Small Change

For me, there is something devastatingly moving about this photograph. Fragile, isolated and alone, a very elderly homeless woman sits in the burning heat of a Lexington Avenue summer afternoon. If I hadn’t taken it myself and came across the image with a caption declaring that it was shot on the streets of some third world country, or outside the walls of a refugee camp, I would have believed it. Amazing to think that Bloomingdale’s is only a couple of blocks north of her and the opulent stores on 5th Avenue a few blocks to the west.

Difficult to photograph and hard to comprehend.

Small Change

Click on image to enlarge

27 thoughts on “Small Change

  1. Another stunning and strong photo from you. Thanks for your commitment and your fine ability to show us the back of our rich part of the world.

  2. When I was young an artist stole a moment of me and put it on his canvas. Girl in blue he called it. He would have loved to offer me a warm place to sleep, whatever I needed, the image of me warming his blood, arousing his senses. Time has changed his mind, my appearance and opportunities. Still, I am stolen, a girl in blue.

  3. A really powerful image, Anton, and one that sets me thinking. You said (and I agree, the tears sprang to my eyes) that there’s something devastatingly moving about this photograph – but what is it, I asked myself, that made this woman’s plight more moving than that of the suited man in “Up Close and Far Away”? It’s the rage, I think, and imagining my mother sitting against those blue walls … How is it possible, in America?

  4. Poignant and powerful photo, Anton. It’s indeed impossible to comprehend. The gap between being rich or homeless on 5th is way beyond comprehension.
    groetjes, Francina

  5. Someone above asks “How is it possible, in America?”. I’d ask, how is it possible, anywhere? With modern communications, of which your blog is a small but powerful part, we – and I include politicians throughout the world in this we – can no longer claim “We didn’t know”. This lone elderly lady calls to us not only on behalf of herself, but the millions of children, and adults, throughout the world who are starving while ‘we’ throw away an estimated 80% of the food produced because our eyes are bigger than our bellies, because it is the ‘wrong’ shape or colour, or other ‘un-reasons’.

  6. That concrete is really hard in old bones. What is inside of the human body that won’t let us quit?

    That NYC mayor should worry less about oversize soda’s.

  7. Jesus! How you managed to photograph this little woman with such sensitivity is incredible. The wide expanse of “happy” blue with her tiny, fragile figure almost lost in it presents her plight in such a beautifully tragic way. It is far more effective than the gritty black and white images that have so desensitized us to the disparity that is life in America.

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