Joon and his dog Thuggy can be found sitting at the fountain steps in UN plaza every other day. Joon works for a food delivery company and often stops at UN plaza between shifts.
“I know a majority of people here. I feel comfortable here ‘cause there’s all kinds of people here I guess. There’s low class, high class, homeless people. I don’t get bothered by nobody. People don’t look at you, you know what I mean?”
At UN plaza, Joon and Thuggy typically sit at the fountain to watch the activities nearby or just hang out.
“I bring my dog. I don’t get to have him during the night so I get to spend as much time with him during the day. I sit down and listen to music, see some of my friends. And Thuggy gets to see his friends. There’s a lot of activity going on. Like, there’s the Farmer’s Market and they have little functions [art installations]. It’s just like where everybody comes. It’s kinda like a trading spot.”
“I can’t think of where you can just sit down and chill like this, you know what I mean? First of all, you can’t sit down anywhere in the city no more. They got that little ‘sit and lie’ law thing going on. It’s ridiculous ‘cause it’s a city and you can’t even sit down. There ain’t no benches or nothing for people to sit down, you know what I mean? Just like hang out or relax for a minute. And especially if you look homeless or if you don’t look like no tourist or nothing, you know, they’ll just mess with you and stuff.”
Joon would make the Civic Center area into a park if he could.
“I guess make it more like a park where people could come and enjoy their time with no worries. Make it more lenient ‘cause a lot of parks close at certain times so people can’t go there you know? I’m sure there’s people who break the rules too, like smoking and all that stuff, but I think those kind of stuff would not be an issue. Like put a little smoking section. I don’t know, I’m sure there’s ways to work that out.”
When asked about whether the public spaces in the Civic Center have changed, Joon says,
“There’s a lot more illegal activities going on and a lot more crime it seem like.”
And when asked if San Francisco has changed, Joon pointed to a lack of sympathy for low income and homeless people.
“It [San Francisco] seems more strict. Like putting out a lot of people that’s low income or homeless. But at the same time, a lot more homeless people come out here because they’re more comfortable out here.”
When asked about his most memorable experiences at UN plaza, Joon said,
“Found some money, made some money. Made some friends, got into some fights. It’s cool. I like it. I mean, everybody’s pretty chill here.”