The Harlem Hood
Walking through Harlem a week or so ago - somehow that has become the measure of time for me lately, the weeks or so that collide into months and years, I had the pleasure of meeting these charming gentlemen working on the old Lincoln. I asked if they would mind my taking some photos. "Why sure," said the man in the pink and purple beanie, "but first you gotta tell me, what's the latest in the Ukraine?" What to say?
How is it that your pictures do not look posed? Just matter of fact natural? Even the guy’s statement about the Ukraine lets me know they felt at ease with you. You have got some gift, lady! Bravo!
Interesting questions and so many kind words, thank you Annie! I’m not too sure about the answers . . . . but “taking photos” is more often than not the least of it in such situations where conversation is more the central point. Maybe it’s a NY thing where everyone has an opinion and doesn’t care about holding back!
Patti, you’re a genius.. Me, I’m still trying. Love your work. Will reblog.
Tom, you are too kind and certainly not alone in the “still trying” basket, we’re all in that one together!
Reblogged this on tomwisk and commented:
A view of America we might ignore. Patti the ex-pat sees us as we can’t.
Thank you Tom for the re-blog.
Interesting characters you managed to befriend on that day. I visited a work companion once in Spanish Harlem.
I never ventured there again. It seemed a bit unsafe for me. You were able to capture their street life very well.
Interesting to see what you would make of it if you were to visit there now Isadora. Obviously I have no comparison between now and then but I have met enough people who tell me stories about the wild west shoot outs etc in different parts of NYC back in the day.
I’m constantly trying to organize my mind. I have a bunch of things in there that would be so interesting.
One of them is about the ‘Wild West in Harlem’ which is what I’d call it. My husband was in a Harlem
precinct or some time. And … yes … it was back in the day as you said. I think it’s because I lived through
the experience that I’m hesitant about writing about it. I suppose it would be similar to the wife of a soldier
at war to talk about his experiences. I guess my point is … believe it – it’s true. ~~~~ : – O
Patti, you are always calling to my mind memories of days gone by. GREAT posts – as always.
You really have a talent to portrait people…
Thank you kindly blueberrie!
I should imagine you weren’t stuck for an answer, as you got your shots. And your answer must have good, because these are very good shots. You do what you do very well Patti.
Lignum, I never have an answer for anything! A few more questions maybe . . . The three men bounced off each other very well! Thank you Lignum for your vote of confidence, so much appreciated!
Excellent portraits, they are alive! It’s the result of an open connection between the photographer and the subject. Which you are very good at. Well done! Now about Ukraine…
It was a spirited situation Robert and they sure gave it a good shot with trying to sort out the Ukraine. Thank you so much for kind words!
Fun set and backstory – they guy who asked about events in the Ukraine was clearly feeling you out :>)
Happy enough to be felt out when it’s so upfront, thanks Pat!
I love your work, Patti. Hardcore real.
As for the latest in the Ukraine? Well, they might be on the brink of civil war.
Their exiled president has found refuge with Putin, Ukrainian soldiers appearing to act like pro-Russian guerrilas have taken up tactical and strategic positions around the capital, Russian corvettes and frigates have taken up strategic positions of shore, and Putin is getting ready to re-annex the Crimea.
Life is better when working on an old Lincoln.
Allan, I am so embarrassed to think how naive I was when communism collapsed, the Berlin Wall came down, and love it or hate it, you could get a Starbucks in China. So much for living happily ever after, one big happy family. Whoever expected the Crimea to become a part of our modern history in world writ large of potential events? You’re right about the Lincoln!
All of us together around a Lincoln- that’s kind of how I see it. Your photography gets it done. Your work is so, so good- on all levels.
The world needs more Lincolns! Thank you so much Christine!
The first man is warm and relaxed. Obviously these gentlemen trusted your appearance and your camera. Do you introduce yourself and your blog when you make pictures of strangers?
Oooh Nina, more tricky questions! Names and introductions come later, as the situation develops. I have cards which I sometimes give out, or when I remember, and if people want a copy of a photo they are more than welcome to email me for a copy. Unless of course it is a quick shot with a passing nod or thumbs up. Obviously I could go on and on and on . . ..
I have cards, too. But I only use them to introduce my blog, as I never dare to ask people if I may take their picture. Which I do wish I would…
Did you take photos, and then dive in under the car’s hood with a wrench and screw driver? It strikes me that you would do that kind of thing, and all as you discussed the Ukraine.
