Passing By

I’ve really missed the simple act of wandering around and Seeing Stuff.  I’ve been in a Seeing Stuff drought ever since a.) J and I started carpooling downtown together for work and b.) We moved to Gentilly, removing even the luxury of just taking a streetcar home if I decided I felt like it.  Both of those things took my feet off the street and then I also got into a rut where I never left the office during the day and then THAT got overwhelming and I lost my shit so now I’m revamping how I approach my life so that I can basically rediscover my creative groove and also not melt down.  Win, win.

Anyway, so I work in downtown New Orleans which is a freaking visual GIFT, and I have very recently started to break out of my cave during the day to go stagger in the heat on cracked pavements with the smell of garbage wafting in my face while sweating masses heave along all around me…

Oh wait, that’s just me describing the armpit of summer also known as August.  Let me try again:

I have very recently started to break out of my cave during the day to go frolic in this fantastic damn city with all of this amazing architecture and gritty decay and bizarre characters who careen among the smells (when it’s not August) of frying seafood and lunch special po-boys and river wind and about 10 different varieties of perfume and cologne and sometimes incense drifting out of some little corner shop while traffic teems by and car radios doppler past your ears and the cabbies and construction crews sing the song of their people (aka yelling at each other) and everyone driving plays the song of THEIR people (aka honking in unison for no reason) and god DAMN it’s good to get out of the office.

And take photos.  Because that’s what I do.

And it’s interesting to note that, despite how irritated I can get with people (especially since I quit smoking) and how generally I prefer to capture images without all those bodies in the way (as stated recently), I’m growing more excited about those moments when I do have random or sudden bodies cross my frame because then there’s this movement that wasn’t there before and someone’s doing something but what is it; and where are they going next? And who are they going to see?  I don’t have many of these moments in my dossier yet but here are three, for the fun of it.

I took this photo back in 2014, while I was heading toward a streetcar stop, but never really did anything with it.  It’s one of my favorites – I used to see that ol’ gal all the time, always dressed well, always in a hat (a woman after my own heart), always Shufflin’.  I hope she’s good, wherever she may be now.
I shot this yesterday on Carondelet St.  The image I took just before this one is exactly the same, sans people – and is totally boring.  I grabbed that image, then saw this group coming – so I stood there and waited, then surreptitiously shot from the hip to catch the candid.  I appreciate the guy in the background, who also has the same stride.  A good friend of mine just informed me that it looks like a photo from a 1970s Life Magazine.  A huge compliment!!! (I do take issue with that glarey sky, though.)
I also took this photo yesterday.  Again, the empty image was first but I saw this guy approaching and I went for it.  I really do wish I could tell him how excited I was that he happened to Pass By, RIGHT AT THAT MOMENT.  His timing was impeccable, so I’ll credit him with this one.  😉

I feel like I’m waking up after a way-too-long nap that the teacher puts you down for where you aren’t allowed to do anything but lay there on your mat on the floor staring at the ceiling until you fall into fitful sleep whether you want to or not and this just after snack time so you’re sugared up on cookies and juice and have all this energy you’re not allowed to use.  Not that I have anything against naps, but still.  Time to wake UP, y’all.

Here’s to more office breakouts, and to more feets on streets.

Featured Image: Shufflin’

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