The Niche.


Good Evening:

On the other side of Redwood Alley from the San Francisco PUC HQ, you will find the Superior Court building. Another relic of the dark ages of San Francisco architecture, the building features these niches built into the walls for the vents. I don’t know if the architects wanted people to use them as benches, or if they set the vents into the walls to protect them from the elements, or if they simply didn’t think these things through, but in recent months a homeless woman has taken to using the same niche every afternoon.


She reads avidly, a hardcore book lover, and it would not surprise me if she has a library card; the Main Branch of the Public Library lies only about a hundred yards away. Lately she has taken up writing, penning one page after another at a pace that would give me writer’s cramp.

And recently, it appears that someone else has discovered the pleasures of a quiet place in the middle of the big noisy city.


I hope that whatever that woman writes becomes a bestseller. Certainly, she’s working hard enough.

Vonn Scott Bair


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