Sitting on the steps of the Immaculate Conception cathedral's gothic entryway, or on a bench inside the courtyard garden blessed by Pope John Paul II himself, you may voyeurize the entire teeming array of life on Colfax Avenue. Perps, pervs and priests by the paddy-wagon-full. Hookers enjoying fresh McDonald's Big Macs. Across the street, a space for lease, a temp agency, an Asian restaurant, a drug and liquor store. The cathedral's garden is surrounded by a high, black-metal fence tipped with crosses and dull spikes, but the gate is open, and it's filled with topiary and amiable vagrants. A sign near the gate maintains that drugs, alcohol and loitering are not tolerated in a place honored with the title of "basilica" by big J.P. 2 on Christmas Day, 1979. That lightning once struck the east spire is proof enough.