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Saturday, May 9, 2009

Visions of a Cheeseburger, Midtown

Visions of a Cheeseburger, NYC
Photo by myself in Midtown, around 34th Street and Sixth Avenue.

A fellow with a sign, seeking help from passersby. He stood a few steps away from several delis and a McDonald's.


I usually do not give money to people on the street. I guess it's just hard for me to trust that the money would go toward food or shelter and not be used for drugs or alcohol.

I did give money to the fellow above, since he graciously allowed me to take a photo. He preferred that his face not be shown.

I haven't seen more needy people on the streets but I have seen more needy people bearing signs, for some reason? The signs say different things. Some are clever, like the one above. Some are descriptive, letting passersby know the needy person's history. Signs help the sign bearer connect with the world.

The Times wrote that Gay Talese, a well-known writer, handed out special signs to people in need, that said "Please Support Pres. Obama’s Stimulus Plan, and begin right here … at the bottom … Thank you." I haven't seen these particular signs, but now I'll be on the lookout.

You can read the Times article here.

Related posts: It's a Free Country, After All, Light 'Em Up and Signs of Hope.


Ming the Merciless said...

My favorite is the guy who sits outside Barnes & Noble at Union Square.

His card says, "Why lie? I need money for beer!"

I don't know if he was joking or not but he definitely got some money from the NYU kids.

ChowJobs said...

You have the coolest pictures I've seen re New York. I may ask your permission one day to use it at my blog - see www.chowjobs.com.

I will let you know. I'm a fan.

Islipian said...

Great shot, Kitty! Good for you for getting a shot of that gentleman with his sign. And not every homeless person is looking for $$ for drugs and alcohol. Things happen - sometimes horrible things - and people end up in situations they never could have imagined for themselves...and you do what you gotta go. I'm glad you gave him something. I would have, too (but wouldn't have had the nerve to ask for a picture!).

Tiago Ralha said...

It's always difficult to see some homeless people asking for food, specially childrens. The reality in Portugal are similar in a smaller scale, but we can see when the money is for food.

Nice capture Kitty.

Kitty said...

Hi Ming!
I've yet to see that particular sign. That's a bold move.

Welcome Chowjobs, and thank you
You have a lovely avatar!

Hi Bettye
Yes, it's all a matter of chance, I agree for many people, which is scary. I wish I'd had more on me at the time. I just wound up giving him a big handful of change.

Welcome Tiago
I don't believe I've seen children out there. That would be very hard to see. Some teenagers and younger people yes, but no children.

Paul said...

Nice photo. I like people to have imagination. Sadly life is what sometimes overtakes you while you are making other plans.

Layrayski said...

I can empathize. How can you not give him money? =) By not showing his full face, the photo is even much powerful, I believe.

travelin4light said...

Wow this is wild. I kid you not I am the guy holding this 'VISIONS OF A CHEESEBURGER' sign. I never know what the pictures are being used for but I am sure this is not the only one online. Several people have taken my picture without asking.

I thank you for your help and I thank you for your respect. I fully expect to see my picture in a book about the recession or something.

So yeah I searched this cheeseburger phrase up on Google and this was the top link. Funny stuff. I created this account on Blogspot just to post a message. Anyway if you need that money back I am on a campaign to pay it forward. I am moving back to Oregon soon to see family. What goes around comes around.

btw I have subscribed to this blog in appreciation. Keep in touch if you feel like doing so.

Thank you.


Kitty said...

Hi Paul
That is so true, your quote about life. Time goes by so, so quickly sometimes, making us powerless. It's important to remember that we are not.

Welcome Layrayski
That's an interesting comment about not showing his full face. So true, he can stand as a symbol, instead.

Hi Josh!
I've seen you recently on the sidewalk. I'm not terribly surprised to see your comment. I've had other comments by people in my photos.

I'm so glad that you have plans to leave to Oregon, hopefully before it gets too cold. I can't imagine standing outside in the winter.

Absolutely no need to think about the money. I'm only glad to give to people who are truly in need. It's tough to see needy folks out there in numbers.

New Yorkers walk by every day and they look like they don't care, but deep down, they do. They are some of the most generous, kind and opinionated people I know, lol.

I'm sure you have incredible stories to tell, and wish you an incredible story ahead.

travelin4light said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
travelin4light said...

Hello! Me again. Here it is 5 years later and I am still homeless. My goal is to get off the streets and go back to school to learn a trade compatible to my physical disabilities. I have created a fundraiser and was hoping you could post it in your blog. The love you showed me in 2009 was not forgotten. Unfortunately my trip to Oregon was a failure and I am now attempting to pull myself out of the gutter. Thanks again for everything.