Navigating the perils of Broadway and 79th Street

Navigating the perils of Broadway and 79th Street

Image by Ed Yourdon
This was taken on the east side of Broadway, at the intersection of 79th Street; I was on the south side of the street, and these two women were on the north side.

I assume that the younger woman on the right was a caretaker/assistant, and that perhaps the couple had been out shopping somewhere in the neighborhood …

But what impressed me the most about this scene was the dignity and the bravery and the grace of the elderly woman on the left. Look how well she’s dressed and made up, and look at her determination to navigate her way along what seems to be a very minor transition from the sidewalk to the actual street between the north side and the south side of 79th street…

Note: this photo was published in a Mar 19, 2009 blog titled Spinal Cord Stimulation Shows Promise for Treating Parkinson’s Disease." It was also published as an illustration-link to an article titled "Preventing falls in the elderly ."

Moving into 2010, the photo was published in a Mar 2, 2010 blog titled "Caring for a Loved One with Parkinson’s: Keep Them Active." And it was published in a Jun 27, 2010 CancerType blog , with the same title as the caption that I used on this Flickr page. It was also published in a Nov 8, 2010 blog titled "The cost of care at home." For some bizarre reason, it was also published in a Nov 23, 2010 blog titled "What would u do if i licked your face?" And it was published in a Dec 1, 2010 blog titled "La cuisine de la dépendance." It was also published in a Dec 8, 2010 blog titled "Disease Management versus Cure, Part 1."

Moving into 2011, the photo was published in a Feb 15th "Cool Young Women Health Questions images, with the same caption and detailed notes that I had written for this Flickr page. And it was published in a Sep 11, 2011 blog titled "The cycle repeats."

Moving into 2012, the photo was published in a Jul 13, 2012 blog titled "Pain In Lower Right Abdomen- Diagnosing And Treatment," as well as a Sep 2, 2012 blog titled "Heel Pain & Ankle Pain." It was also published in a Sep 7, 2012 blog titled "Understanding Your Nighttime Sweating." And it was published in an undated (mid-Sep 2012) blog titled "Symptoms Of Hemorrhoids And H Miracle," as well as a Sep 20, 2012 blog titled "Pain In Lower Left Abdomen Caused By Minor Problems," and a Sep 24, 2012 blog titled "Why Is It That We Get Fever Blisters?" It was also published in a Sep 28, 2012 blog titled "What is NAFLD and Its Issues." And it was published in an Oct 14, 2012 blog titled "Feet Pain & Ankle Pain."


This is part of an evolving photo-project, which will probably continue throughout the summer of 2008, and perhaps beyond: a random collection of "interesting" people in a broad stretch of the Upper West Side of Manhattan — between 72nd Street and 104th Street, especially along Broadway and Amsterdam Avenue.

I don’t like to intrude on people’s privacy, so I normally use a telephoto lens in order to photograph them while they’re still 50-100 feet away from me; but that means I have to continue focusing my attention on the people and activities half a block away, rather than on what’s right in front of me.

I’ve also learned that, in many cases, the opportunities for an interesting picture are very fleeting — literally a matter of a couple of seconds, before the person(s) in question move on, turn away, or stop doing whatever was interesting. So I’ve learned to keep the camera switched on (which contradicts my traditional urge to conserve battery power), and not worry so much about zooming in for a perfectly-framed picture … after all, once the digital image is uploaded to my computer, it’s pretty trivial to crop out the parts unrelated to the main subject.

For the most part, I’ve deliberately avoided photographing bums, drunks, drunks, and crazy people. There are a few of them around, and they would certainly create some dramatic pictures; but they generally don’t want to be photographed, and I don’t want to feel like I’m taking advantage of them. I’m still looking for opportunities to take some "sympathetic" pictures of such people, which might inspire others to reach out and help them. We’ll see how it goes …

The only other thing I’ve noticed, thus far, is that while there are lots of interesting people to photograph, there are far, far, *far* more people who are *not* so interesting. They’re probably fine people, and they might even be more interesting than the ones I’ve photographed … but there was just nothing memorable about them.

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3 Responses to Navigating the perils of Broadway and 79th Street

  1. kilrenny says:

    looks like she is looking at the reflection in the water by the kerb saying "that’s not me is it?"

  2. Ed Yourdon says:

    Interesting possibility … maybe you’re right. However, having watched several elderly people walking on the streets of NYC, I suspect this woman was mostly concerned about the possibility of a six-inch drop from the sidewalk to the street…

  3. homesteadbound says:

    I used this picture in an article I wrote: Thanks for the shot!

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