FanimeCon 2018 Forums

Advanced search  

News:

Pages: [1] 2

Author Topic: Homeless, Panhandlers, Bacon Hot Dogs, and the Streets  (Read 1695 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

otakuya

  • Post in the Shell: SAC
  • Gender: Male
  • Posts: 2427
    • View Profile
Homeless, Panhandlers, Bacon Hot Dogs, and the Streets
« on: May 29, 2017, 08:46:30 PM »

I've been going to anime conventions for a very long time, and FanimeCon 18 straight. The policy of dedicated entrance and exit gates were the best thing to happen at FanimeCon since the move to San Jose from Santa Clara. It drastically cut down on the traffic on the main convention floor (although packed) by only allowing paid attendants there, and allowed access to rooms through any door. From my point of view, F17 was the best run and smoothest run Fanime in a long time, if not ever.

My biggest gripe which it really hasn't anything to do with FanimeCon, is the atmosphere around the convention center between hotels, garages, and the streets in general. The homeless and panhandling crowd has gotten bad and dangerous (and even the hot dog vendors have been a little too much...). I avoid the Santa Clara Street area at all times, and the San Carlos St area near Iguanas/La Vic has been getting bad too. Druggies, homeless, hecklers, harassers, etc... has made San Jose an unwelcoming place, especially at night. It has become an eyesore just walking from Marriott to Fairmont, and that's just across the street.


And speaking of 'across the street', any way to improve crossing the street at Market/San Carlos (Marriott corner)?


I am not sure what can be done from the convention's point of view. The convention center and hotels themselves are the safest places to be 24 hours a day. What can be done to make sure downtown San Jose is safe?


EDIT:
And for the record, I'm a 31 year old male.... I can only imagine how it's like out there for a female teen, even in a group of friends.
« Last Edit: May 29, 2017, 09:43:37 PM by otakuya »
Logged

InsaneDavid

  • SOFEL Fanboy
  • Inu-Posta
  • Gender: Male
  • Posts: 291
    • View Profile
Re: Homeless, Panhandlers, and the Streets
« Reply #1 on: May 29, 2017, 09:09:20 PM »

My biggest gripe which it really hasn't anything to do with FanimeCon, is the atmosphere around the convention center between hotels, garages, and the streets in general. The homeless and panhandling crowd has gotten bad and dangerous (and even the hot dog vendors have been a little too much...). I avoid the Santa Clara Street area at all times, and the San Carlos St area near Iguanas/La Vic has been getting bad too. Druggies, homeless, hecklers, harassers, etc... has made San Jose an unwelcoming place, especially at night. It has become an eyesore just walking from Marriott to Fairmont, and that's just across the street.

I am not sure what can be done from the convention's point of view. The convention center and hotels themselves are the safest places to be 24 hours a day. What can be done to make sure downtown San Jose is safe?

You're telling me dude, it has gotten pretty bad in the past few years.  I don't want to get "San Jose political" on the Fanime forums, so all I will say is that I love this city, I am a native of this city, and I completely agree with you. If anyone feels they may have solutions to this, please run for city government, get involved in city politics.  I know in San Jose it can feel like you're beating your head against granite about things like this - but this city can get back to what it once was eventually, I will always believe that.

Huge thanks again to Fanime for protecting the convention center and connected hotels during the convention, and keeping it a secure place for us to enjoy over the weekend.
Logged

Retro Cosplay, Easy As XYZ

otakuya

  • Post in the Shell: SAC
  • Gender: Male
  • Posts: 2427
    • View Profile
Re: Homeless, Panhandlers, and the Streets
« Reply #2 on: May 29, 2017, 09:16:40 PM »

^ Exactly. I really don't want to get political, but public safety should be priority. If anything, what did it do to the image of the city when travelers and guests of honor that came from all over the world see the kind of people on the streets. I'm glad we're not San Francisco though, but it has gotten to that point.

And I'm on the fence with all of the bacon hot dog vendors. Although it always smell good, I don't know about their health/safety of their food.

