Panhandling Hobos, 17th Street

Traveling To Montana
Traveling To Montana

I love all the ironic details of this image – the modern-day hippies panhandling with their massive shisha pipe and their puppy dog, in front of a bank and the Sysco truck (“People and Products You Can Count On”). It was serendipitous that they were posed in front of a bank and a food service truck is behind them when their sign says “broke and hungry”. A poignant clash of cultures. I wanted to get closer to fill the frame more with the hippies and their puppy, but I didn’t want to engage them especially on a negative level (I could see them reacting with anything from suspicion to hostility if they knew I was photographing them, since on a day-to-day basis I appear the very symbol of upper-middle-class conformity and public officialdom – it’s khakis or slacks and a dress shirt while at work). So I popped inside the Pret-A-Manger in front of them and took this from inside the window. I think the person sitting at the bar next to me was a little wierded out by having this guy with a Rollei walk up next to him and take a picture – I suspect he wasn’t entirely sure what kind of camera it was, if it was even a camera.

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