Sisyphus on Broadway

Hard to imagine the wearying life of this elderly woman. Her whole day, every day (I guess), is spent moving ‘home’. I watched as she gradually made her way along Broadway. First pushing one trolly of her belongings a few yards up the road, parking it carefully, then going back for another, then another, then another, plus the added pain of dragging an assortment of tatty plastic bags, old coats, blankets etc until her worldly goods were lined up again a short distance away. Then she began the whole process once more. This almost Sisyphean task repeated itself over and over. Where she was heading can only be guessed at, the intensity and obsessional dedication to her task was heartbreaking. A few blocks away, Times Square rattles to the sound of cash registers as tourists throw dollars around like confetti, neon signs battle each other for fresh trade, every street corner heaves with vendors offering something that you cannot live without (possibly?). While ‘The Crossroads of the World’ is awash with wide eyed dreams and excited anticipation, quietly and interminably, she continues her journey. Welcome to New York.

Sisyphus on Broadway

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24 thoughts on “Sisyphus on Broadway

  1. She has so much stuff makes me wonder if some of it is stuff she’s collected to sell? Like bottles or cans possibly?
    Can’t tell. A friend of mine once spent a week under a bridge with a homeless community. Most were Vets. Pretty sad.

    • Not bottles or cans, they were her belongings. Bad enough being homeless but also having a compulsion to hoard must make her life unbearable. Thanks for the comment.

  2. You have a very fine eye and a good way of telling your story. Poor old lady, but then again, I think somehow that she makes her own decisions. Or thinking about it, that she may be have run out of good choices. NY must be very tough that way.

    • Thank you, who knows how she got to this point in her life. New York is tough, it is all about winners and losers with a huge gap between the two.

  3. Awesome post. I imagine for many in this position, it’s the Sispyhean tasks that beat away insanity. …or possibly block the retreat from it I suppose… We may never know, and may we never know.

  4. I have witnessed a similar sight on the hot desert streets of Phoenix and have wondered at the resiliency of the human body and spirit…pressing onward despite our circumstances…because we’d rather do so than not. I love the heart-breaking raw-ness of your work…. Thank you.

  5. your words are as beautifully compelling as are your images…

    with gratitude for visiting me today thus leading me to my wander through what is NYC… a place I have never been and think likely will never be.

    • Thank you, there are two sides to every coin and my work tends to be about the side that always lands face down on the spin. I appreciate your comment.

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