Again, it's not much Fanime itself can do, although I know they want to help.
« Last Edit: May 29, 2017, 09:23:17 PM by otakuya »
Logged

Nina Star 9

  • Post in the Shell: SAC
  • Posts: 2087
    • View Profile
Re: Homeless, Panhandlers, and the Streets
« Reply #3 on: May 29, 2017, 09:36:57 PM »

Again, not to get into the politics and economics of the issue (which is a much broader structural issue than just Fanimecon, obviously), I was surprised at how close to the convention center some of these people were. I saw some panhandlers on the side of the Marriott in the front where a lot of people walk to cross the street to access the Fairmont/park/park/food/etc. Thankfully I didn't come across anyone who was aggressive or rude or seemed dangerous, but I also pretty much also only walked at night with friends (and usually my biggest, toughest guy friend...just by chance, not by design, but still). I also didn't wander terribly far from the convention center at night this year, so I missed a lot of the problem, but I am small and female-bodied and am often sensitive to potentially dangerous situations. I'm not sure what the con itself can really do about this, but I agree with the suggestions of people who live in the area getting involved in local government. It's a delicate and difficult situation.

As for the bacon hot dog vendors...there were way too many this year. I understand that you gotta make money somehow, but it was getting hard to walk through that front area on the sidewalk where they were all congregating, especially in large or delicate cosplay where you may not want to have to walk around a bunch of obstacles covered in grease. Some of the vendors were also a bit aggressive in their marketing. (Never mind that the smell of those things makes me feel a bit nauseous, but that's a personal issue I suppose)
Logged

Abyss1

  • Maria-sama ga Post
  • Posts: 68
    • View Profile
Re: Homeless, Panhandlers, Bacon Hot Dogs, and the Streets
« Reply #4 on: May 30, 2017, 09:19:04 AM »

So you didn't notice the police presence??? they were patrolling the streets often 
Logged

InsaneDavid

  • SOFEL Fanboy
  • Inu-Posta
  • Gender: Male
  • Posts: 291
    • View Profile
Re: Homeless, Panhandlers, and the Streets
« Reply #5 on: May 30, 2017, 10:51:59 AM »

As for the bacon hot dog vendors...there were way too many this year. I understand that you gotta make money somehow, but it was getting hard to walk through that front area on the sidewalk where they were all congregating, especially in large or delicate cosplay where you may not want to have to walk around a bunch of obstacles covered in grease. Some of the vendors were also a bit aggressive in their marketing. (Never mind that the smell of those things makes me feel a bit nauseous, but that's a personal issue I suppose)

Hahaha, I thought I was the only person who noticed how insane (har har) they were this year.  I swear, it looked like they were having some kind of street vendor cooking competition out there or something.  As for the smell, to me it smells good for about five minutes and then... yeah, bleh...  Too many years of salvaging vintage video games from flea markets, the smell of vendor cart food is forever linked to digging through dirty boxes of junk for me.
Logged

Retro Cosplay, Easy As XYZ

bobcat888

  • Maria-sama ga Post
  • Posts: 22
    • View Profile
Re: Homeless, Panhandlers, Bacon Hot Dogs, and the Streets
« Reply #6 on: May 30, 2017, 11:18:26 AM »

No offense but if you're from San Jose and you 31 years old how is this new to you? You sound like a pretty sheltered human being (and there's nothing wrong with that) but these people are out here every night in that area. They don't have the means to go anywhere else & just because it's Fanime weekend or whatever other con weekend it doesn't give you the right to remove them from where they feel safe sleeping or being. They're not there for the purpose of bothering you. If you don't believe me walk around there tonight and post pictures of that same walk between the hotels. I'm sure you'll find them there every other night too. Maybe you're just not from the downtown area/ don't go out at night regularly?

If seeing the reality of the world brothers you this much on your walk to go get a burrito maybe you should exit the con from the doors next to the Peets Coffee (below the dance) and take an Uber or whatever to drop you off in front of where you need to go.

Really only noticed 3 panhandlers within that walk tbh. The panhandlers I remember were: A man with a kitten sitting on San Carlos in front of Arcadia, a man playing a guitar with a dog who was in front of the Fairmont, and I think on Sunday a different older man was in front of Arcadia. I've seen all of them around downtown before & I didn't notice any of them being rude or anything when I walked by. (In fact, the guitar player with the dog was nice enough to let me pet his dog & he didn't even ask me for money or anything. Wished me a nice day too.) Does anyone have any negative stories to share or where they just bothered by their mere existences?

