Doormen

‘In the homes of America are born the children of America; and from them go out into American life, American men and women. They go out with the stamp of these homes upon them; and only as these homes are what they should be, will they be what they should be’

Josiah Gilbert Holland

The Bowery, Nolita

‘The ache for home lives in all of us, the safe place where we can go as we are and not be questioned’

Maya Angelou

1st Avenue & 85th Street, Upper East Side

‘Home is a name, a word, it is a strong one; stronger than magician ever spoke, or spirit ever answered to, in the strongest conjuration’

Charles Dickens

14th Street, West Side

‘A house is not a home unless it contains food and fire for the mind as well as the body’

Benjamin Franklin

Upper East Side

‘The strength of a nation derives from the integrity of the home’

Confucius

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48 thoughts on “Doormen

    • I see this guy around the East Side all the time in the day. This was the first time I got a glimpse of what his world is like at night. Thanks for the comment.

  1. The RAW, STARK emotion stirred by these photographs…in contrast to the tenderness of the narrative….makes for such a profound statement ……while, the subject matter is heart-wrenching and difficult to see….
    I stand in awe of your presentation….so very well done!!

    • ‘Home’ is a strange word and means many different things to different people. ‘Homeless’ is more defined I think. Thanks Kirsten for taking the time to comment.

  2. Such a gap between the need to see and the want to see in these images. It’s really hard looking at them. A really sad indictment of our current state of affairs. We should probably amend the quote on the Statue of Liberty…

  3. In my youth I wanted to photograph these sorts of scenarios but couldn’t bring myself to invade these people’s privacy as I felt it was like photographing freak shows in a circus. (and it would probably have been dangerous for me too) I don’t know why, but these images no longer evoke the horror they did in my youth, and somehow I find them beautiful. Crazy. Perhaps that’s a commentary on media saturation and the loss of our immediate humanity, or maybe just the wisdom of time that every decision or indecision in life, is a choice. Beautiful work L&R.

    • There is a fine line between exploitation and social journalism and it is big step across that line. I can understand your reluctance. I guess we live and hopefully learn. Thanks for the comment.

  4. I once got a picture one day of a man in the street like this and as I took the picture he looked up at the camera. It’s still one of my favourites. Street photography always makes me a little bit nervous and worried about people’s reactions but it provides great ‘documentary’ style images. Love photographs of things like this, these are great!

  5. Home is security, love, belonging, comfortable (well ideally it is, and for a lot of us it is our total experience) but homelessness is total lack of these things.
    I had not placed these thoughts together before your series here.
    Sobering thought.

    8 years ago I was taken along a main street in Manhatten in the morning rush hour, and was deeply saddened to see people sleeping on the pavement, protected from cold, rain, and pedestrians’ feet only by opened up cardboard boxes.

    Thank you for showing these men at peace, and in fine weather. “Al Fresco in the city” but somehow that emphasises that things are not always so peaceful.

  6. All of these are beautiful … thoughtful. Very nice work indeed. I too enjoy capturing images as you do … but I have always been shy of photographing people. I don’t really know why. I appreciate your ability to do so. D

  7. Simply breathtaking! Consider yourself “followed.” And thanks for stopping by my blog. After seeing your work I’m humbled that you took the time to like my NY post!

  8. The b&w is equally powerful. You use it so well too. All of your photographs are direct and sensitive at the same time. That requires a sensibility that few possess. You do.

  9. This would also be an interesting project in San Francisco. There are many homeless here who you see everyday because that’s the neighborhood they live in. I was on a video shoot for Salvation Army in SF and during this particular shoot we went around at night feeding homeless and giving out socks, it was eye opening: http://youtu.be/iMCHvQQarNo . I’ve always wanted to photograph the homeless here but have not got up the guts, thanks for sharing.

    • The salvation Army do a fantastic job. I think your video shows that the ‘homeless’ can come from any walk of life and it could happen to any of us should the fates conspire against us. Thanks for the comment.

  10. Awesome. Thanks for revealing the real doormen, ones you find in every American city. Imagine how some of us don’t feel truly safe behind locked doors; this is true vulnerability, and you’ve captured it brilliantly.

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