New York City
The title is from the Simon & Garfunkel “Old Friends” song, “Bookends”.

When I took the picture of the two homeless men in front of Grand Central, they reminded me of Simon & Garfunkel’s song, “Old Friends”, because of the song’s first two lines: “Old friends, sat on the park bench like bookends...” I thought I’d use the title, “Bookends”, to sort of put a new twist on the old S&G song.

Bookends hold books together so I used the analogy to show pictures of any pair that held something between them.

At night, I’ve seen a dozen or so homeless men gather at Saint Thomas Church’s steps on Fifth Avenue. It’s as if they materialized out of nowhere thinking they can now come out in the open because the darkness will conceal them.

In the morning on my walk to work, I still see some of them here and there on 42nd Street. The night is over and they begin to disappear, but a few linger to perhaps observe the world they don’t belong in.

Which I think was what the two homeless men in the first photo were doing -- watching people in business suits disappear inside climate-controlled buildings.

When I planted my camera and tripod in front of the two homeless men, I didn’t look into their faces. I thought I would get hostile looks back.

But later when I looked at the pictures on my computer and saw their expressions and movements, they seemed afraid and camera-shy. They kept shifting in their seats and turning their heads as if thinking it wasn’t such a good idea after all to sit in this bench and watch the world go by.

I normally don’t look at people’s faces as I pass them by in New York City. I am perfectly content at them -- irrelevant as they are -- to being blurs in my life. But with camera in hand and stopping by to take pictures every now and then, the world around me begins to crystallize. So crystal-clear in fact that sometimes I feel like I have just peered into the city’s soul.

Click on a picture to enlarge.
More than friends.
Comforting words.
“When things go well, what we ask of other people is something that they enjoy giving.” -- Simon Blackburn
Blur in each other’s past.
Shared discovery.
Running mates.
Husband and wife.
Modeling for mom.
Faithful men.
Mr. mom and child.
Observer and observed.
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