Sunday, March 1, 2009

Girl in Bensonhurst

On the advice of Heather, (see January 6th posting) we drove to Bensonhurst, NY on Saturday to photograph a woman who worked at the Istanbul, a fast food restaurant on Bay Parkway.

"Every time I go there," Heather told us, "I just can't keep my eyes off her." That seemed a good recommendation.
We found the Istanbul and there was the woman. She stood behind the counter taking the money. We looked, neither of us saying anything.

"Can't be her," I said.

"No, can't be her," Caroline repeated. "I'll ring Heather."

"Chubby cheeks, short black hair slicked down, large?"

I saw that Caroline was being told that it was indeed her. I wondered yet again about the question of who the camera likes and who knows who the camera likes.

After lunch we walked back towards the car. A young woman passed us. Caroline and I looked at each other as if to say, now there's someone, and without a moment's hesitation Caroline was off down the street to ask if I could photograph her. This was difficult because the street we were on had an overhead subway track running above it with a train passing. Caroline shouted and the girl removed her iPod earphones. Her mother and her brother were with her and were on their way out to lunch at Burger King.
Her brother, who is about he same age asked if he could also be photographed and his mother said no,"This is your sister's thing."

The girl is twenty and never liked high school, did not graduate, but now is trying to get her General Equivalency Diploma
. She loves fashion she told me. We gave her the URL of this blog. I hope she will see the picture and find a job she likes.


  1. sometimes karma indeed goes the right needed "can't be her" to lead you to " damn...I'll get HER." Effortlessly stunning - both the subject and the execution...

  2. Andrea, your nice karma twist prompts further thoughts on getting the job done. The hard part is stopping people going about their business. Nobody moves slowly especially on a cold day. You feel why should they stop and listen to these two strangers. What affrontary! But people do stop, and they seldom are rude even if they turn you down. I think too that it is nice if someone takes an interest in how you look.

  3. Very beautiful…sorry the original girl didn’t work out for you, but at least it wasn’t a wasted trip. Just goes to show you beauty is in the eye of the beholder!

  4. If seems that the camera likes her but she isn't too sure that she likes the camera. That's what makes it interesting.


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