The "Street Observations" Photo Blog featuring street photography and observations from photographer John Fraissinet. (Now in its 8th Year).
Entries in tourists (8)
Being a jaded New Yorker, I had no interest as to what these two were so fascinated with. But the fascination itself was interesting. Now, as I review the shot in retrospect, I am a bit puzzled as there is really nothing up in this direction. Maybe some building tips, or a plane and the sky, but nothing that should inspire such a keen interest from these tourists. Of course, since I didn't look, I don't know that for a fact. But, I'll be damned if I'll look up just because some tourists are looking up.
I like to wander down Wall Street at lunch time to people-watch. There is usually a very odd mix of business people and tourists. Throw in protesters, offbeat musicians looking for handouts, news reporters and it can be a rather entertaining place to sit outside and enjoy your meal.
I forgot my good camera today, but did have my iPhone camera. A couple of subjects caught my eye.
First, as I sat on the steps of Federal Hall, I was entertained by this man in red, who chose to play on his flute, in a continuous loop, "The Caisson's Go Rolling Along". A catchy tune, but after 30 times I think his fund raising strategy might have been to keep playing until someone paid him to stop. After a time, the sun got to him, and he moved 30 feet to the left into the shade, against another garbage pail.
There are a number of ways tourists in New York City like to pose. They can stand in front of something famous to prove they were there. Or they can do something photogenic. Half a block down the road in front of Tiffany's a stranger helped two fashionably dressed women, in the style of "Sex In The City", pose in front of Tiffany's.
And, not more than 20 feet away, a Japanese photograph was manufacturing his own shot by asking these two girls to jump while he froze them in the air. He attempted the shot five times, I took 3 and timed this one the best (the iPhone can be a little slow but I am getting better with my timing).
Tourists in NY City. They clog the streets while the regulars need to scurry off to their destinations. But, they are experiencing something new and unique. They are taking part in life.
This picture pretty much sums it all up.
I love her wide-eyed look. She marvels at the big buildings, and the activity. He is in charge of the tour aspects of the trip, which are many and a logistical challenge. He's trying to figure out what is next and where it is.
They've got one book that will cover everything they need to know about the entire USA. So, I would guess they are visiting several cities/places otherwise they would get a book just on New York City. From where they were found, their next stop is either Wall Street or more likely the World Trade Center site.
I spend a lot of time in the neighborhood of the site of 9/11. So much time that it is now a routine part of my life. I regularly take the PATH train that circles the base of the site looking at the active construction. My office has a birdeye view of the pit from the building across the street. And, while I was not in the immediate region during the time of the event, I did watch it as it happened from a distance.
The area is very crowded, primarily by tourists, although there are quite a few business people on the streets as it is in the heart of the financial district. Large tour groups pass through as their guides lead them, holding umbrellas high, looking to be followed through the crowds and back to the buses.
Sometimes there are hundreds of people in a single tour, and they like to perch on the steps of One Liberty Plaza, an office building that overlooks the site, has a nice view, and has steps to rest upon. With the warmer weather coming, there are substantially more people sitting on the steps. Like typical tourists, they pose and take pictures of each other, and chat, listen to the tour guides and mill about. Sometimes there are those who seem to be emotional about the events that happened there, but mostly it is a standard tourist stop.
This time when I passed, there was a particularly large group on the steps and they were clustered in kind of an interesting formation. I took several pictures and thought it was ironic that the tourists are the ones usually taking the pictures and now they were the subjects.
Upon closer inspection, I found the picture above to be interesting. There are several groupings that stand out. And, it seems that this was a particularly emotional group. Looking at the large master, it is pretty much just a group sitting on the steps until you zoom in and look at the gestures and expressions. Here are some of the individual croppings:
A family obviously, the gestures draw attention, the boy pointing towards the site. Either he's bored, or was told something about the event and is making some sort of reference to it. I think more likely he is responding to the many cranes. It is a giant construction site with tall objects and trucks. The father appears to be reacting, perhaps to what happened. But, I looked at subsequent shots in the series and found him pointing and looking up, so I conclude he is also interested in the construction.
This woman also seems to be on the verge of tears. A later shot made it more apparent. This is a bit more of a reaction that I commonly see in the visitors. Later in the day, I heard there had been a big crowd of perhaps 1000 people at the site. I did a google search to see if there was some sort of activity taking place but couldn't find anything. An explanation might be that there was some sort of organized 9/11 event happening. This usually happens at the yearly commemoration on September 11th, but perhaps there was something else. I really don't know.