Art, People, Life, Truth and Lies

I decided to walk for exercise instead of the Elliptical. Needed a view of the real world than just staring at the wall. Cardio lazy lately. Outdoors is my easy Fitness motivator.

Woman walking with her groceries next to a big Church. Photography is Art. It can be any story and interpretation. I outpaced the Woman. I heard her talking. She’s by herself.

Where is God in all these? Where is our God in times of being alone, desperate, needing help and support? Where are the People suppose to be an extension of his love, kindness and mercy? Where’s our Church and Community when we need them the most? Could be me. Could be you. No shame in having questions. No shame in walking alone.

It’s the month of Hearts, but where are the Hearts? City still empty. It’s the month of Love, but where’s the Love? Perhaps we need to get rid of all the anger and hate first for Love to have a chance to thrive.

So I did. City Downtown should be busy exciting by now with People and Businesses as restrictions are being lifted left and right plus everything that was already defied many weeks ago.

Some Restaurants have adapted the outdoor dining using sidewalks and streets permanently. But some days and hours, they are still empty.

I was expecting droves of People like in the Indoor Malls welcoming back their freedom as the number of COVID daily cases are going down, but it was the opposite, the City Downtown was dead.

At least 20 empty business spaces. I was distracted by the Art Everywhere, I stopped counting.

City Downtown is on an extended year of coma.

Comedy Club closed past 2 years. Nothing funny in that.

Saddest scene of all my walks since March 2020. In comparison to my previous walks, the actual community scenes were a clear evidence that many have abandoned the city and are not coming back.

Live Theater closed. Has become a transient refuge for Men and Women who’s mobile house is a grocery cart. They sleep on the hard pavement with blankets. Some have sleeping bags. Others, just with their thick jacket to warm them from Winter’s cold.

Is this happening to other Cities in America too? I wouldn’t know. The News and Social Media have been mixed with truth and lies that one needs lots of common sense and honest reflections to figure out which one is true.

Homeless Man sleeping by the Main Street. Art over Art. Art are truths supposedly to move us and care. It may even make us uncomfortable. Real life is not all beautiful, nice and pretty. An Art that has awaken a hardened Heart is the most priceless of them all. They are Arts that inspires change for something better, greater, selfless.

I didn’t notice them before, but doors and window displays from isolated stores and restaurants to an entire city blocks are beautifully painted with Art. Most on glass. Others on boarded plywood.

So far, it has been impossible for many. They are the forgotten only remembered and used during Election Time. They are the product of Capitalism Greed and Unjust Discrimination by Government Leaders, Citizens and Society in general. Because of money, we choose to be blind and unbothered. Because of money, some are willing to sell their heart and souls.

It caught my attention from afar that I had to move closer to appreciate their details more. Indeed, they are stunning and thought provoking.

If I only choose to see what’s beautiful, I will miss seeing the ugly truth behind and beyond it. The Sunflowers and it’s leaves can’t cover everything. I still could see People who lost a lot when they lost their businesses from the Pandemic and Lies. I could still see People who may not come back regularly in Public Places for personal safety.

Art isn’t just about beauty. Art is message to the World the Artist hopes to convey either to be understood, express a dream or bring change. I was realizing all. It wasn’t that hard just looking at the City’s entirety.

The Bay Area and the Silicon Valley has the most expensive, unregulated Housing and Real Estate. So, no surprise they also have the most numbers of Homelessness and untreated Mental Health in the Country.

It’s already unfordable. But future plan is to replace the entire city block with a massive tower for more money and indifference.

Many Residents are in this unrealistic Life and Lifestyle Bubble that has so much denial and vanity in them.

Million Dollars Real estate for sale magazine on the street, painting of the promised dream land and dream home by the wall. Ironic for those who already seen and experienced these lies. A possible trap for its next victims.

One side, beautiful painted blooms. On the other, smeared feces and dirt on the wall. Shit on a multimillion building and property is a statement that is hard to ignore. Many are mad and frustrated. People can vent however they want in a free country.

Insensitiveness is okay. Apathetic toughness is cool even.

Gold Hearted does not create a Society that allows People to loose everything and live on the streets. Gold Hearted does not exist when People are mean and pains another. Wearing a love and heart T-shirt doesn’t mean we are loving and kind to all. False pretenses however makes People feel better about themselves. If we are the cause of the mental and emotional stress of a co-worker, Family, Friends, strangers, we are far from Gold Hearted.

