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Field notes and photos

the transit center

The transit center sits at the edge of downtown Lexington. The narrow loading area is more of an open air cave, crouching, ashamed, half-hidden below the city. Two small glassed in rooms provide little comfort in the chill winter. Gary, a halfway house resident on his way to retribution, wears a blue dickies jumpsuit and takes pride in keeping the cigarette butts swept up and the graffiti clean off the walls. "I've tried ev'ry thing I kin think of, but I just can't get Silica off the window," he tells me. "What is Silica?" I ask. "Dunno," he answers.

I've spent hours at the Transit Center, observing and interviewing; but it is not a place to linger. Cold hard surfaces in black and brown depress and deny even momentary comfort. "Sometimes the bathrooms smell sickly sweet. That's crack or meth," Gary explains. "Sometimes it's pot and I kin get a little high wipin' toilets."

Silica graffitti eludes Gary's removal skillsThe long view in the "cave"

The transit station from across the street

The transit center and the city sit in contrastMother and son walk the length of the transit center, waiting on the buses


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