My life has centered around Belltown for 18 years. It was never so centered there as when I lived there. That coincided with the time I was last homeless, a period of 18 months in '96-97. When you're homeless in a neighborhood, the neighborhood itself becomes your home, entirely. You start to think of this alley as your parlor, that park as your living room, that grocery store as your pantry. The housed residents think they own the neighborhood, but they retreat from it nightly into homes that are really outside the streets.
My first "pantry" in Belltown was a grocery store that shall here be nameless, which after a change in management decided it had no need for me and my business. I looked poor, therefore I was not their kind of clientele, in spite of the fact that I was perfectly willing to spend my precious food stamps on caviar, p