Women and Butterflies drawn at a Gentleman’s Club parking lot. Human Exploitation is allowed in broad delight. Sexual and Inhuman Labor Slavery are real evils in the Land of the Free, California is no Heaven to the unfortunate ones.

Illegal migrants and minors are the easiest prey. If they speak they get deported. If they fight and run away, they disappear like they never existed.

The contrast of the rich and poor is so sickening, but many learned to adapt and accept circumstances they can’t change nor care to improved.

Wondering where the average middle income lives where houses cost close to a million and above? Mostly apartments. Some low income singles, even families would share these apartments. Very reason COVID is an easy share when one lives in a very crowded, poorly ventilated spaces. Others live with their Parents and Grandparents.

The Homeless. We see them, but most of us will not look back nor stare. Whether it’s just a normal reaction or a way to escape one’s conscience.

More Americans are sleeping on the streets, outside abandoned stores, parks, under overpass, by the rivers and creeks. Many of them have ignored and untreated Mental Health Illnesses.

The Rich wants a house with a view. The homeless just wants basic comfort like having a Toilet.

Homeless tent at noon in a park in front of a luxurious giant hotel doesn’t cause a reaction nor action. Numbness or Mercy, Tolerance or Helplessness, I don’t have an exact word for it but I know it’s very wrong.

Just looking for a place to rest even for a few hours. Woman sitting outside the church. Yep, the church doors are closed in between their daily and Sunday masses. Good thing God is everywhere and doesn’t like luxury.

The Art were designed to cover as much window and space, but what’s not covered by Art, are the Truth, the Lies and the Why’s. Perfect Camouflage. Perfect distraction. Other Countries have done such cover-up, the U.S. is no exemption.

I am my own Truth. What People tells me goes to a processing bin so I can separate the Lies from the Truths. Many years of stupid mistakes, painful heartbreaks and trauma, I should be smarter, wiser. I should, but sometimes history repeats itself. Next try hopefully.

Truth is something I can see, hear, smell, touch and feel. Truth are my own observation, experience and everyday reality.

Anyone telling me a different story in contrast to what I personally encountered and overcome needs to shut up.

This is one of my favorite Art because it’s not afraid to be authentic. People not afraid to show what’s truly happening to them are the most admirable and honest.

2022 is a very long series of mega Storms. Don’t be swallowed and be lost in them.

Clarity by choice. Alive by choice. Informed by choice. Survival by choice.

I’ve seen a lot in my walk, the good, the bad, the ugly. However, I choose to end my Downtown City walk with Hope. I choose to remember what will make me smile and feel happy. And that, I want to share with you because we all need a great laugh, a big smile and towering free spaces of Happiness. That is my Truth.

Till next walk my Friend…

About Island Traveler

Just a Man too curious where his dreams will take him.
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58 Responses to Art, People, Life, Truth and Lies

  1. My Rollercoaster Journey says:

    The art is amazing though

    Liked by 1 person

  2. My Rollercoaster Journey says:

    This is so sad. There are so many homeless people..

    Liked by 1 person

  3. An enlightening post indeed! Thank you for sharing your photos and writing in such a well-structured manner 🙂

    I appreciate the kind of difference you are trying to make through such posts. I consider myself of the same nature as well. I have a blog here ( where I write articles on our own philosophies, mental well-being, emotions and life in general. I also delve occasionally in thought-provoking short stories which make us think. Do have a look if you can!

    Stay safe and keep writing!


    • Thank you. It is a blessing to find inspiration and caring people that truly see and express what is true, good, kind, honest, and hopeful. Our World needs it from what’s going on in real time events. Nice to meet you and share a wish of something better and happy for all. Many issues in the world and we need more brave warriors to use their gifts for change and something good.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. J. Monson says:

    Outdoors is a great motivator


  5. The art in your photos is beautiful. I think artists paint to give people hope for better days. I hope better days soon come. The pandemic, climate change, and wars have taken taken a terrible toll. in the world. We should all do what we can to help the homeless. This post raises awareness!<3


    • Thanks Cheryl. Homelessness also is a sign of the increasing indifference of both Society and Government to the poor and middle income. Housing and shelter is a basic need but in California it’s luxury. And this is also happening in other parts of America. The so called “American Dream” of homeownership is but an illusion now. Today it’s either dream home versus slavery to capitalism and mortgage lenders. Something our government and leaders are allowing. It’s sad and at the same time frustrating. Street Art is however free and yes, gives us sense of hope. Thanks.


