We had gone to Roche Brothers in Downtown Crossing for some early morning grocery shopping. Not having had breakfast, we bought a snack in their fast food area and sat down outside to eat it, when out of the blue came a roving street preacher. He didn’t stay long but his decibel level left a very strong impression.
It’s getting to be quite popular lately. I’m embarrassed to say that my grubby blue one is not nearly keeping up with the fashionistas around here, like this lady.
“Have you ever had the feeling that there wasn’t a soul left on the planet that remembered your name or face or the sound of your laugh?”
From “House of Coates” A book by Brad Zellar
Since we live near the Massachusetts State House, we often hear noisy demonstrations in favor or against one thing or another. Today there was a group of anti-vaccination people lobbying for their god given right to allow their children to get sick from and pass on diseases like polio, anthrax, chicken pox, measles and presumably pretty soon, Covid-19.
The fun fact about this photograph is that it was not taken in some rural or suburban location. I took it in the second block of Newbury Street, Boston’s premium “gold coast” shopping area. Think of it as a yankee’s Rodeo Drive.
For an instant you can forget Covid-19 and feel the warm soil getting under your fingernails reminding you that you’re still a sentient being living on a miraculous blue planet.
I saw him in the convenience store as I was buying our papers.
I annoyed him as I passed by leaving.
The lockdown feels like……
Living in a crowded city is a strange combination of crowded intimacy and lonely reserve. As an example, there is very small, below street level doorway garden less than a block from us that always has a magnificent collection of roses seemingly endlessly in bloom. When winter comes, there’s a small bird feeder with a constant supply of suet that takes care of hundreds of house sparrows.
The caretaker of this blooming bounty is a nice lady with whom I occasionally exchange a few words, never much more.
Today was different. Setting out on my usual street shooting walk, I noticed a woman chatting happily with the owner of a very cute dog. The scene didn’t really lend itself to a photo so I just sat and watched. The surprise came as she was leaving her conversation with the dog owner she turned and recognized ME. My wife joined us and the three of us had a friendly conversation.
Anyway, the upshot to this is that in this often lonely time we are living through, a chance encounter sweeps away a lot of dusty cobwebs.
We live in Boston. I used to think it was a pretty intelligent, enlightened place. No more.
Since the virus hit and George Floyd was murdered, this place is going nuts.
I have no idea what he meant by that. He was struggling with his words making less and less sense.
These kind of photographs bother me but I’m drawn to them. Human tragedy is hard to ignore.