A few minutes after 4 p.m., Thursday afternoon, 100 block of Gay Street:
At first, the man looks like he's talking to himself, waving his arms in front of the window of Harold's Kosher Deli. He has a long, straw-colored ponytail with a matching mustache, and he's wearing a white muscle shirt and blue jeans. But a closer inspection reveals Harold himself on the other side of the glass, pointing to a hanging sign that says "Closed." "Are you closed?" the ponytail man asks as Harold opens the door a crack. "Yes," Harold says, pointing at the sign again. "I can't read," the man says, shrugging. "I never went to school." Harold pauses a moment, smiles, and lets him in. A few doors down, two teenage girls are on their way into the club-kid Mecca of Planet XChange. Inside, a big fan and soothing shadows siphon off the afternoon heat, and the racks of dangling oversize shirts and faded overalls exude their own kind of cool. The girls grab some shirts and a big camouflage jacket and head for the dressing stalls at the back. Depeche Mode moans over the store stereo. Outside a few minutes later, the ponytail man is back on the street, one hand holding unwrapped aluminum foil while the other lifts a dripping hoagie to his mouth. He's smiling.