Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Four Pillars, Three Handrails, Two Girls and No Cup

Thank God:

Got outside in this cocktease of spring today and got some shots. Even a few shots that fall under the, "Hey Nice Camera" standard. I realize I haven't really gotten many shots of that ilk here in a long time. I think part of it (well, most of it) goes back to that day in the winter (like when it was cold cold), when one of the YashMats froze up. So I was without my best bait. There's something about a twin lens reflex that just catches people's eye (or eyes, assuming they have two, unless you're Robert Thurman or Peter Falk). People rarely seem to notice or make a comment when I have any number of cameras out, and most of them older than the YashMats, be they old folding cameras or even less than convenient Brownie boxes. But today was a great day to have the bait out, and I got a few bites. One of my photo guys does same day slide film turnaround, so hopefully we'll have something tomorrow night.

It was a bit of a weird day too. There was this dude I saw and he bothered me somewhat. Allow me to explain. Oh, and I'm not talking about the dude that was staring at my camera and who kept on staring at me and not saying anything since I was definitely being cruised by the dude. Too bad for him I only like oysters (or is that snails? I really need to see Spartacus again).

So this dude (not the one that cruised me). I took some pictures of him on the sly, and am wondering if I'll put them up here or not. Why did he bug me? He didn't say anything to me. He wasn't obnoxious or anything. I could see he took notice of the camera but didn't say anything to me. But here's what got me about the dude.

He was in Union Square Park in the crowd watching these two acrobats who totally were ripping off Tic and Tacs' routine, and doing it very poorly at that. Now this dude was dressed up for yesteryear. Black shoes, black pants, a narrow pinstriped sport jacket (the pinstripes were narrow), some kind of button down shirt, and a fuzzy fedora with a feather in it. I don't mean fuzzy like felt, but fuzzy like fuzzy. Like you'd think it was old except they didn't make hats like that back then (for men at least). Oh yeah, there was one other thing. He had a digital camera.

Now I'm not one of those "death before digital" people, but it struck me as odd and quite contradictory that this dude would take such pains to set himself aside stylistically from the rest of the pack, yet had a modern digital SLR like any other tourist who thinks they're half-serious about photography. And there I was in my modern day workboots, jeans, and a jacket that I've had for about 13 years (does that make it "vintage?"), and yet I had my YashMat hanging off my neck, and other cameras on my person dating back to the mid-30s.

Oh yeah, and the dude had a man-purse too. I fucking hate man purses. If you can't leave the house without everything you need on your person and have to put it in a small bag that you sling over your shoulder, you're not a man. And it wasn't a camera bag either. Now admittedly, when I go out with several cameras, I do have a bag with me, but it's the bag that I also use to carry my school stuff in, and it has a handle, so I don't have to have the thing slung around me like I'm going off to war. And yeah, if I'm out with more than a few cameras with me, maybe I will have the thing slung diagonally across my chest. But I'm not just out for the sake of being out. The bag is serving a function, more of one than just to keep all my makeup in one place, or maybe I have that Kafka book in there that I sit at the end of a dive bar at in the middle of the day reading pretending to be inconspicuous when I'm anything but hoping some hipster chick (or more likely, a non-hipster chick that wants to live "on the edge") will come over and go, "You read Kafka? That's so cool!" Dostoyevsky can also be used in a pinch if Kafka is not available.

What does any of this have to do with me, my pictures, or anything? Nothing. Just a short not quite voluted statement (treatise? manifesto?) about how real men don't carry around purses.

We now return you to our regularly scheduled programming.

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