Walkers expressed hope and happiness at how many people were out and about and going about their daily lives – fixing cars, sweeping porches, repairing fences – getting on with life even with the stress of today’s world. Walkers received many morning greetings and a few questions from people asking about what we are doing walking in a group. One couple enjoyed coffee on the front porch, and the woman yelled out, “You’re that mindfulness walking group. I’ve been meaning to join you on a walk.” One walker collected the phone number of a woman who expressed interest in walking in the future, and agreed to call her in advance of the next walk.
Walkers who’ve lived decades in Fresno had never walked through the entrance into Roeding Park (always driven) and had never walked through the tunnel under Golden State Hwy. Walkers were captivated by interesting front yard features, with living areas, seating, tree swings, chimes, and collections of objects. Walkers heard a resident greet the mail carrier by name. Walkers witnessed a number of distraught people walking and/or sitting with their belongings and bedding. One man was talking loudly and gesturing as he stumbled across the median of Golden State Highway. Walkers noticed people smoking and a lot of cigarette litter. A little girls waved through an open window. Walkers saw signs of spring in buds and pops of color in the trees. A walker noticed two young boys walking with a basbetball to John Muir Elementary, but the school was fenced and locked. (Walkers discussed later that Saturday Sports may have been cancelled due to the 3 day weekend.)
At Belmont and Golden State Hwy, walkers approached the Hotel California. The story of the hotel had been in the Fresno Bee recently because long-term “guests” were evacuated due to hazardous living conditions. Walkers were greeted by the new hotel owner, Kumar. Door to most rooms were propped open and all the contents were piled outside the door. Kumar explained to walkers how he felt cheated by the previous owners and that much of the work that had been done had been done, to his surprise, without permits. He showed walkers some rooms – small square rooms with tiny bathroom and closet covered in new paint and carpet , and said he hopes rooms are ready for guests by next week.
When walkers asked Kumar how long guests can stay, he said up to 28 days. He said he has trouble with guests who get evicted due to not paying, and then they damage the room and the carpet. You can see more photos of Kumar at the Hotel California at: https://www.facebook.com/pg/fresnomindfulnesswalks/photos/?tab=album&album_id=1910272515926160
Walkers began and concluded the walk at Mia Cuppa Caffe which was filled with Saturday morning patrons in relaxed conversations, or reading the paper, studying on laptops, and chatting on cell phones.Uncategorized