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Veryn Parks, street musician - Jan 2009 - 2

Note: this photo was published in an undated (June 2011) "Pro Guitar Store" blog titled "John Peel Day."




Veryn Parks is a street musician who plays on Manhattan's Upper West Side; I noticed him this afternoon on Broadway & 88th Street, just after I had left the Ritz Camera store with a miraculously repaired Nikon D300 18-200mm zoom lens, and a sudden urge to use it to photograph something -- anything! -- to enjoy the pleasure of using my camera again.


I've noticed Veryn in this area on a few previous occasions, but I never photographed him before -- because I usually take "candid" photos of people on the street, when they're not aware of my presence. Veryn seems to watch everyone while he's playing, and I figured he would object to my photographic antics, so I left him alone...


But this time, I marched right up to him, asked him if he would mind taking his picture, and dropped some change into his open guitar case. He was quite friendly and agreeable, asked if he should spruce up and comb his hair ("no!" said I), and then kept on playing. Arlo_Guthrie's "City of New Orleans" and Billy Joel's "Piano Man" were two of the numbers he played while I wandered around and snapped him from several different angles...


Afterwards, I gave him one of my cards, and told him he'd be up on Flickr by the end of the day ... he seemed quite pleased, and thanked me profusely. But indeed it was I who should be thanking him; he brightened up my afternoon, and I can still hear the words of the songs he sang...

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Taken on January 23, 2009