Boston’s Best Panhandler

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His name is Michael, last name unknown. His “office” is the Starbucks on the corner of Beacon and Charles Streets. If you go into Starbucks around 8am you will often see him drinking his coffee on the corner of the communal table or even perhaps catching up on his sleep, head down not moving. The staff seems to accept his presence either way.

I took this portrait of Michael last Sunday as I was picking up the New York Times and the Boston Globe for our morning reading extravaganza. The nice thing about running into Michael inside Starbucks is the staff won’t let him beg inside the coffee shop. Once outside however his empty morning coffee cup becomes his begging container as he practices his trade with professional skill and cunning rarely seen on Boston’s streets. He has been a fixture on that corner for many years and Michael has many regular patrons. I don’t consider myself a regular donor but occasionally I’ll slip him a buck because he is such a pro.

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