Friday, February 24, 2012
People Watcher's Paradise
On April 21, 2009, I wrote Rear Window, referencing the Hitchcock classic film set in New York City and my similar voyeuristic opportunity. I have the privilege of my office windows facing Broadway, and over the 21 years I have been located there, it has been a virtual Time Machine experience as the neighborhood changes, stores come and go, residential tenants move in and out, various dramas play themselves out, and marches use Broadway as the thoroughfare of choice to make their way to City Hall or the financial district.
However, unlike the vista of Jimmy Stewart in Rear Window, a Broadway view for two decades is going to deliver a lot more material than one apartment. It is here that I photographed and wrote about a man who SNAPPED and had to be taken away in an ambulance, tourists caught in a rainstorm atop a tourist bus, a couple enjoying an early spring day precipitously perched on a ledge, an old-school window washer, and an umbrella opportunist. (See these stories by clicking the individual photos in the collage.) SoHo is also a neighborhood where I have shared many experiences and photo ops, which I wrote about in Street Cred and Dead Man Walking.
You can see the rich fodder that I am privy to from just one single New York City perch. In today's photo (top), I caught a fire escape photo shoot. At the end of the shoot, in an ironic twist, the photographer and model noticed that I was photographing them as well. They smiled and waved approvingly in reciprocal voyeurism.
The patient observer will be most rewarded. Over time, from a good perch, one can see a changing and varied world go by with an endless parade of characters, many hard to imagine to be found anywhere else. This is New York City, a People Watcher's Paradise :)