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I may need two canes, but I'm faster than you! | by Ed Yourdon
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I may need two canes, but I'm faster than you!

This was taken on the west side of Broadway, just south of 86th Street. There's a pizza place on the right side of the sidewalk, where I had lunch every day in an earlier era when I didn't have to worry so much about calories and carbohydrates; and there's a bus stop just to the left of this couple, which perhaps they were navigating towards.


The remarkable thing that's illustrated by this picture is that elderly people -- apparently a couple, in this case, but often solitary souls with no assistance at all -- are energetic enough, brave, enough, and determined enough to navigate around their neighborhood, and often all around the city, with their cane(s), their walkers, or their wheelchairs.


If indeed they were walking over to the street, in order to get on a public bus, there's a good chance that it was one of the newer buses that has only a single 3-inch step upward required to enter the bus; after that, it's all level, so that physically challenged people can find a seat without any further discomfort...


Note: this photo was published on Oct 23, 2008 in a blog entitled "Caring Currents," in an article entitled "Fall Prevention: Take Steps to Keep Seniors Steady." And it was published in a Jun 6, 2009 blog titled "Free Radicals, Antioxidants and You."


Moving into 2010, it was published as an illustration in an undated (Jan 2010) Squidoo blog titled "Elderly Care."


And moving into 2011, the photo was published in a Feb 21, 2011 blog titled "Social Security and the General Treasury: Who's Raiding Whom?," as well as an undated (early Jun 2011) blog titled "What is Abnormal Ageing?" And it was published in an undated (late Jun 2011) Portland Aging Parent blog titled "Concerned about your aging parent??


Moving into 2012, the photo was published in a Jun 4, 2012 blog titled "The Turning Point – 06/04/12."


Moving into 2013, the photo was published in a Nov 8, 2013 blog titled "Programas de ejercicio en mayores: menos caídas, y menos lesiones al care."




This is part of an evolving photo-project, which will probably continue throughout the summer of 2008, and perhaps beyond: a random collection of "interesting" people in a broad stretch of the Upper West Side of Manhattan -- between 72nd Street and 104th Street, especially along Broadway and Amsterdam Avenue.


I don't like to intrude on people's privacy, so I normally use a telephoto lens in order to photograph them while they're still 50-100 feet away from me; but that means I have to continue focusing my attention on the people and activities half a block away, rather than on what's right in front of me.


I've also learned that, in many cases, the opportunities for an interesting picture are very fleeting -- literally a matter of a couple of seconds, before the person(s) in question move on, turn away, or stop doing whatever was interesting. So I've learned to keep the camera switched on (which contradicts my traditional urge to conserve battery power), and not worry so much about zooming in for a perfectly-framed picture ... after all, once the digital image is uploaded to my computer, it's pretty trivial to crop out the parts unrelated to the main subject.


For the most part, I've deliberately avoided photographing bums, drunks, drunks, and crazy people. There are a few of them around, and they would certainly create some dramatic pictures; but they generally don't want to be photographed, and I don't want to feel like I'm taking advantage of them. I'm still looking for opportunities to take some "sympathetic" pictures of such people, which might inspire others to reach out and help them. We'll see how it goes ...


The only other thing I've noticed, thus far, is that while there are lots of interesting people to photograph, there are far, far, far more people who are not so interesting. They're probably fine people, and they might even be more interesting than the ones I've photographed ... but there was just nothing memorable about them.

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Taken on September 10, 2008