What good does it do to see these people as "the others" and judge them? Calling the existence of human beings "eyesores" ...

Also, I'm kind of bothered by the fact that you're "speaking" for female teens, especially since you're not one. Like what you're implying, I mean.. It almost sounded insincere and like you threw that comment in to get people to side with your point which really bugs me. Downtown is a college/university area. Teens that are legally allowed to be out that late and other adult women are in that area often at late hours. That being said, I am not going to undermine or try to guess at what it's like for them or anyone to walk through any given street at given time of the day/night. Idk, I just thought that little one line think-piece-statement at the end was really gross.

***

As far as the hotdog venders go. If they bug you that much & they're there without permission (of the con & the city) you could always call the cops. I mean if you want to be that guy. That's a problem you could just fix yourself. Personally, I think that'd be super petty. I noticed a lot of people (including myself) enjoying the hotdogs. They're especially a deal at night when you want to be outside for a while but you're kinda too lazy to walk. If they do have proper licensing, then idk, I guess people will just be able to keep having the option to enjoy hotdogs at Fanime?

Also.. aggressive marketing? To whomever wrote that, c'mon. I literally just heard the words "hotdog" or "hotdog my friend" said in passing to me (almost neutrally so) as I walked by the vendors. What exactly did you experience?

***

I get the con is expensive and we're all trying to have a good of a time as possible but some of you guys are being extra right now. Post-con depression/aggression or something, idk. You're posting on here to get the mods to rally together to do something about the homeless & you're a native? There was a good 50 ft from the front doors to hotdog vendors. Am I nuts!?
« Last Edit: June 01, 2017, 12:35:55 AM by ewu »
Logged

Nina Star 9

  • Post in the Shell: SAC
  • Posts: 2087
    • View Profile
Re: Homeless, Panhandlers, Bacon Hot Dogs, and the Streets
« Reply #7 on: May 30, 2017, 11:45:25 AM »

I didn't have any issues with the presence of homeless people besides the previously-expressed slight surprise at how close to the con itself some of them were this year, so I won't comment on that (again, I never felt unsafe, but I was also almost always walking with a group), and I'm not OP, but I did mention that the homelessness is a bigger structural issue than just something with Fanimecon, and I feel like other posters before me were dancing around that point with the comments about "not getting too political" (blahblahblah structural inequalities and poverty being the issue etc. etc.).

As for the bacon hotdog vendors...I have no problem with them there generally, it was just a mild annoyance that there were so goddamn many, to the point where it was hard to walk along that sidewalk at times, especially in large and delicate costumes, as already expressed. The marketing that was "a bit aggressive" was mostly referring to those who would continue to try to convince me I needed a hotdog even after saying "no thank you." Easily solved by just continuing to walk away (as I did), but still not entirely pleasant to have to deal with along with dodging the carts in cumbersome costumes and already feeling nauseous from the smell. At least I didn't have anyone actually stop their cart in front of me while I was walking this year (has happened in the past with some ice cream vendors...not a big deal still, but it was clearly not a stop because someone wanted an ice cream or because of crowds). Honestly, my complaint about the vendors was pretty mild overall, and I feel like your post is seriously escalating things to a level of aggression and pettiness that wasn't in this thread before.



Re: increased police presence, I didn't notice that, but I did notice a lot of sirens this year, possibly more than previous years. Was there an increase in medical emergencies or other issues, or was I just taking more notice, I wonder?
Logged

bobcat888

  • Maria-sama ga Post
  • Posts: 22
    • View Profile
Re: Homeless, Panhandlers, Bacon Hot Dogs, and the Streets
« Reply #8 on: May 30, 2017, 12:03:20 PM »

Honestly, my complaint about the vendors was pretty mild overall, and I feel like your post is seriously escalating things to a level of aggression and pettiness that wasn't in this thread before.


