The National Street Services believe that our needs and history are reflected in the street. Our streets are fundamentally connected to our sense of self. Unfortunately, not everyone experiences the street equally. In fact, the layout of many streets is hard-wired to support some people and modes over others. So we created a program that sought to awaken people who the street privileges, to the fact that that their needs are often met at the expense of others with less privilege, or to the detriment of our shared values for safe, livable, enjoyable places to be.
We've been out and about in San Francisco and Oakland today, sharing our National Street Service Listening Post with the community. The NSS Listening Post provided an opportunity to anyone walking by 16th and Van Ness in San Francisco, or 50th and Telegraph in Oakland, to step out of the flow, rest awhile and listen to what the street had to say. We also installed beautiful signage (by extraordinarily talented designer Liz at theysaur.us) at 16th and Van Ness in San Francisco, and 50th and Telegraph in Oakland, with phone numbers anyone can call if they want to hear the stories for themselves. Perhaps most importantly, after each story has played, there's an opportunity to leave one's own story of the street.
Missed our Listening Post or can't make it out to our signs? Try these:
- Call 415-212-4933 to hear Paula tell her story of the inimitable Chile Lindo and the empanada-based joy she brings to 16th Street.
- Call 415-212-4986 to hear Coral talk about the struggles and alienation of people living on the street.
- Call 415-212-4864 to hear Julie Mitchell tell the story of her beloved son, Dylan, who was killed by the driver of a garbage truck at 16th and Van Ness in 2013.
- Call 415-212-4352 to hear Keys, sometime-fireman on Telegraph, talk about Oakland streets.
If you can't call for any reason (but please do, because you'll have an opportunity to leave your own story), you can also find the audio files at the following links:
- Paula's story
- Coral's story
- Julie's story
- Keys' story
- And a bonus not available via call-in: Elizabeth's story
National Street Service stories produced by Andrew Stelzer (Paula, Coral, and Elizabeth) Ali Budner (Julie), and Ike Sriskandarajah (Keys).
Music in Paula's story is El Palteado by Shhjjjjjjj