I sit on my porch quite a bit. Some cities they have stoop culture, but my city is full of 3 family, flat roofed houses, and old homes, victorians, mansards, long since reconfigured from a family home into apartments. Sitting outside, I can look diagonally to the left and see another couple who sits on their porch with their two dogs. I can look up to the left and see the just-out-of college kids smoking and listening to ragga. Sometimes I wave to the guy who owns the convenience store across the street, a friendly older Indian man who has told me all about his family. He’s very proud of his children. Mostly though I watch random strangers walk past.
Overtime, I notice patterns or curious differences and begin to formulate ideas for things I would photo document if I didn’t feel so awkward photographing strangers and I hadn’t broken my telephoto lens (camera repair shop on the errand list). Things I’ve found interesting – mind you these are all generalizations:
- People who just checked out of the hospital and still have their wristbands on.
- People who jog (my street appears to be a popular jogging route) vs. people who smoke.
- People who drink Dunkin Donuts’ coffee vs. people who go to Three Figs, the new independent coffee shop down the street.
- Type of car whose driver stops at red lights vs drivers that run them.
- Number of people who go in and out of the new hair salon across the street since the happy endings “massage therapy & reflexology” business was raided by the police
- Not long before the crackdown my upstairs neighbor, unemployed at the time, was sitting on the upstairs deck and saw movers bringing a king size mattress into the place. We had our doubts before but that answered the ponderings. The new salon is a huge improvement but it makes the clientele less fun to watch.
I got the idea from my partner. He used to photo document his neighbor’s trash with his phone. I suggested a blog post about it, but he’s denied me so far. I like the idea of a documentary series of the mundane life.