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Our Fair City
April 24, 2013 6:41 AM   Subscribe

Portraits of Boston
posted by backseatpilot (37 comments total) 16 users marked this as a favorite

 
Those are lovely, and remind me of Humans of New York.
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 6:45 AM on April 24, 2013


Very nicely done. There is a certain boldness in asking strangers to let you take their picture. This photographer has set the subjects at ease and gotten great portraits.
posted by blob at 6:48 AM on April 24, 2013


Very nice photos that highlight the diversity of a place and how although people might look very different, their dreams are often similar.
posted by Seymour Zamboni at 6:55 AM on April 24, 2013


Miss you, Boston. Be well. If you ever get over your whole "Winter" thing, maybe we can be together again.
posted by Rock Steady at 6:56 AM on April 24, 2013


Fionna!
posted by Rock Steady at 6:58 AM on April 24, 2013 [1 favorite]


Not many plain, young people....which squares with my memory of all the Emerson students in Back Bay. :7)
posted by wenestvedt at 7:05 AM on April 24, 2013


The Humans of New York blog went to Boston last week and it looks like this one Harvard physics student got pictured on both blogs, wearing the same flannel.
posted by Corduroy at 7:19 AM on April 24, 2013


What happened to this city? The Boston response to being approached by a stranger in public is to ignore them and eventually tell them to fuck off if they persist. And it's why I love this place so much. Hopefully we can get past this warm-and-fuzzy shit in a couple weeks and go back to leaving each other alone.
posted by Mayor Curley at 7:29 AM on April 24, 2013 [9 favorites]


Well I'm wohrkin pawt time cuttin heyah but ahm gettin my degree too, in Medicul Billing. Everything else is nunna yoah beeswax!
posted by Potomac Avenue at 7:40 AM on April 24, 2013


Nah, Mayor Curley, the Boston response is to tell the stranger exactly what you think, which is why this works so well.
posted by lunasol at 7:42 AM on April 24, 2013 [4 favorites]


yea I think this is definitely HONY - same photo style, same caption style as him.
posted by sweetkid at 7:42 AM on April 24, 2013


Best.
posted by ColdChef at 7:56 AM on April 24, 2013 [4 favorites]


thanks ColdChef, I'm going to share that with my parents.
posted by sweetkid at 7:58 AM on April 24, 2013


It’s Japanese street fashion called “Lolita.”

“Like the book?”

“No, no, it has nothing to do with the book. It’s an unfortunate coincidence.”
Sure it is.
posted by Kirth Gerson at 8:05 AM on April 24, 2013 [5 favorites]


From the first post in this series:

Whenever I am tempted to give up on this project I will look at her photo to remind myself that you just never know what amazing people you might meet the next time you wander the streets. I know that people often ask those who take street portraits “How do you do it? How can you just walk up to a stranger and ask them for a picture?” When I look at Taryn I wonder “How can you NOT?”
posted by ColdChef at 8:08 AM on April 24, 2013


The Boston response to being approached by a stranger in public is to ignore them and eventually tell them to fuck off if they persist.

Much like the Boston response to most traffic situations is to flip someone off and do all you can so they cannot merge into your lane, it is my hope that one-by-one we can change these responses until we don't all (rightly) have the reputation as being assholes.

Ain't nothing wrong with warm and fuzzy. Unless you're talking about yogurt.
posted by bondcliff at 8:45 AM on April 24, 2013 [1 favorite]


Portrait of Boston.
posted by Decani at 8:55 AM on April 24, 2013


Being a Masshole doesn't mean you have to be an asshole too.
posted by maryr at 9:03 AM on April 24, 2013 [4 favorites]


But it helps.
posted by yerfatma at 9:17 AM on April 24, 2013 [3 favorites]


I was being somewhat facetious in my initial response, but I don't understand what's assholish about the expectation to be left alone. Have you met the public? Those people are idiots. If I wanted to have conversations with strangers, I'd move to Philadelphia or some other place where that's the custom. New Englanders are supposed to mind their own business.

A stranger might be a friend I haven't met; s/he also might be someone who wants to tell you about Jesus or how a cabal of werewolves run the world. I generally don't want to take that chance and it should be my decision to make without judgement.
posted by Mayor Curley at 9:29 AM on April 24, 2013 [5 favorites]


He's Mayor Curley, people. I think he knows whereof he speaks.

