Smoke Gets In Your Eyes

The fact that I chronicle Downtown Crossing is purely accidental.  Four years ago, I choose a place to work in this area, based solely on the fact that it was close to South Station.  I had visited the area just a few times before that and once as a teenager.  I couldn’t have imagined that one day it would become where I worked and in a lot of ways the inspiration for the photographs I take.

On its surface, Downtown Crossing is just about the most uninspiring place on earth.  Its just a bunch of streets intertwined in an almost sensible pattern, nearly unheard of in Boston.  There are stores and businesses there but its not Fifth Avenue or Union Square or any of the other famous thoroughfares in the world.

But when you take a closer look, it becomes so much more interesting.  A lot of the buildings are very old and when you walk by them you notice new details about them every time.  There are two other great things about the place.  There are a lot of straight lines and clear places to shoot where you are unobstructed.  And the light is magnificent at times.  Just out of this world, creating patterns of shadows that never cease to amaze me.  Sometimes when I am on my way to work, I have to stop myself from taking photos of every shadow around, because I’ve done them before.  Sometimes, I just don’t.

One of my favorite movies of all time is a movie called “Smoke” with Harvey Keitel and William Hurt.  It revolves around a smoke shop in Brooklyn.  Harvey Keitel plays the owner of the aforementioned smoke shop and he has a Canon AE-1 that he shoots pictures of the passerby’s of the store every single day, 365 days a year.  I feel like that sometimes.  I feel like I’m this person who just shoots Downtown Crossing in all of its moods, feelings and incarnations.

Oh yeah, so after this long explanation, some recent photos of my “muse”:

boston downtown crossing woman with red shoes red hair red shirt red bag boston downtown crossing shadows boston downtown crossing person waiting in doorway boston downtown crossing man in bruins shirt

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