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Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Don't @*$&^ with Me, Underground

You lookin' at me?
Photo by myself on the subway, somewhere in Brooklyn.

Eight o'clock on Monday morning is not the time to mess with most New Yorkers.

I was trying to take a stealthy photo of the fellow on the left, who was drawing in his sketchbook. His neighbor caught onto my shenanigans and did not seem pleased. I know I'm being terrible for posting this, but his expression is wonderful!

There is not that much space between the seats on a subway train. The seating is arranged differently than commuter trains, where people sit in rows and all face forward or backward.

Subway trains are arranged maximum efficiency. During rush hour, you may have someone's belt buckle in your face. There might be three rows of people standing up, swaying to every movement of the train.

When the train is empty, you are confronted with the seats across from you, and the people in them.

Related posts: Stand Clear of the Closing Doors, Underground, On the Ride Home and Tales from Below - A Subway Transcript.


Olivier said...

je comprends le messieurs, un lundi matin on est jamais très content de reprendre le travail ;). Mais il s'est laisse prendre en photo sans rien dire, c'est déjà cela

biebkriebels said...

Monday morning people are not in a good mind probably, but the photo is nice.

Luis Gomez said...


Banjo52 said...

Great shot! I'm glad you explained the circumstances.

Yeah, the subway gives new meaning to intimacy, doesn't it--the good, the bad, the ugly.

Spandrel Studios said...

Hi, Kitty. Great shot! Like you've brought us along on your subway ride--it's so gutsy of you to take photos like this! I've always wondered in these situations whether you simply snap and don't say anything, or if you ever tell your subject(s) about your blog? Just watched the video of the Sartorialist in action and admire his combination of stealthy approach and gracious/humble admission of his intent.

Reluctant Blogger said...

Yes, I could never be bold enough to do that. He is looking directly at you!!

Is your camera very tiny or is it some hulking big thing with a large pokey out lens? I hope you never get thumped.

I love travelling on the subway - even when it's cram full.

Lily Hydrangea said...

I love that the artist is stealing moments to do his work.

Kitty said...

Hi Olivier
Yes, Mondays are tough for everyone, the world over.

Thanks Bieb!

Thanks Luis!

Hi Banjo
You see it all the subway, often more than you care to. You hear peoples' music, you smell their perfume, you overhear their conversations.

It can be an intimate place.

Hi Spandrel!
It really depends on the situation. Most of the time if the person sees me and I make eye contact, then I ask permission and sometimes mention the blog.

Lately I've been taking portraits of people and I've asked them if I can take their photo and mention this blog. About 50% of the people agree to be photographed. It results in a different vibe altogether (not good or bad, just different).

In the above situation, I didn't notice he was looking straight at me until after I got home. A coworker just happened to get on the train and I became all distracted.

Hi RB!
My camera is relatively small. I don't make sudden movements.

I've tried taking candids with my big camera and it's very difficult, usually requiring me to focus on something else and then swiveling at the last minute. So...definitely some gymnastics.

Hi Lily
Yes, watching the artist was engrossing because he himself was so engrossed! It was so nice to see how at ease he was with drawing in a public place.

Leif Hagen said...

Very sneaky, Kitty, but not sneaky enough.....

I love, love the photo of the "RED Hotel" today - very cool light fixtures on the outside!
Happy Thursday to you

Anonymous said...

I love your blog, but every time you write "photo taken by myself..." under one of your images it makes me cringe. Please check your grammar!

Kitty said...

Thanks Leif!

Thanks Anon
Usually I'm pretty good with my grammar. I read up on your comment and you are correct. 'Myself' is used only when 'I' am the subject of the sentence.

But..I feel I've dug myself too deeply to change now! It just comes out of me!