Wednesday, February 15, 2012

February 15, 2012

Well, as some of you may know, my camera - a beloved Olympus D-620L - along with my entire camera bag was stolen. I was robbed in SOWA in the South End, which can be a rough neighborhood with thieves, drug dealers, prostitutes, addicts, sex offenders and the insane. Plus the artists, cops, art dealers, yuppies and loft-living lawyers. That was the start to my new year. I'd had that camera since 1999, the first affordable (a grand or so over ten years ago) digital SLR that came on the market. That camera had heart. How could I ever replace it?

Anyway, so now I'm cameraless, for the first time since I began photographing. But I'm looking around. I've always wanted a Leica M. That was Cartier Bresson's camera, of course. The M9 is digital, $10,000 with a lens or two.

Walking around seeing pictures and making notes, taking word pictures.

There's a woman who I see almost every day, sometimes several times, in the vicinity of the Prudential Center or Copley Place. I think she's an Indian from the Andes, but I'm not sure. She has a large face topped with a thick thatch of matted brown hair and slightly slanting eyes. She dresses in thick, warm-looking layers of yellow, red and blue ponchos under which she carries two bulging white cotton bags. She's always hatless and wears sockless sandals in every weather. Her legs are like tree trunks.

She often does a little dance standing in place, swaying and stepping from side to side, sometimes smiling, and falls to sleep standing up, eyes closed, head thrown slightly back, never losing her balance, eyes suddenly snapping open as if out of a distant dream. Sometimes I see her eating at Shaw's supermarket when I'm shopping.

Speaking of which, what is it with Whole Foods and their wretched prepared foods commanding premium prices? Their steam table offerings are awful - they can't even make a decent American Chop Suey - and the over-priced prefab refrigerated sandwiches (who wants a cold sandwich anyway?) and deli items are DOA.

Image ... Map mural (detail) on a traffic signal control box. Across from the Stony Brook T station in Jamaica Plain.

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