New York Daily Photo Analytics

Tuesday, June 08, 2010

Lowriders and High Riders


When friends of mine once returned from the Southwest, I was astounded to first learn about Lowriders - vehicles outfitted, some with all manner of hydraulics, to be lowered as much as possible. There are High Riders too. But why would anyone go through all the work to do such things?

There are many profound mysteries yet to be solved, but on Sunday, my questions were rather mundane. Why were these particular men together? Were they all widowers? What were they chatting about - women, the sorry state of the world, how things used to be better, or how the mores of youth have declined? Why was there one rebel who wore shorts and sported khaki instead of pants and the requisite gray and white?

Other mysteries abound, particularly, why do so many old men wear their pants so high? Online forums give a myriad of intriguing and plausible reasons with no consensus. The best answer seems to be that the men shrink in old age but continue to wear the same size pants, necessitating that they hike them up to fit. Others cite osteoporosis and the decline of hips, increasing waistlines and diminishing buttocks. Of course, these men may rightly retort, why are so many wearing their pants absurdly low? Is there something more inherently fashionable about Lowriders than High Riders?

Amidst all the glam and glitter, the presence of many ordinary things can be easily overlooked in New York City, such as poverty and the aged. Examining the demographics of New York City in the census report reveals how atypical the city population is from the country at large in many respects. In race and ethnicity, 44% of New York City is white (75% in the USA), 27% black (12% US), 10% Asian (3.6% US) and 27% Hispanic (12% US).
Other statistics, however, show little variation from the United States population - particularly age. About 12% of both New York City (and the United States) is over 65 years of age. That's a lot of older people - about one million people.

Many New Yorkers, like myself, have never had a desire to live in Florida. One can never be sure of how the future will unfold and desires might change, but I also do not aspire to retiring in Miami Beach. Fortunately, if I want to see retired old men congregating near the ocean, I only need to make a trip to the Brighton Beach boardwalk. And if there comes a day when I want to wear my pants real low or I have to hike my pants up, I know I can do it right here :)

13 comments:

Winnie M said...

Another odd ball in the photo - the man on the right is wearing a jacket, but no socks. And the pants thing is, perhaps, due to aging men (and women) developing what my Mum calls a "pot" - a beer belly.Younger guys tend to wear thier pants under the belly but older guys wear them over. My Dad never wore his pants high but then again, no matter how much beer he drank he never got the belly.

Lynette said...

What an interesting photo and text to go along with it. I like very much how you related the lowrider/highrider from roadsters to oldsters. And the Yellow by Design post is superb!

Brian Dubé said...

Winnie - The belly explanation was one of the major reasonings given in the reading I did. That beer belly thing is war zone for most older men.

Lynette - Thanks!

Anonymous said...

It also may have to do with changing fashions. If you look at pictures from the first half of the 20th century, you'll see that the waistline is considerably higher than the one that is now fashionable. It is, in my opinion, more attractive than the modern fashion of showing one's undergarments and possibly, even worse, what lies under the undergarment.

LDub said...

Beautiful homage to a man beyond 30..I love this picture and think a man "of a certain age" hold a mystery all their own regardless of the length of their pants. Thank you so much for this picture!

uj said...

just finding your blog out here. love your photos and observations. 3 thumbs up...wait, I only have 2.
thanks.

T. Becque said...

This is fantastic!!

Anonymous said...

I'm from Australia and read your blog regularly.
Love the pictures and facts that you include in your blog posts.

Z said...

Great catch!

Caity Bierman said...

love this. great shot. great story.

Anonymous said...

I found the race/ethnicity statistics interesting... but they add up to over 100%?

Brian Dubé said...

Anonymous - you are correct. Yet this breakdown is cited everywhere. I am investigating. Perhaps an overlap of ethnicity or just cut and paste journalism and spread of misinformation.

Anonymous said...

I'm not from the USA so the sight of someone over about the age of 15 wearing a cap is very odd, let alone old men wearing them! Funny.