The Fallen

Sometimes it is not about finding a ‘bed’ for the night, sometimes it is just about closing down and leaving your reality. Sometimes your day becomes your night. Welcome to ‘The Fallen’ or ‘Sleeping with the light on’.

1st Avenue, Upper East side

‘Church Steps’ Harlem, 125th Street

(sleeping it off) ‘Off Broadway’, Manhattan

‘Man Down’ (and out) on the West side

‘Lost’ off 10th Avenue. Just after I took this photograph, a passing nurse called the ambulance because this guy was swelling up. I (really, really) hope this was not the last photograph of his life.

48 thoughts on “The Fallen

    • Thanks Don. I Guess if I lived somewhere else I would photograph other stuff. Sadly this is all around me so I shoot that. Thank you for taking the time to comment.

    • Thanks, it is a growing problem. sadly, the more people see this out on the streets the more they develop a dismissive attitude. familiarity leads to contempt I guess. Thank you for the comment.

  1. I like the shots, even if they break my heart. Until today I have always avoided photographing people sleeping rough out of sheer embarrassment, I guess.

  2. Wow, yeah, these are great, and really sad at the same time. I too hope that last guy is going to be okay. Is there anyway for you to find out?

  3. The United States can be a very brutal place to be if you are poor….In many U.S. cities, it is illegal to even sleep on the street. If you are homeless… I am not sure what you are supposed to do? Who could ever forget 2007 and the sight of the police in St. Petersburg, Florida using box cutters to slash up the tents of the homeless….As painful as these images of yours are to see….it is something WE MUST SEE….

    • Thanks Kirsten, this is an everyday occurrence in most cities in America, not pretty or how the politicians in New York (including that Bloomberg person) would want this great city to be depicted, but it is here, it is real, it is now and it is not going away anytime soon. Shame on them and shame on their corporate extravagance.

    • I appreciate your continued support. From someone who has received Emmy, Peabody and DuPont journalism awards it makes me feel very humble, thank you. New York is indeed a city of social contrasts.

  4. Just a heads up, I might call on you for an interview on homeless photography in street photography and photojournalism.

    Powerful stuff. Controversial (absolutely necessary and informative in a can’t hide it away sort of way, in my opinion) but direct and honest.

    Keep on shooting.

  5. Addiction crosses all socioeconomic boundaries. Our society as a whole is growing dependent on all forms of pharmaceuticals, both legal and illegal. Fear is the basis for all of our problems. Thank you for being your authentic self and sharing your sensitivities to your surroundings. Your gifts are lovely. 🙂

    • Fear does seem to be a constant throughout. Does the addiction lead to the situation or does the situation lead to the addiction? Thank you for your comment Jane, much appreciated.

      • Both. These people are in pain. But whatever their current circumstance may be, there is always hope. It’s sometimes frustrating for those of us that consider ourselves mentally healthy to understand the paths that lead them to these situations. Every one of them has a unique story. Like you, I am moved by them all. We humans are a fascinating lot.

  6. Really good photographs! I’ve been a lot to India and seen some really shocking scenes but over there i kind of expect to see it. Didn’t expect to see this in New York. Actually in London I haven’t seen this! I think you’re totally right about familiarity. I’ve seen commuters in India stepping over sleeping children dressed in rags to make their train!! Quite incredible!! Nice job, really like your work!

    • Thank you very much. I lived in London for 10 years before moving to NY and never saw anything quite like the homeless situation here. Sadly, it seems to be getting worse.

  7. New York, for some a dream , for some a nightmare . iI have been to New York and I have seen people like the ones in your photographs . It gives you a feel of powerlessness , because you would like to help them all but you can’.t , there are too many. It also makes you feel grateful for what you have.. a roof above your head and food on the table every day. As I said before sad and poignant photos. But sadly enough it’s reality.

    Ciao, Francina

  8. I’m sure there are those who can’t relate to this, how fortunate they are. The world is not a bowl of cherries, people are suffering poverty, addiction, loneliness, thank you for bringing this home.

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