Photo Essay

Sleepers: The Homeless In NYC

Sleepers 4

One morning while in NYC a couple years back, I took an early morning walk in search of coffee and some images. I came across a small park by the Flatiron building that seemed to be a hub for the homeless to sleep in. As I walked around the park I photographed those sleeping in the rough on benches, bases of statues, and generally anywhere they could off of the ground. As I walked and took photos at a respectable distance (70-300mm) I watched the locals just pass by these people as if they were not even there.

While I felt a certain apprehension about photographing them because of their plight, I also felt that this was something important to capture. These people, through whatever life's path has given them, ended up with all of their belongings in this park on these benches slumped over and asleep because there was nowhere else for them to go. I had just come from my hotel, they, had another experience behind them, and yet another day of homelessness ahead.

I could empathize though with them because at one time, for a couple of nights, I was "homeless" in Europe as I had run out of money and was having some wired to me. So, I have slept rough on the church stairs in France. It's not the same I know.. But.. I can empathize as people passed seeing me sleeping curled up under the cornice of a church entry.

These people though seemed to have been out there longer...

Welcome to the recession.

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2 responses

  • Michele Wambaugh

    Michele Wambaugh (Deleted) said (1 Apr 2012):

    Well done! voted

  • Michael Veith

    Michael Veith said (1 Apr 2012):

    Very Good!

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