Re: increased police presence, I didn't notice that, but I did notice a lot of sirens this year, possibly more than previous years. Was there an increase in medical emergencies or other issues, or was I just taking more notice, I wonder?

Honestly if someone where to say these things out loud in regards to the homeless people, I feel like what had been written was already petty. I mean I think classism is a word that could be thrown into that conversation if we're omitting politics and economics. Though I wasn't trying to be aggressive & sorry if it came off that way. Definitely did want to nudge people in the direction of maybe not taking these issues so lightly as to think that their 4 day Fanime vacation is more important than an entire homeless community though.

Was genuinely curious about the aggressive marketing. Did not run into/notice any of that, but the con is different for everyone. Sorry to hear about that.

Personally I only noticed 1 medical emergency, this year, thankfully. I believe on Sunday night. Hopefully it was the only one.
Logged

Abyss1

  • Maria-sama ga Post
  • Posts: 68
    • View Profile
Re: Homeless, Panhandlers, Bacon Hot Dogs, and the Streets
« Reply #9 on: May 30, 2017, 12:15:46 PM »




Re: increased police presence, I didn't notice that, but I did notice a lot of sirens this year, possibly more than previous years. Was there an increase in medical emergencies or other issues, or was I just taking more notice, I wonder?

Yea I saw them walking around all Friday ...I missed Saturday and most of Sunday and all of monday but they were still out on sunday night
Logged

Nina Star 9

  • Post in the Shell: SAC
  • Posts: 2087
    • View Profile
Re: Homeless, Panhandlers, Bacon Hot Dogs, and the Streets
« Reply #10 on: May 30, 2017, 12:19:27 PM »

Glad that you aren't meaning to come across as rude or aggressive as I read you as! Sorry about the misunderstanding :D

Agreed that there could easily be classism going on here, though it's hard to tell intent when people aren't coming out and stating things in mind of keeping politics out of the thread as much as possible. The problem shouldn't be taken lightly, and it's obviously a much bigger issue than just a Fanimecon issue that involves a lot of very delicate and complex economic and political issues. I feel like the underlying structural issues would need to be solved rather than just getting rid of the homeless presence for a single weekend by forcing people to go elsewhere, but that's outside the scope of the con and this thread.
Logged

QUcosplay

  • Full Metal Post
  • Posts: 2
    • View Profile
Re: Homeless, Panhandlers, Bacon Hot Dogs, and the Streets
« Reply #11 on: May 30, 2017, 01:47:44 PM »

I really liked the SJ area until I ended up in a bathroom emergency. I had to go so bad all of a sudden and every blocked had "out of service" or "employees only" bathrooms. So I literally ran for about a mile, and within that mile I was called a whore, felt like I was almost raped (but no one touched me, just looked at me with hungry, creepy eyes) and found a starbucks two miles from the actual con. I went in and a dude commented on me and I was super angry. I had a panic attack because I was very overwhelmed.
And no one, except my friend, asked if I was okay.

It was my complete mistake for going so far from the con, alone in a revealing cosplay. COMPLETELY my fault. But that was just absolutely horrifying for me. I am from a town where if you walk in the streets in cosplay, people just laugh and carry on. It's relatively safe where I live, and ive been there my entire life. So being at an unsafe city was a huuuge eye-opener for me, as I am naive.

I guess reality is so different in different places.
Logged

Kuudere

  • Fanime's Resident Kuudere
  • Inu-Posta
  • Gender: Female
  • Posts: 410
  • BUU BUU desu wa~
    • View Profile
Re: Homeless, Panhandlers, Bacon Hot Dogs, and the Streets
« Reply #12 on: May 30, 2017, 05:43:58 PM »

Does anyone have any negative stories to share or where they just bothered by their mere existences?

