I’m walking downtown on Madison Avenue. It’s a lovely, sunny Tuesday afternoon. Everyone’s been talking about how weird a winter it’s been, and they’re right. It’s been warm, that’s the first thing, with 60º F weather in February, I mean, that almost never happens. Then there’s been almost no snow, which is a blessing in the city and surrounding suburbs after the disastrous snow we had in October, a storm that brought down trees and knocked out power throughout the tri-state area. There’s been a lot of sun and not too many rainy days, which means I’ve been able to get out with my camera and shoot a lot of pictures I’ll never use.
So I’m walking down Madison, my camera in my hand, shooting photos of people while all those surveillance cameras are taking videos of me. I get to the corner of East 27th where I grab a few frames of people waiting to cross. I look up and standing outside of a recently opened sports bar which claims to have the most authentic Philly Cheesesteak in NY – personally I don’t know why they don’t call it a NY Cheesesteak since that’s where we are – and by the way, what’s wrong with someone making a Chilly Fees-steak or Chili Free-steak, or something – is a woman with a camera and I’m pretty sure she’s photographing me. I smile, lift my camera to my eye and squeeze off a few rounds – I mean frames – waiting for her to notice that I’m photographing her photographing me, which she does. She brings her camera away from her face, laughs, and then takes a few more.
As do I. Now anyone who knows me knows I am a friendly, chatty guy, so of course I stop walk over to her and start a brief, amicable conversation. She’s a photographer, she’s visiting from Italy – when she said she was Milanese I could’ve guessed it from how well the coat, the scarf, the sweater, the jeans and the bag complemented each other. I told her that I’m a street photographer; she said she likes to photograph people. We exchanged enough information so we could view each other’s photos.
But there are streets to be walked and people to be photographed, images to reflect on when I look at them later.
Footnote: a couple of days later I got an email from her. She put her photos of me up on her blog. Http://neigedebenedetti.blogspot.com
A true NYC moment.