- (I work the floor at an independently-owned menswear store. The owner, my boss, spends a lot of time at the shop, and tries to keep prices as low as possible to help our city’s large homeless population get good job interview clothes. A clearly homeless man is wandering around the store. The other patrons are giving him looks.)
- Customer: “Excuse me, sir?”
- Me: “Yes, ma’am?”
- Customer: “I think you may want to call security. That… bum over there, he keeps feeling the suits and muttering to himself. I’m just sure he’s planning to steal one.”
- Me: “Well, ma’am, I think that’s quite unlikely.”
- Customer: “Oh, come on, you know how they are! I mean, I’d keep an eye on him even if he wasn’t homeless!”
- (The homeless man in question happens to be Hispanic.)
- Me: “We don’t discriminate here, ma’am.”
- Customer: “Well, I’m sure the owner would want to hear about this!”
- (I give in and call him over. The customer explains her concerns. As a black man, my boss isn’t happy with her racism, but agrees to talk to the homeless man.)
- Owner: “Excuse me, sir, are you finding what you need?”
- Homeless Man: “Well, not really. I’m hoping for something versatile in a dark or navy wool, but most of the options in my size are cut American style instead of European, which fits me a little better. Not to mention they’re all pinstriped, which I really don’t have the build for, you know?”
- Owner: “I… yes, I understand. I think we may have some options over here, if you’ll follow me. How did you know all that?”
- Homeless Man: “Back before I lost my job, I used to be really into this stuff. I’m not looking for anything fancy, just something I can use to look good for a job interview later today.”
- (My boss helps him find something he likes, and comes to the counter with him. The suit is priced at $87.)
- Homeless Man: *digging in his pockets* “Hang on, I think I’ve got enough.”
- Owner: *to me* “Take my card. I’m buying it for him.” *to the homeless man* “Here. The suit’s yours, on one condition. After your interview today, you come back and apply for a job here too. Got it?”
- Homeless Man: “I… oh my God, thank you. Thank you so much.”
- (Two years later, that formerly-homeless man is my manager, and has a little girl with his new wife—the owner’s sister.)
Jonathan Viner (b. June 1976) is an American painter based in Brooklyn, NY. He received a BFA from the Rhode Island School of Design in 1998.
Working primarily in oils, he fuses a deep respect for the tradition and craft of painting with an appreciation for the dynamic pluralism of current art practice.
His conceptually ambiguous, precisely articulated hybrids of portraiture and narrative assert the right of the artist to exceed prevailing institutional conventions in pursuit of highly individualized artistic vision.
Finally got new glasses
I follow back everyone!
Pygmy Seahorses: Masters of Camouflage
Tiny and delicate, pygmy seahorses survive by attaching to vibrant corals where they become nearly invisible to both predators and researchers. Now, biologists at the calacademy have successfully bred them in captivity for the first time. Finally, they’re able to study the seahorses’ amazing act of camouflage up close.
Learn more about pygmy seahorses at KQED Science.
WHOAAAAAAAA SO COOL.