Thursday, March 5, 2015


Yesterday I was going through the photos on my hard drive, sifting through the many pictures I've taken during my walks around Manhattan. I haven't been walking lately—not since the weather got so miserable. I miss it. I could still be doing it, snow in Central Park is always photogenic, but in addition to the cold and slush, my little camera seems to be in its death throes.

If you google "digital camera gone bad" the internets will tell you that that's impossible. But if you dig a bit further, those experts will eventually concede that image quality can, in fact, begin to suffer for various reasons. I've never been particularly careful with my camera, throwing it loose into a bag or pocket, never using the lens cap. Now the focus is no longer sharp, even in bright sunlight. It's not an expensive camera but I'm currently in a philosophical mindset of repair, not replace. Not sure it's even possible to repair it, but I find I am less inclined to go walking without it. So I will investigate and hopefully mend it. Anyway, that's not really what this silly post is even about.

Nope, it's about the small but growing collection of images I've taken of stranger's backs. It occurs to me that this could be viewed as a little creepy/stalkery. And maybe it is. But I first found myself doing it after reading Maira Kalman's book, "The Principles of Uncertainty." Maira, too, is a great walker of cities. I love Maira Kalman.
Mustard corduroy!
So! Much! Awesome! Fake! Fur!
Her tatt reads: You must believe in Spring
Gorgeous fishtail braid!
The girls in their vintage summer dresses!
The color of those pants! Holy Cow!
That coat! Those tights!
That dress: so weirdly complicated.
Unlike Maira, however, who follows and photographs individuals who pique her curiosity and move her with their individuality and humanity, I mostly photograph people whose sense of style is interesting to me. So, though we come at it by different routes (hers poetic, mine superficial), we arrive at the same fundamental place. Or so I like to think.


  1. I love Maira too.

    I've taken photos of many Manhattan backs. I remember a particular gorgeous floral coat . . .

    Good luck with the camera. Good for you to try to repair first.

  2. You are Maira meets the Advanced Style fellow -- love them both. Creepy-stalker on!