This photograph is of the Arlington Street Church’s tower framed by some trees growing just inside Boston’s Public Garden. As images go it’s a perfectly nice juxtaposition of the natural with the urban environment. I like it but it’s nothing special. A “postcard” picture if you will.
However, in this time of Covid-19, it helps take the edge off my jagged emotional state.
This rather poignant, hopeful sign sits on a Washington Street on the edge of Downtown Crossing. On it flashes various messages relating to the virus. My wife was particularly drawn to this one. She’s photographing it for her diary.
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.
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 fingernailsreminding you thatyou’re still a sentient being living on a miraculous blue planet.
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.