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Friday, June 5, 2009

No pun intended but Subways are a whole underground culture separate from the bustling life just a few hundred feet above.

This photo was taken on the subway from ground zero in New York back to the theater district sometime after midnight. Each person has their own story to tell. Any given subway car is a mixture of lives lost in the crowd, young street rovers looking for a quick buck, mothers and fathers on their way home from work, musicians trying to get that big break from a fellow listener who may be a scout and tourists awestruck by the varied calico landscape of lives so different from their own...of which was my perspective on this late lonely night to be alone in a city with so many souls.

14 comments:

Heather said...

I'm such a people-watcher. I always worry that people think I'm judging them as I gaze in their direction - but that's not it at all. I'm fascinated by strangers. I find myself making up stories for them, wondering where they came from, where they're going.
I've never been on the subway (never been to New York) but I did enjoy my rides on the Metro in D.C.
Love the photo :)

...... Bobbi said...

Haunting photograph! I think writers are natural born people watchers - this is the perfect way to work on character development. I'm like you, I wonder what some of these people's stories are like. As I child I would visit my Granny who lived right in the middle of town. Her house was right next to a major highway. I loved to sit in her yard and daydreaming about where all the people in each car where headed.

I've never been to New York, so I've never rode on a subway.

Dan Felstead said...

Heather,
It is the same subculture on all the subways I have been on...a great place to observe all types of people ranging from the normal to eccentric and everything in between!

Dan

Dan Felstead said...

Bobbi...as you said there are a lot of ways to observe people, whether it is in a subway or shopping mall...each life has their own triumphs and disappointments.

Dan

Simply Heather said...

I, too, am a people watcher - Heather :)...same thoughts!! So similar.

I see the man smiling and wonder if that smile on his face is also in his heart, I'd be willing to think so.

I see the woman across from him and feel a bit of tugging for her, in my own heart...wondering if she actually is sad, as it appears on her face.

I watch people every day, every where I go and often wonder if the appearance of their emotion is real. My husband carries a natural "unapproachable" look on his face. He often looks angered or grumpy - but I have learned through the years that he isn't always feeling what his face is telling me. He's not the "happy heart" like I am, but he's also not the mean, grouchy, grump of a guy that his face says in his natural appearance.

I love watching people.

NOW - I might think, Dan, that you may not ever find me beneath the ground in a subway...any more so than you will ever find me way up high on a mountain tram :).

And..with all that said...thank you for sharing such a thought provoking piece of art!

Dan Felstead said...

Vermont Heather...
Great thoughts! You make a good point...so often looks may be deceiving. It always amazes me when I hear a story from time to time of a recluse who has passed away leaving a fortune behind...completely shocking the people who knew him and thought him to be in poverty.

Dan

Mary said...

Hi Dan, found you through Simply Heather. This is a wonderful photo, not only because of the different lives and dreams it chronicles, but also because of the simple dignity and beauty in each face, and in the lines of their poses... their "body language," if you will. Terrific capture!

Dan Felstead said...

Mary,

Welcome to the blog and stop back by any time. I appreciate your comment about the expressions on the faces. I noticed that as well when I took the photo. From the lady to the right in deep thought to the guy towards the back with his hand on his face...It think he was trying to make a point to someone!

Dan

The Muse said...

an old fashioned past time of my elders, was to sit on their porch, in their rockers, and watch the world go by...watching...making up stories...dreaming of another life...a better life...

nicely captured.

(ps thanks for the reminder at twitter)

Dan Felstead said...

Muse,
Thaks for stopping by again. There just doesn't seem to be the time anymore to do that "watching people pass by" thing...but the time is there if we just take it.

Dan

septembermom said...

I used to ride the train often when I worked in NYC. Even if I had my nose in a book, I would glance here and there to people watch. Such a microcosm of life on the subway. Love the way this photo captures a sense of individuality in the midst of a crowd.

Dan Felstead said...

Septembermom...
Thanks for the comment...you worked in NYC?? I bet that was interesting. I'm glad that a former rider of the NYC Subways saw those different lives as well. I imagine it would be hard to see them after you got used to the routine. Probably becomes like any other commute to work.

Dan

Patty said...

That photo rocks! I love to take those kind of shots, but we don't have subways here.

Dan Felstead said...

Patty...
Thank you so much. I will trade you jobs for a month...I will take the journalistic shots and then you will have some time to take the photos you want! I am just being facetious...I think it is the "grass is always greener" syndrome!

Dan