Posted by StreetWise in Vendor Profiles
Michael Moore has been with StreetWise for around 16 years and is a stable vendor in Chi¬cago’s downtown. Although he is normally re¬served in nature, Michael possesses an immense amount of wisdom that he has gathered while travelling down the path to self-improvement.
How did you find out about StreetWise?
I used to see vendors selling the magazines and I admired them. I wanted to see what it was all about, this StreetWise organization. I happened to buy a magazine once or twice, and then decided to come down and see for myself about it. I liked it so much I’ve been with them ever since.
Where do you vend?
Downtown, I’m at Dearborn and Randolph during the week from 3-6 p.m. across the street from McDonald’s. It’s under a canopy so when it rains, my customers and I can have shelter. I’m also at Wells and North Avenue during the weekends.
Do you have a lot of regular customers?
Yes, especially downtown. I just like people. There’s a par¬ticular customer named John who has been a really good, loyal customer since I’ve been there. I’ve been downtown going on seven years now and he’s been there buying the magazine since. He’s one of my favorites.
Since you have been vending for a while, what does it take to be a good vendor?
You have to be a people person. You have to treat people like you want to be treated. You have to work on yourself and your people skills.
Do you have any goals?
Self-improvement. That’s the bottom line. If you’re not will¬ing to take time with yourself and improve yourself, you re¬ally can’t move from where you are. It’s a personal thing. I have a responsibility, and that’s what mostly motivates me. I have a responsibility to myself, to my being, to my way of life.
What do you do for fun?
I like going to the Lincoln Park Zoo, the beach, museums, and restaurants. I love going to the movies and seeing con¬certs. I’m a music lover.
Anything you want to talk about?
I’m just trying to deal with myself. I have my own race to run. Everybody has their own race to run. I want to get to know me better as I get older. I’ve been continually working on myself to make life better. It’s all part of the growing pro¬cess. I like to try and encourage other people. I like giving back. People have helped me, so I try to help out in any way I can. I like to be an example for others that are younger than me.
What three words would you use to describe yourself?
That’s a pretty hard question, to describe yourself. I guess, “patient, understanding, and active.” I like that.
Anything else you want to share?
Do what makes you happy and what makes life better for you and the people around you. That’s my philosophy.
Story & Photos by Marissa Diekhoff