I wish! Now if only I knew what to do under the hood . . . .
You surely do get candid shots. Clearly being comfortable in your surroundings is key. Margie
It helps that people of a certain age don’t automatically go into Facebook pose at the sight of a camera, you know that thing they do with fingers, thumbs and tongues . . .
Great captured. You have really an eye for the right moment. I like your style in storytelling and photography.
You are very kind, thank you so much Stefan.
I love the question about the Ukraine, you clearly had these guys relaxed, that is a gift when on the street taking photographs.
The question had a certain fizz to it that’s for sure! I have often said how grateful I am for the generosity of strangers (who don’t really feel like strangers at all . . .) in the street and thank you so much Mark for your generosity here!
Hehe, what a moment. And you got a glimpse in the eye and all. Very good!
Glad you enjoyed the moment, thank you Bente!!!
Wonderful, relaxed shots – what I love about your shots is you make it look so easy (ha, ha, he laughed bitterly)!
Of course you know there is so much I could say in reply to you of all people who just happens to be a master of the fine portrait. . . . a big thank you Richard!
The best! Narrative shots with intelligence and heart, clearly caught with tons of know-how.
Big, big thank you Elena!
Very much appreciated, thank you so much Rabirius!!!
This may be what you do best. People really seem comfortable with you. It’s wonderful. So funny that they thought you were Russian… or maybe they’re just putting yuo on. I love the coffee cup on the fender, and the coat – well observed!!!
Lyn, I keep forgetting I am the one with the foreign accent – it didn’t occur to me they thought I might be Russian but now you mention it . . . . 🙂
I missed that one. Great shots as so often is the case when ‘letting go’. I read a book about Ukrainian tractors some years ago. Great read.http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/A_Short_History_of_Tractors_in_Ukrainian
Thank you Gerard! So what did you make of Valentina . . . . ?
Well done, Patti. Nice.
You are sweet, thank you Ruth!!!
Yes, I wanted to hear your answers too, Patti. The photos are genuine. Love them!
But Paula, any answers I might have would only spoil the party! And to be honest, I don’t have the merest hint of an answer – I am completely dumbfounded. So pleased you enjoyed the shots and thank you so much for your kind words!
Incredible photographs, Patti – simply wonderful and so full of life!
That’s the streets of NY for you . . . thank you so much Stephia!
they are really charming 🙂
Joshi, they were so charming!
Great portraits Patti – Lincoln in Harlem had me thinking back to Superfly and the music of Curtis Mayfield 🙂
Thank you Martin and now for some Curtis Mayfield!
congrats, your appearance must be very charming, getting such a good contact easily!
Now now Frizz . . .
I like your courage, to talk to people when making portraits (not shy, acting with “stolen” portraits like so many other photographers) – compare my today’s post: http://flickrcomments.wordpress.com/2014/03/10/a-face-is-a-landscape/
I remember very well the portrait you took from the colored woman with curlers in her hair…
Thank you so much Rufus!
Good photos, but more importantly: good question: “What’s the latest
in the Ukraine?” The way I see it, the US & the EU is spreading their propaganda in their media. While on the other side, Russia is spreading their propaganda in their media. US/EU claims Russia wants to control Ukraine. Russia claims US/EU is trying to control Ukraine.
What’s the truth? It’s probably well hidden under all the bullshit there somewhere.
Cardinal, Tea Party and other Republican hotheads have been giving Obama a rough time for not being tough enough – or as Sarah Palin proudly announced the other day “Mr President, the only thing that stops a bad guy with a nuke is a good guy with a nuke.” What’s the truth? Gazprom!
The good, old fight over the world’s resources.
Brilliant job Patti; I love seeing what you see! Also, I remember I think another post of yours with an early 80’s (??) car. Love to see those pop up in your photo’s 🙂
(ps for some reason I’m having to enter my email etc even though I’m logged in to WP?? not sure if issue is my end or yours?)
Peter, NYC is a hidden nest egg of fabulous cars and proud owners with stories to tell! Sorry about the pain of email logging in and throwing that one firmly at WP because it has been happening to me when making (attempting) comments here and there . . .Thank you Peter and all best to you!
Love every one of this set Patti. You are the best!
That car looks awesome, never see them much in the UK. Love how you can rest a drink in front of the headlights haha such a big car wow.