“Paul”’, Paterson, New Jersey. January, 2012.
I met Paul earlier this year as he was paving the sidewalk across the street from Paterson, New Jersey’s City Hall. (Yes, you read correctly. A private citizen was paving the sidewalk.)
Paul’s story was that he petitioned the city, on many occasions, to repair the sidewalk in front of the store he owns. And his words fell on deaf ears.
After repeated attempts to correct an obvious safety hazard, Paul figured the best way was for him to do it himself. So with his trusty Radio Flyer wagon filled with Readi-Mix, Paul took to repairing the sidewalk on a brisk January afternoon.
Paul, a Korean immigrant, came to Paterson in the early 1970s and witnessed Paterson’s many changes. Though he feels the city has changed for the worst during his time, he still believes that the city has better days ahead. He mentioned, “If only the kids had respect for business owners, their teachers, their parents, and each other, this city would be great again. I’m still hoping the youth will understand what they have here.”
Though he claims he’s retired, Paul still finds time to take vacation. He loves hiking and often goes West to explore the United States in all of its beauty.
As for that sidewalk? It’s repaired. Thanks to Paul’s personal efforts.