The Denver Voice

The Denver Voice is a monthly publication centered around the stories of the homeless community in Denver, these stories help put a face to the ongoing problem of homelessness in our city.

The vendors have to participate in an orientation, where they receive a vendor ID badge, and are given the rules which basically state that they are not to distribute the paper while intoxicated, there is no fighting over turf, and they are instructed to present themselves in a positive manner. These vendors are given their first ten papers for free, and the profits are theirs to keep, after the initial free offering the vendors are then charged fifty cents for every additional paper they buy, the rest of the money is theirs. The Voice’s mission statement:

“To facilitate a dialogue addressing the roots of homelessness by telling stories of people whose lives are impacted by poverty and homelessness and to offer economic, educational and empowerment opportunities for the impoverished community.”

I admire these men and women who take the time and effort to sell this newspaper and do something positive for themselves. they are some of the friendliest people I have ever met on the streets, and they have many wonderful stories to tell. The Denver Voice comes out once a month, so next time your walking the mall in Denver, pick one up and give a helping hand.

For more information visit: http://www.denvervoice.org/

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The Denver Voice

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Denver Street Photography |

red lensed sunglasses
casual conversation
broken shower rod

“Ultimately photography is about who you are. It’s the truth in relation to yourself. And seeking truth becomes a habit.” – Leonard Freed

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Denver Street Photography | Red Sunglasses

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Denver Street Art | River North

walking down walnut
admiring the beauty
art with aerosol

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Denver Street Art | River North

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Denver Street Photography | Experiential Anecdotes

“Hey, what are you taking my picture for?”

The man shouted after me, I ignored him and continued to shoot. This was the next person to cross my field of view. I find it fascinating the differences in people’s behavior. this person loves the camera, he was flattered that I found him interesting enough to take a picture. The guy behind him was with four other people, when he shouted after me it didn’t even really startle me. It isn’t the first time someone has yelled at me for taking their picture. In the past few days I have been approached by several people with various inquiries:

“Hey man do you ride the bus?”
(Which is code word for, I have a fake bus pass that I will sell you for your real cash… I just barked NO and continued walking)

“Excuse me officer, could you help me out with some change to get a hamburger” (I told this person that I only have plastic on me, his rebuttal was a request to take him into the store and buy him some food)

“Hey man, quit takin’ pictures of people; that shit is illegal.”
(This person was very drunk and said it with a mean look and a stern voice, when I smiled and laughed at him the stern glare turned into a toothless smile and a wave)

“Excuse me sir, excuse me…could you roll your window down for a second”
(This one was an odd situation, I was shooting late at night, taking pictures of some graffiti and a group of three or four men with one woman pushing a shopping cart passed by. I was using flash and it was attracting attention, this woman snuck up on me as I was pulling away from the alley, something about it didn’t feel right so I drove off without talking to her)

I had one other strange experience shooting murals at night downtown, as I was shooting I noticed a dark figure approaching me really fast. I instantly got that sense that I was in a bad situation, I stopped what I was doing and got to my car as fast as I could. I had left the door unlocked because I am just paranoid and that night I was really thankful that I did. I don’t know what he wanted, but he scared me, and I’m just not taking any more chances than I already do. The man got right up next to the car and stared me down as I drove away, when I glanced back at him in the mirror he was heading back to where he came from. Maybe I dodged a bullet, or a knife, or a beat down, maybe not. Maybe he wanted to say a friendly hello and be my best buddy. I wasn’t sticking around to find out.

It is becoming increasingly obvious that I need some photography buddies to shoot with. People just seem to be really angry and aggressive these days.

I have also been screamed at and for some reason I seem to attract a lot of aggressive behavior. Maybe if I was a hot girl I would get better street photos. I feel like people are put off by my appearance. I can’t decide if this is a good thing or a bad thing. One thing for sure, is that it is MY thing, and that’s what makes it good to me. I suppose every one else can take it or leave it.