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  7. Lokesh Hari says:



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  9. Beautiful post. I had very similar thoughts running through DC in early November. Homeless everywhere but countless beautiful buildings with overly expensive condos/apartments overlooking them. When you stop to think about the juxtaposition it’s beyond painful.


    • Thank you for sharing your thoughts and feedback. Yes, the juxtaposition it’s beyond painful. To see and be moved by it is not for everyone. Some would rather focus on what’s fun, comfortable, nice, happy but real world is not like that.

      Liked by 1 person

  10. Pepper says:

    So sad to see how much the world has changed in the last couple of years. I experienced some of the same contrasts while visiting Cincinnati last summer. What used to be a lively and busy downtown is now almost empty of people. Enjoyed your images a lot. 😊


    • Thanks. The News doesn’t really cover what happened and are happening to our communities and cities. They are dying and being replaced with something else. They are also being bought by the rich and powerful to become their next playground. Covid has changed people. Covid has emptied cities. Actual loss and suffering happened. Over optimism hid the truth and reality. The only way to find the truth now is to see it for ourselves. There’s both beauty and tragedy that I see every long walks in places many have forgotten. It is humbling. It’s an awakening better than caffeine.


  11. Oh wow! We live in the same town! I have shot some similar photos downtown! Your photos and writing are excellent! It kills me to walk or drive by streets owned by Google and other corporations and seeing the homeless of all ages sleeping on the floor. I had foreign friends visiting once ask me uncomprehending why there are so many homeless in America. I am excited to discover a fellow WordPress writer in the same town!


    • Thank you for seeing too the the realness of our Community and City. Even before COVID, Homelessness and Excessiveness Extremes are so rampant in the Silicon Valley where housing has become more expensive than the World Famous San Francisco. I don’t get it. Laws encourages unregulated Rent and Housing Prices making it unfordable for low and middle income Americans . Mental Health is another ignored and poorly treated in the richest county in the Bay Area. Homelessness is worse than before and no one is doing anything. Unrented buildings will be bought by billionaires like Google and even foreign countries with money like China and the Middle East. And more of the poor Americans have no choice but to live on the streets, the parks and by riverside. Homelessness is a product of greed and Capitalism. Who has money will own the City.


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  14. Wind Kisses says:

    Powerful! It’s sad to think of the beautiful art amidst all the uncertainty. Too many homeless, too many others, don’t care. And honestly, I am glad you chose happy…too. I am just astounded by all the art surrounding the people who are needing help. Were they ignored, did they come after it wa cleaned up? Sad. Well written. Donna Always a pleasure.


    • Thanks Donna. Last night at work, a doctor shared that many doctors are leaving the Bay Area and Silicon Valley due to unaffordable housing, and they earn twice to Nurses. There’s no regulation of housing prices in California. It’s supply and demand. People with money are bidding in hundred thousands more and paying cash. Strict laws also not in favor of building new subdivisions unlike in Texas. The American Dream has gotten impossible for those who still believes having a house is part of that dream completion. I’m happy personally in my apartment because it is close to everything I want and need. No point in dreaming of something so unaffordable and may potentially just make me miserable if the mortgage is insanely to the roof. I think more that ever, quality of life is more important, and not having more things in life.

      Liked by 1 person

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  16. Jo says:

    Well written post, beautiful and sad at the same time. Pictures of the street art are amazing.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Until we decide to see what’s going on in our community, we will never realize how much it has change because of People, Politics and the Pandemic. Sad but also gives us a realistic check of what needs to be done moving forward. Thanks.

      Liked by 1 person

  17. blmaluso says:

    God doesn’t enter spaces or hearts that close the door on Him.


  18. jryb29 says:

    Oh my, the virus has really made everything so much more worse than it already was. This is so very saddening. I really hope things get better for everyone this year.

