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Tuesday, October 28, 2008

The Space of Chance Encounters

Subway Ride Home
Photo by myself on the subway ride home.

I like the above photo for the man in the poster, who seemed to be a part of the scene. I also like how dark the shadows are, and how bright the highlights.


I love the subway, but the ride to and fro can be stressful. When you can't get a seat, when the trains are late, when they seem to careen out of control, when you're 5'-3" and clinging to a pole. But the subway is also the space of possibilities.

A friend of mine met a fling on the subway. There were flirtatious looks passed back and forth. Later, my friend looked on the 'Missed Connections' page of Craigslist and found a message posted to him. (It would be a short-lived encounter).

And of course there was the story this summer about a fellow who was smitten by a woman he spotted on the subway...so much so that he created a website with a hand sketch to help track her down. The story made it to major newspapers and tv shows.

And he found her. And they dated. And they broke up.

Ah well, c'est la vie!

Related posts: Subway Sunset - On the Ride Home, Asleep on the D Train and A New York Frame of Mind.


Olivier said...

l'homme dans l'affiche me fait penser a un surveillant, personne ne bouge, personne ne dépasse ;o) personnellement je préfère le bus, on peut voir dehors (mais même problème quand c'est plein, c'est très sauna)

man in the poster makes me think of a supervisor, nobody moves, nobody exceeds o) I personally prefer the bus, you can see outside (but the same problem when it is full, it is very sauna)

MurciaDailyPhoto said...

What I like about the picture is the hodgepodge of people. The variety of the human race.

Anonymous said...

This photo is priceless.

valeria said...

When I happen to be in a big city I love going in the subway. I understand that commuting everyday is stressful. But seen from a "small town" inhabitant point of view, it is an interesting bit to understand a town's life, the people, the habits. Good shot!

bobbie said...

A great photo! I've ridden subways many times. This captures the mood. I am curious to know if there was ever a reaction to your camera. I'm not sure I would have the nerve to pull out my camera in such a setting.

ChickenUnderwear said...

I like the way the Asian man and the man in the poster seem to be a set.

Virginia said...

YOu have to be quick to pick up someone on the subway! HA Maybe I'll give it whirl in Paris. I love your shot today. Your subjects are caught perfectly and thanks for pointing out the poster. He is part of the foursome.

Unknown said...

Hi Kitty, nice post! You know how I feel about the subway commute--heehee. BTW, I gave you a soundbite on an interview with Fuel My Blog.com, check it out!


Wayne said...

Well done Kitty. Did they know you were taking the picture?

dianasfaria.com said...

I can't really put my finger on exactly why, but photographs like this truly confirm my hope for humanity.

Olivier said...

Je reviens, l'homme dans l'affiche me fait penser a "Big Brother is watching you"

Anonymous said...

I just love the pic! Subways are romantic and fascinating, and awfully dirty and sometimes scary - all at the same time!

Anonymous said...

Excellent shot Kitty. It really "captures" the essence of individuality amongst the masses.

Excellent post!

Sorry I haven't been around as much as I would like to.

Profile Not Available said...

There was a great piece in the Chicago Tribune this morning about the anxiety some people feel on the "L" (our elevated train, which also travels below ground...). This train, unlike many in Chicago, looks much less packed! The people couldn't be more diverse! Nice shot!

Louis la Vache said...

Excellent capture - what a study in contrasts!

Kitty said...

Thanks everyone!
The subway is definitely the melting pot, and it's generally the fastest way to get around.

Welcome Bobbie
Sometimes people notice my camera, but they only give me the eyeball. It's never become an issue.

I have to say it is a little confrontational to take such candids, and I can only take them when I'm in the mood. If I'm not feeling energetic, forget it.

Good luck, Virginia in Paris, lol.

Nubia, I read your interview. Congratulations and thanks so much for the mention! How flattering?!

Hi Wayne
I don't think they noticed that I was taking their picture, hehe.

Hi Susu
I agree. A whole movie could take place on a subway.

JD, you've been missed!

Kelly that sounds like an interesting piece. I'd love to read the article.

tr3nta said...

Another great public transports every day life shot.

Anonymous said...

I read about the guy and the website. Too bad things didn't turn out well for him and the woman. I like happy endings. I wanted his to be a happy ending. As you wrote, "C'est la vie". ;-)


Mame said...

I love the NYC subway system. I love how a trip from one borough to another can take you up and over the city - onto a bridge from where you can see the Statue of Liberty, seaport, Staten Island ferry, and the wonderful skyline. It makes me delighted to live in NYC. So does sharing a ride with my neighbors and fellow New Yorkers and visitors from all over.