A Woman Felt Safe, 2025

Story #28: On this spot in 2025, a woman felt safe walking home alone.

Hi Portland Brick,

My hope for India Street – the stretch of road I walk every morning to work – is that it becomes safer and friendlier toward women. I’ve been harassed several times on India Street, and a block away a man once masturbated while standing on the sidewalk as I walked by. A truck full of male passengers shouted at me, “You wanna fuck?” and if it’s a certain time in the evening, as I make my way back home, I’ll be extra vigilant as there are several dark corners of buildings (abandoned doorways, etc.) where some men like to find refuge before making their way to the homeless shelter for the night. I realize these traits of India Street (public masturbation; drive-by sexual harassment; dark alleys and doorways) can be found virtually anywhere, but I can’t help but think this street breeds a kind of hatred and disrespect toward women. The homeless shelter (which I believe is men only) is a notable aspect of the road, but there are other aspects of India that are very male-centric, such as a bait and tackle shop, a male-only barber shop, and even Amato’s seems to attract mostly male customers (from what I’ve observed).

This is my experience of India Street. I’ve thought about rerouting my walk to and from work, but haven’t made the leap. India is the most direct connector to Fore Street from Congress. –Anonymous

Portland Brick imagines a future where all people feel safe walking in the neighborhood.