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Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Looking the Other Way, Below 34th Street

34th Street, Penn Station
Photo by myself at the subway station below 34th Street, in Midtown.

New York is nothing but a study in contrasts.

Some New Yorkers live in Park Avenue penthouses. They have private gardens, large eat-in kitchens and deliveries ushered in by multiple doormen.

Other New Yorkers struggle to live without permanent shelter. They carry all their belongings in carts and bags. They have zero privacy and few certainties to rely on.

Though New Yorkers can be extremely compassionate, they generally just tolerate those in need. It is difficult to be truly empathetic when you see homeless people every day.

I realize that photographs of the homeless can be seen as unkind. To some, photographs are exploitative or dehumanizing. To me, photographs attempt to illicit compassion. To photograph something is to say 'This is important. Please take a look.'

Related posts: Could You Keep it Down?, Castaways and Homeless Man, in Central Park.

11 comments:

Olivier said...

une belle photo volait, j'adore

Bibi said...

I agree with you about compassion. I never take such photos to poke fun, but to call attention to the plight of others who are less fortunate than we are. I like this photo.

Joanne said...

Brilliant picture, no words are needed!

Luis Gomez said...

You are so right. Nice shot!

Rebecca said...

Long wait I gather...

Lily Hydrangea said...

Documenting the reality of life is so important especially since many people have zero exposure to other people's hardships.
This is a great photograph Kitty.

Sciarada said...

Hello Kitty, my name is Sciarada. Sorry, my american language no so good, I'm italian. Your photo and your post are very good, all we must look, it is needful to see

Fredrik said...

I agree with you totally. Keep posting pictures like this. It's important.

ρομπερτ said...

Luckily they kept the bench in balance, still making sure that it won't fall towards either end.

A peacefull and nice Thursday for you.

daily athens

Paz said...

My humble opinion is that photographing the homeless is showing a part of NYC. It's part of the NY portraits. Can't leave it out.

Paz

Louis la Vache said...

«Louis» agrees with your "this is important, take a look"