Are they a couple or not?

Are they a couple or not?

Are they a couple or not?

Broadway malls, Jun 2008 – 075

This was taken on the south side of 74th & Broadway, taken from the west side of Broadway, heading downtown… I think this young man and woman were a couple, though it was really hard to tell. They were sitting close, but not too close, and the "body language" made it difficult to tell whether they were together or separate. The young man is holding a cellphone by his crotch, and looks like he’s just had a very, very nice phone call; and the young woman seems to be focusing completely on an article whatever magazine she was reading…

Note: this photo was published in a Jun 13, 2009 blog titled "The Top 5 Things That Women Want From Men."

Moving into 2010, the photo was published in a Jan 23, 2010 Wikihow blog posting titled "How to Get a Boyfriend to Act Like He’s a Boyfriend." It was also published in a Jan 27, 2010 blog titled "The Six Degrees of Separation from Human Trafficking." And it was published in a Jun 23, 2010 Shebayer blog, with the same title as the caption that I used in this Flickr page. It was also published in a Jul 12, 2010 blog titled "3 sure fire ways to not hear someone." And it was published in a Jul 25, 2010 blog titled "Ellas también ignoran lo que les contamos."

Moving into 2012 (what happened to 2011?) the photo was published in a Jun 22, 2012 blog titled "Here’s How The Human Mind Handles Conflicts Of Interest." And it was published in a Nov 19, 2012 blog titled "QUIZZES FOR GIRLS: Is my boyfriend ignoring me?"

Moving into 2013, the photo was published in a blog titled "Como superar a crise pós-separação."

Moving into 2014, the photo was published in an Aug 4, 2014 blog titled "The Silent Treatment Can Affect Your Relationship’s Future."

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In late June, I spent three afternoons walking up and down Broadway, on Manhattan’s Upper West Side, from 72nd Street to Columbia University at 115th Street. My objective was to photograph the variety of people sitting on park benches along what is formally known as the "Broadway malls" — ie., benches located on the north side and south side of the median strip that separates the uptown side of Broadway from the downtown side.

Since my travels did encompass three separate days, I saw an even wider variety than I might have seen on a single afternoon; on the other hand, the pictures all reflect a single season. At Toni’s suggestion, I’m going to make a similar photo-journal in the fall, winter, and spring — to see if there are entirely different people, or whether it’s basically the same people, but wearing different clothes…

In any case, on this occasion I saw young and old, black and white, men and women, rich and poor — students, children, retired people, widows, widowers, homeless people, construction workers, babysitters, and tourists. As is common in today’s society, a remarkable number of them were chatting on cellphones; but it was refreshing to see that many of them were chatting with each other. It was also a little sad to see several people sitting alone, with a wistful, melancholy look on their face.

Most of the park benches were occupied, though a few were empty. Most of the empty benches were fairly uninteresting, but a few looked sufficiently inviting that I felt they deserved a photo of their own.

For the most part, I ignored the photo opportunities that I saw on the sidewalk as I strolled along. But there were two major exceptions, as you’ll see midway through this collection: a young man with a bubble-making gadget, blowing the largest soap-bubbles I have ever seen; and a chess game between two middle-aged men. I also photographed a few of the street signs along the way — actually, I photographed *every* street sign, so that I could identify (and geotag) the location of all the other photographs.

I must have looked fairly serious as I went about my picture-taking activities, for three different people asked me if I was a photographer; and two different people asked me if I liked the Nikon D300 that I was using. As for the subjects of the pictures: most didn’t even realize I was photographing them, for I took advantage of a long telephoto lens to shoot them from afar. But a few did notice, and I got a couple of smiles and scowls. If any of them do happen to stumble upon the Flickr site where these pictures will live, I hope they’ll feel I’ve treated them kindly… I love them all …

Posted by Ed Yourdon on 2008-07-01 01:06:45

Tagged: , Broadway , Manhattan , benches , Broadway Malls , couple , cellphone , crotch , magazine , apart , ignoring , boyfriend , girlfriend , reading , Streets of New York

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