New York Daily Photo Analytics

Thursday, April 05, 2007

Caravan of Dreams

From time to time in the city, we witness the homeless with caravans of STUFF - sometimes taking on mammoth proportions. On one occasion I witnessed someone with at least 8 enormous hamper carts filled with things. He was systematically jockeying them to go on some unknown journey. They were parked for an entire night on Washington Square North, taking up a sizable portion of an entire city block. In many cases they are bottles accumulated for redemption. I imagine when you are homeless, one can achieve a certain sense of security and identity by accumulating things. Taking photos of these occurrences can be dangerous - a friend and I have been threatened several times - just walking by with a camera hanging at our sides or photographing something else in a completely different direction. I suspect there's a feeling of exploitation by many of them with subsequent outbreaks of rage. In the photo you can see what a couple friends and I witnessed - a very unusual move on Bleecker Street in the middle of traffic. It's still not clear to me what we saw - a homeless person, someone looking to furnish his place from things scavenged from the street, a budget mover or moving on a budget? ...

10 comments:

Strangetastes said...

Wonderful illustration of why life in NYC is unique. I'm a NY ex-pat. Was this shot in The Village? I think the street sign says Sullivan St.

Bob

St. Louis Missouri Daily Photo Blog

Brian said...

Bob;
Thanks, yes, it is the type of thing you won't find outside the city. Photo was taken in the Village on Bleecker Street near Sullivan.
Brian

Lucy said...

Slice of true life...

Lucy said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
J$ said...

that's definitely just someone moving stuff or scavenging it from the garbage- but not a homeless guy- too well dressed.

one doesn't have to have a home to be a packrat apparently.
-j$
http://velvet-sea.blogspot.com

Fritz said...

As strange as the characters on Seinfeld seemed to be in their strangest moments , I submit they have many real life counterparts whose exploits are much wierder. This guy might be the real life counterpart of Kramer who found a cheaper flat a block up and refuses to pay a mover..? MAYBE lol

TLC said...

Brian, have you ever seen Dark Days, the documentary from a filmmaker who spent 2 years living with the tunnel-dwellers beneath the city? It's fascinating. Many of the people had set up their own "apartments" in shanty-towns, filled with furniture scavenged from the streets. And all of this is happening in the abandoned subway tunnels! Crazy! You should definitely check out the documentary if you haven't seen it. You can get it from Netflix.

Brian said...

j$ - You are probably right. Although in real life, he didn't look that spiffy.

Fritz - could be true.

tic - I haven't seen the film. I will rent it. Recently there was a piece on the New York Times about these "mole" people with video. It was amazing.

Brian

Abraham Lincoln said...

I suppose this could be a good neighbor act and this fellow is helping his friend move. At least that is a possibility. It shows how courteous drivers are in your city. Here, they run over people pushing babies in strollers.

Brookville Daily Photo

lv2scpbk said...

This seems so New York to me. Good photo.