A trip with my hubby to the Venice Boardwalk for a bite to eat earlier today landed us at Jody Moroni's where we nabbed a table and were enjoying our hot dogs and fries watching the human parade passing by.
Our appetites were almost sated when we lost them altogether as a women, then two men started digging through a trash can in front of us, pulling out surprisingly large quantities of the same meal we were just finishing. The third dumpster diver, a barefoot man in his 20s or 30s--it was hard to tell--bent almost double trying to see what food there was in the can, then after retrieving what he could, moved on to the next receptacle a few yards further down.
The crowd just kept lining up for hot dogs, no one giving the man a second glance.
The purpose of the outing was to visit the nearby Buckwild Gallery to check out the Depressed Cake Shop, a pop-up bakery to benefit NAMI LA, the Los Angeles chapter of the National Alliance for Mental Illness. I thought it was a novel idea when I read about it in an article by writer Amy Scattergood in the LA Weekly. The cakes, cupcakes, cookies and confections were all donated and seemed to share a similar color scheme--shades of gray or black and white on the outside--gray for depression. Gray for the sadness the homeless--many probably mentally ill--feel as they forage through garbage cans in search of stray fries and hot dogs on the Venice Boardwalk.
Along with the gray cupcakes, Shaile Socher, a sugar artist at Shaile's Edible Art, was selling exquisite gray-tinted flowers made out of sugar paste to benefit NAMI.
The homeless man was wearing gray too.