New York Daily Photo Analytics

Sunday, August 26, 2007

Dead to the World

No he's not dead, just dead to the world - an old expression my mother used to characterize someone so deeply asleep they really were oblivious to anything or anyone around them. I spotted this homeless man in the South Street Seaport area at the end of Water Street where it intersects Dover Street, essentially under the Brooklyn Bridge. His cozy looking residence was a narrow space wedged between a chain link fence on the Dover Street side and a wall between abutments under a bridge ramp. Click here for a map of the exact location. I have done a number of postings involving the homeless - click on any of the six following links: The Art of Kissing, Homeless Art Scene, Extreme Camping, Caravan of Dreams, Aspiration and most recently Stephanie. It's amazing to reflect on the horrific problems some people have with insomnia and how this man can sleep so comfortably outdoors, in the city, under a bridge, across from a busy cafe, in broad daylight and plain view, while being photographed ...

7 comments:

Anonymous said...

An interesting shot. Yet, since this seems like a semi-permanent home for this homeless guy, there is a nagging philosophical question regarding the appropriateness of taking such a photo. Would we, the more lucky ones, feel comfortable with being photographed while asleep in our beds?

Brian said...

It is a valid point and an issue for anyone doing street photography and subject to debate. Here is an interesting discussion thread on this very subject:
http://photo.net/bboard/q-and-a-fetch-msg?msg_id=00JhNc

Bleu said...

I'll tell you what's not appropriate: Soaring rents, unemployment, no universal health care, indifference, social numbness.

Wonderful post, Brian. Many thanks for all the great info you provide.

• Eliane • said...

I have wondered about that too. I think it must be from exhaustion. This is a hard, depressing side of New York. The urban noise and animation, the hours without sleeping, being constantly on the watch, ..., I guess you just blissfully fall into Morphée's arms.
Good post Brian. This is New York too.

oldmanlincoln said...

I thing that separates the opinions on this kind of photography yes or no is related to what is in the public. A bedroom at home is private property and subject to all kinds of different rules than anything in public.

Susan said...

I'm with you Bleu!

She Python said...

well i'm inviting u to come to brazil... lol... but its amazing and sad think that the powerful country of the world cant take care of all ur people...
its so good read and listen people worried with ur poor person...
anyway...
i liked this place... it give me hope... bye!