You know, I kinda miss this guy. Michael (last name unknown) was almost a permanent fixture on the corner of Beacon and Charles streets. He was a very good street hustler and was very well known in the area. However he got stomach cancer and had to go to the hospital. The word is that Michael now has his own room and has given up his old life.
Bobby’s usual begging spot is on the steps of the Starbucks shop on the corner of Beacon and Charles Streets in Boston. He’s one of the nicest beggars you’ll ever meet. Bobby has been trying to get a room in the Charles Street shelter for as long as I’ve known him. Today he told me that he thinks he’s getting near the head of the line. He’s been trying for that room for as long as I’ve known him.
I could easily to tack a glib title on this photograph. (How many riffs on the word trash can you come up with?) Actually this is a hard, cruel portrait of a sad, desperate man. The weather is very cold. He’s directly across the street from a glitzy Apple store and he has no money in his cup. The current administration in Washington creates these people. DAMN IT!!
It was cold that day and he was hungry.
He’s sitting at his usual spot but, today is different. He has a goal of 20 dollars because he wants to go to a street festival near city hall. He tells us it’s his birthday.
Bobby’s begging spot is in the doorway of the Starbucks on the corner of Beacon and Charles Streets, Boston. He’s a quiet soft-spoken guy with what looks to me like a big drinkers nose. I like him better than the aggressive little firebrand Michael who used to claim that corner.
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.
Michael The Panhandler in a full throated rant about why we should give him money. “Daddy! Daddy! Daddy! please loosen up! It’s cold out here!” After over a decade of this you’d think he might finally do something else but he loves this street corner gig.