I do, in fact, have a story to tell. I was walking to the Marriott after the CWF panel at the Fairmont (a rather short distance that has plenty of foot-traffic) and I got propositioned to by one of the homeless men. He got my attention with a "hey baby," and asked to go back to my hotel room with me. That put me on high alert and all of the "how-to-protect-yourself-from-strange-men" things I've learned in the past were flooding my mind. Thankfully, though it looked to him as if I was alone, I was actually with friends who were a bit further behind me so I knew they would come to help me if I needed it. And even though it doesn't (and shouldn't) matter, I wasn't in anything revealing...I was wearing a kigurumi with the hood up. I am concerned over the fact that he might have followed me had my friends not been there, and I am also concerned over which other women happened to cross paths with this individual that weren't so lucky to be in a group. No one should make me worried that I will be followed or sexually assaulted that close to the convention, walking to and from convention activities. Protecting the few blocks that have heavy Fanime traffic should be of importance to both Fanime and SJ police dept.

 
Also, I'm kind of bothered by the fact that you're "speaking" for female teens, especially since you're not one. Like what you're implying, I mean.. It almost sounded insincere and like you threw that comment in to get people to side with your point which really bugs me. Downtown is a college/university area. Teens that are legally allowed to be out that late and other adult women are in that area often at late hours. That being said, I am not going to undermine or try to guess at what it's like for them or anyone to walk through any given street at given time of the day/night. Idk, I just thought that little one line think-piece-statement at the end was really gross.

As a former teen female (who spent at least three of those teen years attending Fanime) I want to assure you that otakuya is spot-on with their observations, so you don't need to feel offended on the behalf of women. Unfortunately, it has always been a personal policy that I am attended by at least one guy friend or a group of friends when I am out at night during Fanime. Men have some of the same concerns of walking alone (being robbed, beaten, etc), but women unfortunately have even more concerns that have been instilled in us since we were children that our mothers taught us (and that their mothers taught them). We (as women) don't exactly have the luxury of assuming that every single homeless person that we encounter is harmless. Is that fair to homeless people? Of course it isn't, but that overcaution is what is keeping me safe and not having to defend myself against sexual assault in person and in court. Unfortunately, the fact of the matter is that there is a percentage of people who are homeless due to mental illness, and while not every person with mental illness is aggressive, some are. Again, it's not fair to judge a whole group of people based on a small percentage, but I'd rather play it safe for the short duration of Thursday-Monday and have a stronger police presence.


Homelessness, as a whole, is not an issue that Fanime can (or should) try to tackle. What they can (and should) do is protect the commonly used paths that their attendees walk during that weekend. They actually did have one year where there was police everywhere, both inside and outside the convention center and let me tell you...I felt very safe that year. I would love if they partnered with the SJPD to make that happen again.
Logged

Firefury Amahira

  • Only slightly insane
  • Maria-sama ga Post
  • Gender: Female
  • Posts: 138
  • I herd u liek fanfic?
    • View Profile
Re: Homeless, Panhandlers, Bacon Hot Dogs, and the Streets
« Reply #13 on: May 30, 2017, 07:02:46 PM »

Just to add a quick $0.02:
-I didn't notice any especially alarming behavior from any of the homeless folks in the area around the convention center, however I didn't end up walking in the park or pretty much anything but going from the front of the convention center, across the street toward the Westin/St. Claire, and then across toward the Fairmont. So my commentary is excluding large sections of the area that also get heavy con traffic.

-RE: The hot dog vendors: Good gods, there were so goddamn many of them that they were a pedestrian traffic hazard, especially on the sidewalk heading toward the Fairmont. Aside from turning an ordinarily wide open swath of sidewalk into a winding foot traffic chokepoint, the stench of so many of them so close together made my eyes water and get me feeling nauseated by the time the light would change so I could get across the street and escape! In previous years, one on the corner on the Fairmont side, one on the convention center side, and one maybe on the auditorium side was fine. They weren't a traffic hazard, they didn't stink up the place, and con-goers who wanted a danger dog could get their danger dog no problem. The swarm of them this year was just obnoxious and turned every trek from the con center to the Fairmont into a gauntlet run of vendors shouting to me repeatedly trying to lure me to THEIR food cart out of fear I would buy a danger dog from one of the other half a dozen hot dog carts in the immediate vicinity.

-On the plus side, I noticed that Obnoxious Loudspeaker Preachy Guy wasn't at the main intersection this year. He was set up down at the far end of the walkway between the two halves of the Fairmont on Saturday, and I don't think he was there Sunday. At least there he could screech his creeds without disturbing too many people or getting in the crowd's way. And the Scientology stress test shmuck seemed content to just sit at his little table and not harass people! Those guys can get super obnoxiously pushy, at least the ones in LA do.

