100 strangers project: #1 - Kindness and a Cappuccino
March 16, 2012
Massimo is a barman in l'Aquila.
I don't know much about him, since I was so excited about my first stranger shot that I didn't ask him anything; also, the moment I started shooting him some clients came into the bar, and I didn't want to keep him busy for too long.
The place where he works is really nice, with a tea room where I used to relax with my friends after photographing the city's red zone for the entire morning. It's your typical italian bar, where you can get awesome croissants with cappuccino, and where 90% of the clients know the barman by name. If I'm not mistaken, it's located at the beginning of the street that leads to the dome square. It's one of the few still open places in the old town centre.
Massimo reminds me of the kindness of the locals, and the smiles I found everywhere. When I told him this he replied that l'Aquila's people are actually rather bashful and shy... something that probably takes a bit more than two days to be noticed.
We chatted a bit and I explained what I was doing there; he told me about how l'Aquila was before the earthquake: "everyone used to know everyone here... you know, this city is more like a big village. If I wanted to meet you for example, all I had to do was going to the dome square and ask anyone, they would tell me. Now the whole city is desert, it's been like that for a long time". His eyes were sad while he said this.
When I asked him if I could take his portrait he immediately agreed, adding "but I'll break it!" referring to my camera. Who knows how many more times I will hear this joke during the project :P
While I was taking this picture his colleagues were laughing and making fun of him a little, but he was so nice that he just kept posing for me, super still, maybe a bit embarassed...
Thank you Massimo for being my first stranger!