Penn Quarter on a Snowy Day

I write this amidst a snowstorm that is covering DC area with snow that it has not witnessed before.  This year has been interesting with how much snow we have seen.  It has been a delight – with lots of photo opportunities.

Last Saturday, Georgetown vs Duke basketball game did not deter the lovers.  Long queues and ticket sales colored the white snow and the entourage of police cars that covered the area for our President showed up for a good part of the game.

Penn Quarter and Chinatown is building its own character… distinct from the power circles that dominate most part of NW.  There is color, restaurants, moods, and music …albeit within a few blocks.  On one side there is the Portrait gallery, the Spy museum, bunch of hotels, and there are small hoops which sell bus tickets for New York, restaurants, and most importantly people of all kinds.

Another interesting thing I notice is the sale of this paper called “street sense”.  Last Saturday there were quite a few hot young girls … on another day more seasoned street paper seller.

I was able to strike a conversation with one pretty color who seem to be quite persistent that I buy one paper from her.  I usually dont do that in exchange for a picture.  So I explained and walked away… although I was kinda torn to disappoint a pretty girl.  On another occasion, this African American seller did not want to be photographed but then after a few ups and down in the street corner made him change his mind.  “Come over you dont need to buy a paper.  Just take my picture.”  We then struck a conversation and he showed how he is trying to make a business by coming up with catchy slogans – mostly on Obama.  “Interesting,” I said and moved on.

These are few instances which among others that make my life as a street photographer quite fulfilling.  It takes a bit of moving out of comfort zone to talk to a stranger and ask a picture.  Many times like the paper seller, it takes a bit of familiarity – even if it s walking around him a few times – to break that ice.  But I have to admit, every time the ice is broken, and I get across another human being in the planet — connect with him, get to know a little bit about his world — I find myself fulfilled.  It is this joy of constantly exploring the human condition around me and documenting in pictures that make my life enriching.

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