-RE: Police presence: I don't recall seeing much of a police presence this year. That doesn't mean there wasn't one, but to me it didn't seem like they were especially visible. A more visible presence would probably cut down on a lot of these sorts of issues.
Logged
"Fandom should be fun!" - Firefury Amahira
You-fic.net - Read it. Write it. It's your story.
--
Looking for help writing fanfiction?

Amanojaku

  • Maria-sama ga Post
  • Gender: Male
  • Posts: 144
    • View Profile
Re: Homeless, Panhandlers, Bacon Hot Dogs, and the Streets
« Reply #14 on: May 31, 2017, 04:45:06 PM »

Hotoghotoghotog!
Logged
FanimeCon attended: 15 times
1999 - 2001
2006 - 2017

Kyra_Maverick

  • Steel Angel Post
  • Gender: Female
  • Posts: 526
    • View Profile
Re: Homeless, Panhandlers, Bacon Hot Dogs, and the Streets
« Reply #15 on: May 31, 2017, 10:47:50 PM »

I will gladly trade the mob of angry reglious protesters telling me I'm going to hell for a handful of food vendors, hands down.
Logged

Abyss1

  • Maria-sama ga Post
  • Posts: 68
    • View Profile
Re: Homeless, Panhandlers, Bacon Hot Dogs, and the Streets
« Reply #16 on: June 01, 2017, 09:51:37 AM »



A more visible presence would probably cut down on a lot of these sorts of issues.

I disagree... how do you know a visible police presence will cut down on the issues OP stated?  They weren't visible because there wasnt many in relationship to how many people were at the con, and im sure people weren't really looking for them ...It's also DTSJ...if you want a cleaner environment move the con back the Santa Clara convention center
Logged

deonchan

  • Prince of Post
  • Gender: Male
  • Posts: 1004
  • Suits.. yeah it's like that :p
    • View Profile
Re: Homeless, Panhandlers, Bacon Hot Dogs, and the Streets
« Reply #17 on: June 01, 2017, 10:47:27 AM »

Santa Clara is way too small for Fanime IMO...

and isn't BayCon still down there?
Logged
Calvin...

Rovers
Suits
Musicfest
Ops Div

bobcat888

  • Maria-sama ga Post
  • Posts: 22
    • View Profile
Re: Homeless, Panhandlers, Bacon Hot Dogs, and the Streets
« Reply #18 on: June 01, 2017, 02:21:04 PM »

"« Last Edit: Today at 12:35:55 AM by eww »"

I couldn't really tell what was edited by eww. It looks the same to me. It should be common courtesy to leave a footnote indicating what you've altered.

I mean, how would you like if I snuck into a lengthy post of yours and altered your words around? Again, I can't even tell what you did but it kind of bothers me. What did you change?
Logged

Kuudere

  • Fanime's Resident Kuudere
  • Inu-Posta
  • Gender: Female
  • Posts: 410
  • BUU BUU desu wa~
    • View Profile
Re: Homeless, Panhandlers, Bacon Hot Dogs, and the Streets
« Reply #19 on: June 01, 2017, 03:49:19 PM »

"« Last Edit: Today at 12:35:55 AM by eww »"

I couldn't really tell what was edited by eww. It looks the same to me. It should be common courtesy to leave a footnote indicating what you've altered.

I mean, how would you like if I snuck into a lengthy post of yours and altered your words around? Again, I can't even tell what you did but it kind of bothers me. What did you change?

The person who edited your post was Ewu, aka, Eric Wu, the head chair of Fanime. Usually he does mention it in his edit, but perhaps he forgot this time. He changed a certain word in your post to "dance," as he and all the other moderators all do whenever that "R" word is mentioned. That word is tied to an image that Fanime doesn't want associated with their late-night dances, so they make a good effort to keep the word from being used in relation to it. Hope that straightens it out.
Logged
Pages: [1] 2
 

Page created in 0.062 seconds with 19 queries.