    Liked by 2 people

    • I hope so too. In a few weeks, the U.S. will exit the Pandemic, at a time the surges are not controlled yet. Whether Endemic happens or another Emergency Disaster, we’ll find out In Spring. Men and Women like to act like God. So, God kept humbling People from their enormous pride, ego and selfishness. Sad.

      Liked by 1 person

  19. Josh Sanders says:

    I always find great enlightenment when walking alone. You brought up some thought provoking questions.
    Thank you for posting!


  20. It is sad to hear about so many small businesses closing down because of the pandemic and to see the city looking like a former shell of itself. The pandemic has had more of an impact on low-wage and lower educated workers, which is creating even more of a divide in our society. I like that you’re able to find beauty in all the street art and to find hope though. That’s all we can do. I hope for a better future.

    Liked by 3 people

  21. Yvonne Haddrell says:

    Hello. I just love reading your post and you are truly gifted in that you do and say what you feel and explain it quite well. I lov the photos along the way of your conversation. It is like a long walk with a friend and to see from a different view of someone else’s eyes and ideals. Thanks for sharing your thoughts and give a hoot to tell others the way you see it as I know you are right in all you say and do and for that fact I am so very proud to read and feel your warmth and deep understanding that makes my day when I read and reread your post. So very thoughtfully Yvonne in UK

    Liked by 2 people

    • Thanks Yvonne. Your words brought comfort and inspiration. It’s like the Sun generous in its happy and highly motivating sunshine. Our Blog world needs more People like you. I think more than ever, it is important to find a place we can safely and freely express ourselves and be supported back. Workplace my not be as kind, our circles may not be as understanding, our Community and Country not as caring, but the WP Blog Space has given a refuge and sanctuary for all seeking what is kind, understanding and caring. Take care.


  22. ourcrossings says:

    I love your photos of colourful street art, but there’s also a sense of despair and sadness among them. The cost of housing is rising so much faster than wages and sadly in many of the world’s largest and most expensive cities, young people find themselves in a strange predicament. Although their educational credentials and employment prospects put them in the “middle-class” category, many have virtually no chance of ever owning a home. It’s hard to understand why the Government won’t go much further by buying and turning vacant and derelict properties in cities and rural towns into residential homes for people looking for homes. Thanks for sharing and have a good day 🙂 Aiva

    Liked by 2 people

    • Thanks Aiva for sharing your Truths in your community. What you wrote echoes to millions who belong to this predicament and category. My Son will grow up in a City if not State he can not afford even if he belongs to the middle income category. Greed made this happen. Politics made this happen. Evil made this happen. Kindness, social justice and equal opportunity is fast disappearing in America and the Rich Countries, as fast as our Planet is deteriorating from abuse and greed. The older generation allowed the Hope and Dreams of the young generation be taken away from them unless mom and dad belong to the rich category, then it’s hand me down housing. Capitalism is spiraling out of control and nothing can be done about it. It’s all about who has the most Money now.

      Liked by 1 person

  23. Ab says:

    Your post highlights a sad truth that the pandemic really brought to life: the plight of the homeless and the vulnerable.

    The few times that I went downtown the streets and stores continue to be quite empty and it’s very sad to so many long-standing stores and businesses shutter down due to economic hardship. But what you then really notice amongst the quieter streets are the homeless. Who still have nowhere to go but the streets during a pandemic. Very sad.

    I think it will take a bit of time for things to get back to normal. Too much trauma for the pandemic and constant lockdowns. Hopefully it will get back to normal one day soon in a safe way.

    On a brighter note, glad you got go outside for fresh air, the best kind of exercise! Happy Friday and enjoy your weekend.

    Liked by 3 people

    • Thank you for sharing Ab of what’s going on in your community too. Truth is now how we see it. Where I am, Homelessness and Mental Illnesses have been badly ignored, and it’s the richest county in the Bay Area. I don’t understand and comprehend it at all. The local Government seems to be working directly with real estate capitalists to make more money for the rich few, and provide shelter for the rich few as well. The poor live in the streets. The low and middle income in apartments cramped. It’s not the America 20 years ago that gives equally opportunity for all to make their dreams come true. If one has millions , they can buy their dreams, anything less, we just get the scraps of what’s left so we have a place to live safely. That is really the reality of living in California today. It’s beautiful but our Government allowed the greed of the housing market go above the roof. It’s insane. Anyways, I think many are waiting for the bubble to burst like in 2008 or save enough to relocate somewhere where their dreams are affordable. Sad, but Homelessness and poorly or untreated Mental Illness will just get worse here because no one is doing anything seriously and genuinely about it, not the Governor, the mayor, the President and the Elite Powerful. It is what it is. Turning off the news and discovering real news ourselves are the best reality check of what’s truly happening and what we can do to make things better.


