Tuesday, September 29, 2009
I decided this time around to just take a hike around Hunting Park. I got off the subway, and just started walking, aiming for Front Street. I kept my eyes open for any possible points of interest. I saw a few churches and noted them, an elementary school, June's Place, the Nueva Esperanza Academy, the PSPCA Operations Center, and Los Brothers Barber Shop. At the end of my hike to Front Street, the blocks got longer, and with less people and houses, and I still hadn't turned up a possible place of interest. I got ready to go back and look at my list and figure something out when I got to Front. The corner of Front Street and Hunting Park Avenue was occupied by a couple selling things. Random things. I saw a loveseat, some rugs, a computer monitor, a stroller, and a bunch of other things. I saw a story.
I got the vendor's attention and we began to talk. I explain to him that all I want is his story, so he smiles and tells me everything. Hamdi Dedagher and his wife, Khadiga Hagouchi, used to have a furniture store on G Street. But business began to decline two years ago, and when the economy went down, his business took a turn for the worse. "The rent was too high, so I had to closeout the store," he said. For two months, Dedagher and Hagouchi have been selling odds and ends on the corner there, after the closure. "I have to make a living, and business here is not too good, but not too bad. I still have to pay rent, you know?" Dedagher said. They set up shop every day, using a small station wagon and driving from Juniata. They take two or three trips just to unhaul everything and have to pack up if it begins to rain. "We do what we have to do. Some days we make a hundred or eighty, some days, like yesterday, it rains and we make nothing," said Hagouchi. No matter what the situation, they are determined to make ends meet.
Ryan Ruth and Marissa Murtaugh
Hunting Park Group 10
Posted by Ryan at 7:00 PM