Paul stood on the bleak windy comer where the ward officially began. Down the drab side-streets ran the squared-off residential blocks, ill-kept, dim, gray, wooden frame houses, heated by coal furnaces, fed by credit grocery stores. Directly north ran the Crawford Heights streetcar line, noisy, slow, clanging past the smoke-shops, lolling men, the poolrooms, cluttered drygoods stores, big ugly supermarkets—crowded, smelly, cash-registers ringing—the noisy colored Bar-B-Q joints—hot sauce on black charcoal-broiled spare-ribs—more dirty, bleak little shops, until the neighborhood came to an end with the final stop of the streetcar line.
On all sides, spread around in a politically bound triangle were ten thousand voters. In a blind, dumb way he knew that all of these people had their own personalities that he could never hope to reach in a political campaign—but there must be some point of contact. So many people. So many businesses. So many homes. Everybody had a place to sleep. Everybody trying. The meat market with the kosher meat sign. The meat market with the pork sausages hanging in a line like a corps of inflated ballet dancers.
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