DC Street Scenes – Columbia Heights

La Molienda
La Molienda
Pan Lourdes, in color
Pan Lourdes, in color
Tree Lights, 14th Street
Tree Lights, 14th Street
Glorias Pupusas
Glorias Pupusas

Cavalier Liquor

Some twilight photos taken on 14th Street in Columbia Heights. All shots were taken with my Rolleiflex 2.8E on Kodak Portra 160. This time I was using a tripod – the black and white shots were hand-held. While I was out taking these photos, I had someone from Cavalier Liquor come outside and tell me, “you didn’t get permission to take pictures”. He then broke into a smile so I knew he was just teasing. I’ll make a nice print of the picture and bring it to them, one of these days.

I also had someone approach me as to why I was photographing Gloria’s Pupuseria and Pan Lourdes. I explained to the guy I’m a photographer and I take pictures of things I find interesting. He explained his interest in why I was taking pictures with a throwaway line about 9/11 and can’t be too careful these days. As a Pentagon attack survivor, and photographer, I find the gratuitous abuse of 9/11 as an excuse for anything and everything intrusive to be highly insulting. If I were scouting potential targets for a terror attack, I sure as shootin’ wouldn’t be using a Rolleiflex on a tripod! I’d be doing what everyone else is doing and using my cellphone, to be as inconspicuous as possible. And I’d not be scouting out a Latino bakery in a transitional neighborhood. Suspicious behavior is not taking photographs – suspicious behavior is leaving a bulky bag unattended in a busy location. Photography is not a crime, and telling people to look out for photographers is up there with the porno scanners at the airport as the worst kind of security theater – it harasses innocent, law-abiding citizens and presents the illusion of “doing something” while not actually addressing real security needs.

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