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Denver Street Photography | Experiential Anecdotes

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Doors

“Stuff your eyes with wonder, he said, live as if you’d drop dead in ten seconds. See the world. It’s more fantastic than any dream made or paid for in factories.” ― Ray Bradbury, Fahrenheit 451

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Doors

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Wordless Wednesday

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Wordless Wednesday

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penny_9_25_walk (1 of 1)-9

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Wordless Wednesday

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Guilt

“Little minds are tamed and subdued by misfortune; but great minds rise above them.”-Washington Irving

I am emotional. I have all the same problems as the rest of the world does. I am constantly confused about which path to take, which side to choose, and why we are the way we are. I have mood swings, one minute I am super optimistic, the next I’m banging my head against the wall wondering what’s it all for?

Tonight I shared some time with my 19 year old. The older he gets the more guilty I feel. It tears me up every time I am around him. They say to blog like nobody is watching, whoever they are, and for whatever reason I care what “they” think. I contemplated not sharing my feelings, not getting too personal, to save it for the therapist someday. The problem is the thoughts and the feelings are gobbling up my brain, and I have to let them out.

I have three main problems. I don’t talk to my parents, my sisters, or really any of my immediate family. Those ties were severed almost 4 years ago now.

I wasn’t a good father to my sons. I can give you all the excuses you want. I was young, I was selfish, I had no idea how it would affect my life. The problem is, these are all bullshit. There is no excuse for being a mostly absent parent. It haunts me every single day of my life. I cringe when I think of how many times there feelings were hurt because of me. Once I lost that connection with them, something else went away too. I don’t know what it is. I have a hard time communicating with them, I can’t look either one of them in the eye, I always get easily annoyed when they are around. This is through no fault of their own. I can’t explain it. I lost the fatherhood bond with those boys. You can’t be a father to kid every other weekend, it doesn’t work that way. I know that now. My daughter gets my undivided attention, I know that bond now, and it makes me feel even worse for the boys.

I still see them, but the visits are becoming more and more sporadic as they are growing up and becoming more independent. I was 19 when Brendan was born, he is 19 now. He just got his first job working in a retirement community as a dishwasher. Tonight he was telling me how hard it was, how it bothered him that there wasn’t more time for training, and that it was taking him a little longer to learn how to do everything then what they liked. I could relate to this plight, and I wanted to tell him to just get used to it, because that’s how it goes in the world of odd jobs. I wanted to tell him that jobs like this are one of the prime reasons you should get a college degree so you don’t have to end up being the lowest guy on the totem pole all the time. Instead I just agreed with him and showed him some empathy because I didn’t want him to feel like I was preaching to him. There isn’t enough time in between visits for me to try and make up for all the parenting I failed to give him in the first place. Brendan & Riley have heard me apologize for this over and over. I try to be so blunt about it that I think it might actually be one of the things they don’t like about me, the fact that I am always so apologetic, always projecting my guilt onto them. That can’t be fun for them.

I don’t know how many of you out there know this feeling of guilt, but I know I can’t be the only one. I still see my sons as much as I can, I try to make myself accessible to them, and I feel like they try to do the same, but I also feel that very empty void, that missing piece, the disconnect between father and son. There is something unresolved that I can’t quite put my finger on, and may never be able to.

Guilt makes it hard to enjoy life, I always feel like I don’t deserve it when something good happens to me. I dwell on it, stew in it, and let it just completely consume me at times. It kills me a little bit each day. So I wrote this, and now I am going through the second guessing stage. I’ve come to far to delete it now.

I just wanted to let it out, and I feel better for it. I should be doing some homework right now. I can’t though, not with the weight of this guilt that has taken over my brain. I can’t even explain why I don’t talk to my parents. It’s beyond my comprehension. All I can do is keep taking one step at a time. My mom used to always say that, so even though we aren’t speaking to each other, I still hold onto the little pieces of advice that she gave me throughout the years.

To everyone: I’m sorry.

I can’t think of anything journalistic at the moment, or any clever way to twist my words to make my writing seem better. I feel empty inside, there are too many things holding me back from my full potential. I guess that means I need to come to some sort of resolution or acceptance.

CRITICAL THINKING FOLLOWED BY ACTION.

That is the only solution.

Good night.

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Guilt

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Denver Street Photography | Cowboy

Symbol of the West
folk-hero mythology
rugged pioneer

“Talk low, talk slow, and don’t say too much” – John Wayne

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Denver Street Photography | Cowboy

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Doors

“The Bookshop has a thousand books,
All colors, hues, and tinges,
And every cover is a door
That turns on magic hinges.” ― Nancy Byrd Turner

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Doors

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