  24. Mesmerized photos 🌷🙏❤️ but very sad to see the lonely roads , the resturants and every where very lonelyness we can feel because of this pandemic , prayers only 🙏 happy weekend 👏

    Liked by 2 people

    • Thanks. I was very surprised how empty the city was, almost like people just disappeared. I see cars parked but no one in sight. Perhaps they are at the offices , but I went back around 4 PM and still not much people walking around, but I did notice more cars on the streets. News seem to say all is well, that it’s safe and okay to just resume life with covid but I think many people have evolved smarter , wiser , more realistic than before and it shows in the community. Of course, those who never believed in the realness of covid will be back to business and crowd as usual.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Thank you for this lovely comment message and liking my posts 🌷❤️🙏🌷
        Very true lines you written and we want to live with Cov 19 , Omicron and when
        It again change and some more dangerous ,we don’t know !! People must follow
        S0P and want to live 🌝 here also many people sick , mild only and fast recovering,.
        Giving pills also. Death rate very few only !! Take care my friend and happy weekend

        Liked by 1 person

  25. Your post makes me sad. I was please to read that you will choose happiness! The art is really beautiful, and it looks fresh. Have artists been painting during covid? In our area, many businesses have closed. Mostly restaurants. But there are new ones opened up! On Saturday nights it seems restaurants are hopping busy! But they are shorthanded. I still don’t understand why we are challenged to fill open positions. People don’t want to work? This confuses me because I know people need to work. For us, life is, in a different way “back to normal”. I know some people are scared. Maybe that is why you don’t see people out and about where you are? Some things are still so hard to understand. …may you have a blessed and joyful weekend! 🙏

    Liked by 5 people

    • Thanks Lisa. That is a great share of what’s happening in your community too. I think many customers changed in their mindset and lifestyle. Yes, fear could be one but also, people have realized then can work at home or somewhere else where they feel safe and valued. Before covid , people thought they do not have choices and have to stay at jobs they don’t like, or don’t pay them well. Even in areas where pay is good, like nursing, some choose to leave because of burn out and work abuse that just got worse with the pandemic. The labor and work sector have changed and have matured. They found personal power to be anything but unhappy and used. It will likely be the trend the next several years. Now, It’s about working meaningfully, safely and happily that pays well. We don’t have to be a generation Z to realize how good that is. Quality Life and Self Care will be booming the next 20 years with covid being endemic. Honestly, I am happy for those who were able to set themselves free and following what are truly important to them. One life and it’s shorter than before. Have a great weekend. Thanks.

      Liked by 2 people

      • I do think there is a lot of what you mention, happening. I am blessed to be in a job I like, so leaving would not cross my mind unless I was read to retire (and I am not). I also agree, and always have, we need to find work we are passionate about.

        Liked by 2 people

        • Thanks Lisa. Yes, I do hope to retire from where I am now but with covid, things could be better so everyone is happy and safe, from patients, staff and employers. I think more than everyone needs to be mindful and sensitive of everyone’s vulnerabilities. It can no longer be a one way street. Take care.

          Liked by 1 person

  26. Matt D says:

    That is so sad to see the community dying like that. Here in Florida restrictions were lifted very quickly. It looks just like it was before the Wuhan flu.

    Liked by 4 people

    • I think people are choosing what is close, convenient and safe. The malls are back to their usual volumes of customers, same with fast food restaurants and major famous store chains. It’s the small business owners I think that have suffered. Many people have changed too in their mindset of consumerism, capitalism and personal safety and comfort. We may be going back to behaviors before covid but many of us have evolved the last 2 years in lifestyle, attitude, thinking and mental health and wellness. We go back to a different World being different and transformed ourselves. We have adapted. We have survived. Time to live again. Thanks.

      Liked by 1 person

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