(I didn't know who Mayor Curley was until I read the article further up the main page about the Hasidic takeover of that upstate New York school district. Metafilter is a daily education, I tell you what.)
posted by sy at 9:54 AM on April 24, 2013 [1 favorite]


Newbury Street, Boston. Quite possibly the best street in the world for photographing strangers.

Eh. I think this quote just says it all. All of the photos are taken in popular, easily accessible and friendly places that are full of college students, tourists, fashion dickheads and dapper old people. Sure, that's all a part of the city I know and love, but it's not at all representative of the whole. It's all the people that you'd see on the sidewalk from a Duck tour. I'll stand with the Mayor on this, if I see this photographer out and about I will likely tell them to fuck off.
posted by kuujjuarapik at 9:54 AM on April 24, 2013 [1 favorite]


I see this photographer out and about I will likely tell them to fuck off.

Luckily for the photographer (and New York) he's back in New York.
posted by sweetkid at 9:58 AM on April 24, 2013


if I see this photographer out and about I will likely tell them to fuck off.

I might politely decline to have my picture taken.

A stranger might be a friend I haven't met; s/he also might be someone who wants to tell you about Jesus or how a cabal of werewolves run the world.

Based on my recent Facebook feed, these people are friends I have met.
posted by bondcliff at 10:11 AM on April 24, 2013


Aaaand this thread is a very good example of why I moved away.
posted by Mizu at 10:11 AM on April 24, 2013 [1 favorite]


I moved away for a few years and I couldn't wait to move back. Different strokes.
posted by kuujjuarapik at 10:19 AM on April 24, 2013


Boston, after a quick lookup is 48 square miles, the Backbay and Public Garden where I expect most photos are taken are 8-10 blocks of upscale shopping, hotels, restaurants and office workers. There is an inner city but when I've biked around there it's really the potholes that are dangerous. Parts of the downtown streets are pretty confusing so asking for directions could be problematic and I can see folks being impatient, but other than being reserved I don't seem to run into many really unpleasant.
posted by sammyo at 10:30 AM on April 24, 2013


Our Fair City

<pedant>Cambridge?</pedant>
posted by benito.strauss at 11:23 AM on April 24, 2013 [5 favorites]


To be fair, half the photos were taken in Harvard Square so I stand by my post title.

also shut up

posted by backseatpilot at 11:57 AM on April 24, 2013 [4 favorites]


We're not all Mayor Churlies up here, I promise.
posted by Rustic Etruscan at 12:45 PM on April 24, 2013 [1 favorite]


True. Some of us are Clerk Curleys, Superintendent Curleys and so forth.
posted by preparat at 1:13 PM on April 24, 2013


He's Mayor Curley, people. I think he knows whereof he speaks.

The real James Michael used to have lines of the public outside his fair home (with shamrock cutouts in the shutters, of course) every Sunday, looking for help.
posted by yerfatma at 1:29 PM on April 24, 2013


Having seen the pictures, I can't second this - Not many plain, young people....which squares with my memory of all the Emerson students in Back Bay. :7) - enough. Makes me want to get exercising, eating less, taking better care of my face. But of course the photographer is selecting from whatever photos he took over the course of a day.
posted by Rustic Etruscan at 4:28 PM on April 24, 2013


Very nice photos and layout. Makes me want to be friends of every one of her subjects. Some of the comments on this thread are however asinine and pissy. I do not wish to know or even meet those people. It is one thing to be an a** hole and another to proudly proclaim how much you want to tell another to f*ck off. Hats off to the nice ones in Boston.
posted by shockingbluamp at 4:30 PM on April 24, 2013


Ack, didn't realize the photographer was a woman. Sorry!
posted by Rustic Etruscan at 4:41 PM on April 24, 2013


I like these. Also, I get bored of the idea that interesting people only appear in New York, which is an unfortunate (and no doubt unintended) implication of HONY.
posted by unreadyhero at 9:10 PM on April 24, 2013


Some of the comments on this thread are however asinine and pissy. I do not wish to know or even meet those people.

Well, it stands to logic that the people who want to be left alone don't want to meet you either.
posted by Mayor Curley at 6:18 AM on April 25, 2013 [2 favorites]


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