Yes, we get it -- San Franciscans complaining about the recent chill in the air is a bit like a veteran of the Monaco armed forces fulminating about hard times in the corps. The mere act of water freezing during the winter is not a novelty in other parts of the world.
And yet, if you're wandering around underdressed and sleeping out of doors, it's plenty cold enough to do damage. There's a reason your tired, your poor, your huddled masses are huddled -- it's cold out there. Last week, four homeless people in Santa Clara County froze to death.
Sleeping in San Francisco parks has long been illegal -- and a recent Scott Wiener ordinance created a uniform citywide ban on visiting city parks between midnight and 5 a.m. (debate over that proposal veered into the ethereal realm of parsing the difference between sleeping in a park and being in a park while sleeping). But, despite the spate of weather-related homeless deaths -- and, in fact, just as it was happening -- San Francisco Park officials were confiscating homeless campers' tents.
The above scene was documented on Thursday, Dec. 5 by ace photographer Jim Herd in the shadow of the Conservatory of Flowers.
That seizure, according to Herd, sparked the following interaction between a man and a woman who had formerly been occupying said tent:
Her: "The tent's gone? They took the fucking tent?"
Him: "I tried to stop them."