Daryl, Ed, between sips and slugs of bottom-shelf whiskey and high-octane beer.

Soon, in the blathering small talk that kills time, Ed Myers and Daryl Jordan identified a bond beyond a shared dislike for the Moocher, who drank but never bought. They both had survived the same firefight in Vietnam, it seemed; brothers now, in blood and booze.

Together they panhandled with Nam Vet Needs Help signs at the highway entrance, converted their proceeds into Icehouse beer and Rich & Rare whiskey, and shared their nights in the perpetual dusk beneath the elevated highway, taking turns seeking the full sleep that never came, so loud was the traffic above, so naked were they below, in addled vulnerability.

Now and then they came in from the elements, sometimes to the same shelter, sometimes to separate shelters, sometimes to the Sobering Support Center on Boren Avenue, where you store your shoes and coat in a black plastic bag, have your vitals checked, accept the soup and juice or not, then fold up on a thin mat over concrete.

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Chris Keeley

Javier Bardem - photos - Finlay MacKay

Javier Bardem

JEFF BRIDGES, a k a the Dude from "The Big Lebowski

HOLLY HUNTER studies the landscape as she did in "Raising Arizona.

JON POLITO, who plays some version of a tough guy in many Coen brothers films, is puzzled by the terrorizing nihilism of AIMEE MANN and DAVID THEWLIS in "The Big Lebowski." Like many of California's cultists, their philosophy has gone from dogma to vengeance
the West is the land of outcasts, iconoclasts and lost souls, and JOHN TURTURRO as Barton Fink, the man-of-the-people playwright turned blocked screenwriter, is constantly looking for inspiration. Until meeting SAM ELLIOTT, swigging a white Russian as the Dude did in "The Big Lebowski,"

Sadly, sometimes things just don't work out. STEVE BUSCEMI, who has died over and over in Coen brothers films, meets that bad end once again. Even in the West, dreams do not always come true. If you lie and cheat and steal, you may end up in the trunk of a car. Or you might get lucky. That's the chance you're looking for; it's a risk worth taking.

photos - Finlay MacKay